The problem in letting the crooks write the criminal code

Ivan Maisel has a piece about what the NCAA thinks it has up its sleeve in terms of rewriting the rule book.  Some of the proposals are eye-opening – 50 percent scholarship reductions and penalties of up to 5 percent of a school’s athletic budget are pretty tough sounding, no doubt.

But there are those pesky practical considerations that get in the way every time.

It’s difficult to find anyone in intercollegiate athletics who does not want the NCAA to move beyond outdated, nitpicking regulations and to handle cases in a more timely matter. But the discussion of greater accountability is meeting resistance from those who would be held accountable.  [Emphasis added.]

Well, not to put too fine a point on it, duh.

The coaches in particular are likely to have a mass apoplectic fit over this:

Under the current NCAA bylaw, a head coach is “presumed” to have knowledge of what is occurring in his program and “can be responsible” for the actions of his assistants.

The proposed change would do away with presumption. It would make the head coach responsible for his assistants’ actions regardless of his knowledge of them. The penalties would range from 5 to 100 percent of competition in a season.

You can’t take away plausible deniability!  That’s… that’s… un-American!

“I guess they expect us to become compliance officers,” said Maryland football coach Randy Edsall…

Why, Randy, you say that as if it’s a bad thing.

The only way this goes anywhere if a scandal occurs so huge that a failure to act threatens to ruin the NCAA’s credibility beyond recovery (think 1919 Black Sox-like).  We’re not even close to that.  So I’ll be surprised if anything truly substantive results from this.  Not that Mark Emmert won’t paint the results as anything other than that, regardless of what they produce.


Filed under The NCAA

19 responses to “The problem in letting the crooks write the criminal code

  1. paul

    So you’re saying that it has to get worse than two programs that had long been held up as the ultimate ideal of what NCAA football ought to be about (Ohio State and Penn State) falling like dominoes thanks to a child sex abuse scandal and blatant cheating that the supposedly saintly head coach not only knew about but lied about. Repeatedly. All that followed up by the sickening display of money grubbing (realignment, playoffs) that threatens to alienate huge chunks of the traditional fan base. It has to get worse than that? I don’t know. I think we are already deep into SMU territory. If they don’t do something rather dramatic and rather soon I’m sure the big boys are simply going to use it as yet another reason why they are breaking loose from the NCAA all together. It’s pretty clear at this point that the NCAA borders on total incompetence.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      Personally, I think Auburn winning the BCSNC with a player that had been shopped around by his father for $180K when existing NCAA Rules required that such a player be banned and the NCAA doing NOTHING about it at all (except pretending it didn’t happen) is worse than OSU or PSU, at least athletically. If the public doesn’t get up in arms about that what will it take? The major conferences need to break away from the NCAA. That organization is worse than incompetent.

      • paul

        That’s an excellent point. I agree with you. Unfortunately, there are more like it. North Carolina anyone? Reggie Bush and USC? Anyplace John Calipari has coached? Dang, I’m starting to feel like I need another shower.

      • Cojones

        Agreed. When the NCAA has to make an excuse NOT to read their own regs and act on the spirit for which that clause was written, they have no one else to blame. Move the mileposts to suit the team, you move all of them to a challengeable status.

        Wasn’t it Wilson in the Eisenhour Admin who stated, ” As goes GM, so goes the country.”? That can be applied to NCAA adjudications toward some teams last year.

      • Silver Creek Dawg

        Mayor, I’m more upset the clowns in Birmingham did nothing about it first.

        • The only way they got around their own bylaw was the wording “agrees to receive”. In contract law, making an offer does not constitute acceptance, it only is an offer to perform a certain action if accepted by the other party. In this case, Cecil Newton offered his son’s services to Mississippi State if they agreed to pay $180K. Because his offer was not accepted by MSU, there never was an actual contract in place, therefore no agreement occurred.

          The SEC definitely could have deemed Newton ineligible for the rest of his career, but would have faced a potential lawsuit from Auburn. They made the best decision to protect themselves, no matter how logic defying it was to the rest of us. Now I haz a sad that I was able to use things I learned in Contract Law as a basis for defending a scum like Cecil Newton.

          • Silver Creek Dawg

            Back in the Dark Ages when I was a recruited D1 athlete (a non-revenue sport, mind you), I was told by the SEC specifically if I OR anyone in my family solicited money from a school, I was immediately ineligible, period, end of story. No agreement had to be made. The mere asking for money implied my agreement to take it. From what I learned in Contract Law, if your offer is accepted, you can’t then back out; that makes you liable for specific performance and/or damages.

  2. Scorpio Jones, III

    Whatever the NCAA borders on, it is always good to remember who actually runs the NCAA…

  3. Go Dawgs!

    I’m getting to the point where I’m truly ready to do away with the NCAA and try something else.

    • I’ve been ready to get rid of the NCAA since the way they screwed A.J. He was honest and claimed he didn’t know the guy was a runner. He should have been suspended for 2 games like Marcel Dareus. End of story.

      • Cojones

        I want to kick them in the butt for the way they got into AJ’s business using a false innuendo. It was kinda like the police saying they smelled gun oil before kicking in the door.

        • +1 – in this case, it was definitely guilty until proven innocent. You weren’t at this agent party that the reputable source TMZ said you were, but that just gave us the reason to ask a bunch of unrelated questions.

  4. Always Someone Else's Fault

    It was my understanding that college football coaches were in fact already expected to be compliance officers – the front line, that sort of thing.

    These coaches might want to read some headlines. The new NCAA stick is already “fire the coach, thank the university for compartmentalizing the damage by making him the fall guy.”

  5. Gravidy

    “The only way this goes anywhere if a scandal occurs so huge that a failure to act threatens to ruin the NCAA’s credibility beyond recovery”

    And you called yourself a cynic in the post above this one?!? Wow, Senator, I think you need to cruise on over to my house. We can have a couple of beers, and I’ll give you some cynic lessons. 🙂

    • The NCAA doesn’t see itself threatened by anything that’s happened to date. Sure, there’s been tons of grumbling – I’ve done my fair share of that – but nothing’s risen to the level of life-ending. At least not yet.

      I’ll take you up on those beers, though.😉

  6. IndyDawg

    President Truman famously had a sign on his desk that read “The buck stops here”. I think the NCAA, universities and many coaches just want your buck and ask that you move along, please.

  7. Dog in Fla

    “I guess they expect us to become compliance officers,” said Maryland football coach Randy Quinn…

    Randy took a Quinnipiac poll of himself and came up with this as his most common question: “Why won’t they leave Randy alone?”

    All of the time for which Randy is accountable is used skippering the Minnow through uncharted waters, giving orders and keeping track of Mike Locksley and James Franklin:

    “Men, there are four ways of doing things aboard my ship: the right way, the wrong way, the Navy way and my way — the Randy Edsall way. Let me say this: We do things my way and no one else’s, because Randy Edsall is all about one thing, and one thing only. And that’s Randy Edsall.”

    • Cojones

      What’s in a name? Look up “randy” in the dictionary.

      When I saw my neighbor’s name on his mailbox, I bought the adjoining property. It’s Piontek (pronounced “pee-on-Tech”). Thought he had spelled it phonetically before finding out he was Polish. Always thought it would be good to have him as a guest of Sanford Stadium during a Tech game just to hear it pronounced slowly and shown on the big board. Bet that would make their little pinheads swivel.