The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

September 12, 2013

Yahoo: 5 SEC stars received payouts during career

Former Tide star, Fluker, among accused athletes

(Continued)

But Saban quickly became irritated with questions about the report, saying he only wanted to talk about the game. No more questions came and he walked out of the interview room saying, "Appreciate your interest in the game."

He's right, the constant allegations of rules violations are taking the focus away from the field.

The latest allegations could lead to investigations by Secretary of State offices regarding agent laws.

"Mississippi State University has always been responsive and cooperative to any inquiry by our Agency," Mississippi Secretary of State of Delbert Hosemann told The Associated Press in a statement. "However, it is the policy of the Secretary of State's Office to neither confirm, comment or deny any current or potential investigation our Agency conducts."

Mississippi State spokesman Gregg Ellis said the university "constantly educates our student-athletes about agent-related issues. We've also worked closely with the Mississippi Secretary of State's office in recent years to strengthen the Mississippi Uniform Agent Act. As always, we will do our due diligence to evaluate any potential concerns."

Mississippi State and Tennessee are both on probation for other NCAA violations until the summer of 2015.

Tennessee athletic department spokesman Jimmy Stanton also said the university emphasizes rules compliance.

"The education of our student-athletes regarding NCAA rules and extra benefits is and will continue to be the central focus of our compliance efforts," Stanton said. "We are aware of the article and are examining all of the relevant facts, and we will not comment further."

Tennessee coach Butch Jones said on his weekly radio show Wednesday night he could only comment on what had taken place since he took over the program in December.

"All I can tell you is this," Jones said, "we're well aware of (the report). We've been educating our players since the minute we walked in the door, and we'll see what happens."

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