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Thursday, October 26, 2006
 
LSU Has Assistant Coach Arrested

LSU assistant strength coach, Travelle Gaines, was arrested and jailed this week for.... illegal steroid distribution? No... For assault and battery? No... For gambling, stealing, possession of narcotics? No, no, and no. Gaines has been accused of violating Louisiana state agent regulations by inviting student-athletes to his home to meet a sports agent and suggesting the agent should represent the athletes. University police also arrested sports agent Charles Taplin earlier this month for attempting to contact student athletes. According to LSU, notes and a cellphone gathered during Taplin's arrest, combined with interviews with several student-athletes, pointed to Gaines as assisting Taplin.

Louisiana, like most states, requires agents to be certified and prohibits all sorts of behavior by agents. Section 4:424 of Louisiana's statute regulating agents prohibits an athlete agent or an attorney from:

(1) entering into "any agreement, written or oral, by which the athlete agent offers anything of value, including the rendition of free or reduced-price legal services, to any employee of an institution of higher education located in [Louisiana] in return for the referral of any clients by that employee, and

(2) directly or indirectly contacting "an athlete who is participating in a team sport at an institution of higher learning located in [Louisiana] to discuss the athlete agent's representation of the athlete in the marketing of the athlete's athletic ability or reputation."

The statute provides that an athlete agent commits an offense if the agent knowingly or intentionally violates the provisions of Section 4:424, and that conviction of an offense is a misdemeanor and punishable by a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars, or by imprisonment of not more than one year, or both.

The statute regulates the conduct of agents and defines "athlete agent" as "a person who, directly or indirectly, recruits or solicits an athlete to enter into an agent contract or professional sport services contract with that person, or who for a fee procures, offers, promises, or attempts to obtain employment for an athlete with a professional sports team."

Unless there is more to the story, Gaines was put in jail for introducing some players to an agent. NCAA bylaw 11.1.4.1 even permits head coaches to contact agents to assist the athlete in selecting an agent and determining his market value. LSU might be justified in firing him, but is it justifiable for LSU to have this guy arrested?





18 Comments:

Actually, police reports say that Travelle Gaines was aiding agent C.J. LaBoy of Octagon. Taplin may have also been involved with Mr. Gaines, though.

Anonymous Darren Heitner -- 10/26/2006 9:36 PM  


I'll be very grateful to people, who tell me, what a sports agent mainly does? Why a sports agent can't communicate with an athlete? How it can influence sports agent and athlete? Why such prohibitions exist?
I really didn't catch the whole situation. It seems that we don't have such rules.

Blogger Olga B. -- 10/27/2006 4:01 AM  


Darren,

Thanks for the info. If Gaines is introducing multiple agents to student-athletes, I suppose that's better than just steering them to one agent. But I still want to know what justifies any arrest, when there hasn't been any violation (or even close to a violation) of any state laws.

Olga,

There are state laws that govern agent contact with student-athletes (i.e. must be registered with the state, can't enter agreements with students to represent them, and prohibitions on certain contacts with student-athletes). These laws exist because agents are not subject to the NCAA rules that govern student-athletes and collegiate institutions. If you are interested in the NCAA rules regarding use of agents, my article linked on the blog would be helpful to you.

Blogger Rick Karcher -- 10/27/2006 3:01 PM  


So how many agents does it take to bust an agent, anyway?

Do they have a standing unit to monitor these things, or is it the kind of situation where they set up an investigation based on a tip?

Gathering cell phone records, etc.? Honestly, is this an efficient use of resources?

Anonymous Wha? -- 10/27/2006 4:09 PM  


Gaines had only been employed at LSU since July and it makes one wonder if he took the job with the intent of luring the players to his agent friend.

Anonymous brandon -- 10/28/2006 1:53 PM  


Brandon,

Gaines was apparently introducing players to more than just one agent. Are you suggesting that he was getting paid by the agents? -- because that has not been alleged as far as I'm aware. Maybe he was just inexperienced and didn't know what he should and shouldn't do. But I guess I'm not sure what bearing the length of time on the job has in his being arrested. Introducing players to agents, and even getting paid by the agents if that was in fact going on, is simply not a crime. Gaines is not an agent, and the statute he was arrested under doesn't apply to him.

I'm outspoken about all the problems associated with agent misconduct. The problem is that state laws and NCAA rules are just not effective in resolving these problems. This situation is an example of unwarranted and unjustified enforcement of a state agent regulation.

Blogger Rick Karcher -- 10/29/2006 2:35 PM  


LSU didnt have anyone arrested. This is the State of Louisiana vs. the AC NOT LSU. Those involved at LSU are nothing more than witnesses in the states case. I am not familiar wih how it works in Louisiana but in most states the guy would probably have been indicted by a grand jury before he was arrested.

