Reports: Nick Saban shuts out scouts

It appears that Alabama coach Nick Saban has carried through on his threat to close his team's practice to NFL scouts because of the behavior of some pro agents.

A longtime NFL scout confirmed an Internet report that Saban, who made the threat in response to multiple reports of college players accepting benefits from professional agents in violation of NCAA rules, had shut down access to scouts, according to The Tuscaloosa News.

"Alabama is keeping guys out for the time being, but, as I understand it, that will be lifted at a certain point," the scout said, according to the report.

The scout, who asked to remain anonymous, said he confirmed with other scouts that Alabama was no longer granting access, according to the report.

Saban was not available for comment Tuesday, according to the report.

The scout also said "It also looks like Florida is doing the same thing," according to the Tuscaloosa report. But later Wednesday, Florida spokesman Steve McClain said the Gators' policy on scouts had not changed.

McClain said scouts are allowed to watch practices during specific times. But coach Urban Meyer closed practices to the public and the media.

Profootballtalk.com reported Tuesday that according to multiple sources, Saban had informed a number of NFL teams that scouts were not welcome at Alabama practice until further notice, leaving open the possibility that access might be reinstated later on a limited basis.

At the SEC's media days, Saban was harshly critical of agents who provide impermissible benefits to student-athletes in hopes of winning them as clients when they turn pro. The NCAA is currently investigating players at several schools for possible rules infractions involving agents, with allegations focusing around players attending a party thrown by an agent in South Florida during the summer.

Alabama has submitted a report to the NCAA regarding Crimson Tide defensive lineman Marcell Dareus and his possible involvement with an agent during a trip to South Florida. The university is awaiting word from the NCAA on whether his eligibility will be affected.

During the SEC's media days, Saban made clear that he was looking to the NFL and its players association to deal with unscrupulous player agents -- and that he was willing to limit access to make his point. The NFLPA is responsible for licensing agents.

"I've never had one minute of our practice ever restricted to NFL scouts, anything we do, in benefit of our players," Saban said at the time. "I would absolutely hate to do this. But I would also hope that the NFL and the NFL Players Association would do something about this without us having to do that."

Former Florida offensive lineman Maurkice Pouncey has been accused of accepting $100,000 from an agent's runner. Pouncey has denied the claim, and the investigation is ongoing.

"I'm concerned about the stuff where you get NCAA violations and scumbags that are involved that shouldn't be involved," Meyer said, acording to the Palm Beach Post. "[There's] one way to control it and that's 'get out.' "