Pete Thamel goes “Oh, snap!” all over the arguably two most powerful men in college athletics:
… Slive and Delany, who are bitter rivals, spoke at their media days about the need for change in college sports. But last football season, each had a perfect opportunity to show he meant what he said as the Newton and Pryor cases unfolded. They instead chose to chase dollars and bowl victories, their talk of reform sounding more like rhetoric.
If Slive were serious about reform, he would have made sure that the SEC reported to the N.C.A.A. months before it did that Newton’s father was seeking to send his son to a college that would pay him $180,000 (and then not tried to blame Mississippi State after his league bungled the case.)
Slive could also have insisted that Auburn sit Newton during the investigation. Instead, Newton led the Tigers to the Bowl Championship Series title, and Auburn is erecting a statue of him — the perfect emblem of the SEC’s problems — as the N.C.A.A. inquiry continues.
If Delany were serious about reform and punishing bad behavior, he could volunteer to return the $6 million the Big Ten earned through Ohio State’s slot in the Sugar Bowl. The N.C.A.A. delayed the suspension of Buckeyes stars, including Pryor, until after the Sugar Bowl. The decision backfired, as Ohio State Coach Jim Tressel resigned, and Delany and the N.C.A.A. looked like apologists for cheaters.
Neither Slive nor Delany attended this week’s NCAA meetings.