Anonymous Brian Cuban -- 10/29/2006 2:48 PM  


Obviously no one knows these young men, their stellar reputations...except maybe some other coaches at LSU. Is this a put up or smoke screen for what has been going on at LSU for a long time?

Anonymous Anonymous -- 10/29/2006 3:44 PM  


Rick Karcher, thank you for the explanation!
Respectfully, Olga.

Blogger Olga B. -- 10/29/2006 4:07 PM  


Rick:

I agree that these laws are silly. The state should have a better use for its police resources than enforcing NCAA rules. But why isn't the coach guilty of aiding and abetting a violation of the statute?

Anonymous PK -- 10/29/2006 6:02 PM  


Brian,

It was university police, not the state. Do you think the police were patrolling campus one day and said, I think I'll check out that house over there for LSU players being introduced to agents? Here's a statement made by the LSU chancellor: "At LSU, we will not tolerate this predatory behavior, and in particular we will not abide those who seek to infiltrate our athletic department." When the LSU athletic dept. speaks, the campus police are going to listen. So yes, LSU had this guy arrested.

PK,

I'm not a criminal lawyer. What are the elements of aiding and abetting? If it requires specific intent to engage in an unlawful enterprise, my guess is that Gaines wouldn't know what the state agent regulations prohibit. Even if it meets the elements, he still shouldn't have been arrested and booked in jail -- that much I know.

Blogger Rick Karcher -- 10/29/2006 6:46 PM  


There has got to be more to this story. I mean, are you kidding me? A guy is arrested for, uh, sports agent introduction? I mean I know that Louisiana still uses the Napoleonic Code, but please: this is utterly ridiculous. This is either a set-up or a scare tactic. Either way, if you know how LSU works, well, don't put anything past their athletic director if it will a)hurt them financially and b)affect the ability to win games in any sport. There simply has got to be more to this. I wonder if the NCAA has any statement on this? Maybe we will find out more in coming days.

Anonymous Anonymous -- 10/29/2006 8:58 PM  


Rick, I admittedly have no idea how things are done in Louisiana but in general there is not a seperate judicial system for crimes committed within a university structure in the criminal setting. There is a criminal statute violated. It is the state that proceeds. If someone mugs a student on the University of Texas campus and that mugger is arrested by campus police-it is not The University of Texas vs. the mugger. Obviously if the people at LSU dont cooperate the case probably will not go forward BUT they are just witnesses! If the state could make the case without their cooperation they would still proceed if there was an indictment. There are a million different analogies that could be made but hey, if I am wrong, someone tells me how it works in Louisiana.

Anonymous Brian Cuban -- 10/29/2006 11:21 PM  


Rick:

Accomplice liability usually requires knowingly assisting in the crime or encouraging it. But "knowingly" here does not mean knowing that the conduct is unlawful. All that's required is that you are aware of the conduct you're assisting. In other words, it is enough that the coach knew he was assisting an agent meet players. It is not necessary for the coach to also be aware that that conduct was unlawful.

Anonymous PK -- 10/30/2006 9:41 AM  


actually gaines was only aiding laboy.

gaines played at utah state, cj laboy's younger brother travis laboy started his career at utah state before transfering to hawai'i.

travis laboy and gaines were good friends, very good friends, so this was gaines doing a favor to his best friends brother.

taplin was there, reportedly just knocking on doors trying to find a certain player, or two, to try and speak with on his own.

Anonymous Anonymous -- 10/31/2006 10:09 PM  


Now, this sounds more like the criminal law and sports agents, not this LSU thingy: http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2006-10-31-cuban-baseball-agent_x.htm

Anonymous Anonymous -- 11/01/2006 8:43 AM  


although i may not know the extent of what gaines did, i wish to speak upon his behalf. he was once my high school football coach, and was nothing but help to both me and my squad. i cant stand to see the things in which people are posting about him. to me there needs to be a separation between sport and law. i dont belive it is illigal to introduce a human to a human, although it may be alot more complicated. i just hope the "shit talking" stops. and coach gaines if you read this, me and everyone else stands behind you, and wish you the best

Anonymous Anonymous -- 7/06/2007 12:51 AM  


How did Gaines gain employment at LSU or any high school? This is a convicted felon!

http://media.swagit.com/s/wbrz/The_Advocate/10252006-12.high.flash8.html

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/wire?section=ncf&id=2641081

What ever happened in the LSU case? Any follow up?

Anonymous Anonymous -- 10/18/2007 2:05 AM  


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