Show cause.

Brian Cook takes a look at the NCAA’s decision not to reverse course on the Todd McNair appeal and games out what that might mean for Ohio State and Jim Tressel.  Cook thinks there’s a decent chance Ohio State decides to stand by their man.

I don’t know how likely it is that a school takes a gamble on a head coach who’s prohibited from recruiting for an entire year, though.

There’s a bigger question about Cook’s reasoning, though, one that’s highlighted over at Conquest Chronicles.  The NCAA’s D1 Board of Directors has issued new rules for its infractions folks, including one that sounds like it comes straight out of Bush v. Gore:

Remind the membership in LSDBi and in committee policies and procedures that Committee on Infractions and Infractions Appeals Committee reports in prior cases are not binding in future cases. The reports do not reflect all of the facts and circumstances considered by a committee, rules may have changed, committee members have likely changed and no two set of facts are exactly the same. Those appearing before the committees should focus on the conduct involved in the actual matter pending before the committees, not on prior cases.

Precedent means zilch.  Every case is unique.  Blah, blah, blah.  In other words, rules? The NCAA don’t have to show you any stinkin’ rules.

That may make things easier for the organization in terms of passing judgment, but it’s not so conducive to encouraging your member institutions to avoid certain forms of behavior.  Not to mention maintaining respect for the enforcement procedure itself.  But then we’ve all known that consistency isn’t one of the NCAA’s strong suits.


Filed under Big Ten Football, The NCAA

10 responses to “Show cause.

  1. Go Dawgs!

    Basically, this is the NCAA telling us that they reserve the right to drop the hammer on you, but they also reserve the right to not srop the hammer on you if you happen to be a title contender with a charismatic quarterback or happen to be heading to a high-profile bowl game. They’re going case by case, which sounds like a good idea until you realize just how willing they are to look the other way if you are a blue blood or new money. Thank God for Yahoo! Sports and its team of reporters.


  2. shane#1

    I am not a lawyer. I do play one on TV. So correct me if I am wrong, Senator. The fact that changes will occur should make precedent even more important. Through the wisdom of our forefathers we have a constitution. Judges interpet this constitution. Their opinions are based on precedents dating back to English Common Law. Thus our system of justice is cumberson and slow to change, and thank God for that fact. Otherwise justice would be based on the whims of a judge or whatever fad is in vogue at the moment. Kind of like the NCAA.


  3. nk_knight

    Well, I imagine that a huge reason Todd McNair’s appeal was denied was because USC and Mr. McNair stonewalled the NCAA investigation, as McNair lied to them and so on. I can’t imagine a school getting punished more severely for self-reporting the violations. If so…why in God’s name would any ever report anything ever again? So, I would assume that Ohio State and Tressel will survive.


    • mwo

      Isn’t Tressel charged with lying to investigators and impeding progress into the investigation?


      • nk_knight

        He is being charged with not bring forth the information, not lying to the investigators….at least, the way I read it. He’s being charged with being dishonest and playing players who should have been suspended. He’s didn’t lie to the NCAA in their interview with him, like McNair did with his interview (and like Pearl did). It’s all semantics, I suppose…he did withold information in December when he signed his piece of paper saying that he had no other information….which I assume where the dishonesty comes in. But he has never lied in an actual interview investigation (which is what Bryant got nailed for).


        • BenG

          It has been determined that he had information long ago about rules violations by his players. He signed a document stating he had no such information. By any reasonable definition, that’s lying.


          • nk_knight

            I agree, I’m not saying he didn’t lie, but it wasn’t face to face with the investigators like Pearl, McNair, and Bryant did.


            • shane#1

              I have to give you credit, your ability to parse sentances and rules is absolutely Clintonesque in it’s brillance. Lying is lying whether it be in an official document or face to face. One thing that we learned in Watergate, the coverup is as bad if not worse, than the crime. Tressel did not self report untill months after he learned of he violations, then lied about when he learned of them.


  4. shane#1

    Let me add that Sweater Vest had me fooled completely. I thought that he ran a clean program and I had great respect for him. Now I know that the guy that looked like he could walk into a bank and borrow money on a hand shake and a signature might as well have coached in the SEC west.


  5. Cojones

    Since the NCAA takes so much time to investigate and to make a decision, does this mean that a rule can change since a year of the occurrence and they can be judged differently? Wouldn’t think so, but the memo and the foot-dragging of the NCAA leaves one to speculate.