Daily Archives: July 25, 2012

One man, one (quick) vote: the NCAA and due process

We’ve certainly had a lively debate on the subject of the NCAA’s punishment of Penn State.  It’s obvious I’m not changing any minds with my position and it’s probably time to move on, but before I do, there are just a couple of final bits worth mentioning.

First, Tony Barnhart weighs in with this:

But in our haste to make things right, we cannot forget about due process. Emmert’s position is that the Freeh Report established the facts of this case. And once Penn State signed off on the report and answered a few additional questions, the NCAA had everything it needed to act.

“There was no compelling reason to delay the process,” Emmert said.

How about this? The Freeh Report is just that, a report. It is going to be challenged in a court of law. What if that court finds the report is flawed? I tend to believe that the former director of the FBI probably got it right. But wouldn’t it have made more sense to let the NCAA investigators do their work, let the legal process play out, and then determine if such sanctions were warranted?

I understand the counter argument to that. This case was too important, too tragic, too raw to be left to the normal, flawed, NCAA enforcement process. Emmert needed to assert this authority, like NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, to address a clear case of wrongdoing with swift and certain punishment. In doing so he would put everybody else on notice in a culture that occasionally needs to get taken to the woodshed. That’s a good thing, right?

But that’s the issue. Mark Emmert is not Roger Goodell. Goodell is the commissioner of a professional league, hired by owners, and given virtually unlimited powers to police that league.

Emmert, a very smart man for whom I have a great deal of respect, is the president of a voluntary association of universities. Yes, the idea that these are still amateur sports is a horse that left the barn a long time ago. Feel free to insert your joke here.

Still, the powers of the president are limited by the governance structure of the NCAA. And that can be frustrating as hell. Emmert felt he was operating within that governance structure when he acted in the Penn State case. I’m not comfortable that he did.

When you’ve lost Mr. Conventional Wisdom, you’ve lost, period.  And Barnhart’s not the only one who’s uncomfortable about Emmert’s exercise of power.  The NCAA itself isn’t comfortable.  Look at what’s being cooked up in reaction to his move:

To help allay those concerns, the NCAA plans to examine when and under what circumstances its senior leaders might take future disciplinary action outside of the traditional enforcement and infractions processes, Bob Williams, an NCAA spokesman, told The Chronicle on Wednesday.

The move follows the extraordinary steps taken this week by top NCAA leaders in punishing Penn State for its reported role in covering up child sex abuse by a former football coach. On Monday, Emmert announced stiff penalties against the university, including a $60-million fine, deep scholarship cuts, and a four-year bowl ban.

While many people praised the toughness of the NCAA’s penalties, some athletics officials raised questions about the association’s process, in which Emmert and members of the NCAA’s Executive Committee and Division I Board of Directors sidestepped the normal judicial system.

“When I got started in this business, it used to be one school, one vote,” said a longtime compliance director at a BCS university. “Now it’s one man, one vote.”

Although he stepped in this time, Emmert would be required to receive the board’s and the Executive Committee’s permission to issue sanctions in any future disciplinary case, Williams said.

Again, I understand why this happened.  It was a human response to a grave tragedy.  But it was a dangerous one, too.  I hope nobody has cause for regret about it down the road.  And I’m glad to see the discomfort set in.

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UPDATE:  It’s being reported that Penn State was threatened with a four-year death penalty.

103 Comments

Filed under The NCAA

“I’ve seen a lot of growth in Tyler.”

Once again, SOD shows he has the finger on the pulse of his team, as Tyler Bray, fresh off showing his maturity at SEC Media Days, indulges his inner Stephen Garcia by tossing a few beer bottles at cars parked below his apartment balcony.

He’s been served with an eviction notice by the apartment complex, which is more punishment than I expect  him to receive from Dooley.

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UPDATE:  Shoot, I can’t believe I didn’t pop this baby up to start with.  Hat tip to fuelk2 in the comments for pinging my memory.

28 Comments

Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

If only there were a list of the most overrated statisticians…

You know, in a way I perversely admire ESPN’s KC Joyner.  How many stat hacks would try to get away with a list of college football’s most overrated players that starts with Marcus Lattimore?

13 Comments

Filed under Stats Geek!

First, we hang ‘em. Then, we’ll give ‘em a fair trial.

Mike Leach, football coach and lawyer, says this about the NCAA pronouncing final sentence on Penn State:

“I haven’t really thought it through carefully on that,” Leach said. “It’s hard to say. I guess the question is: Where does the legal system begin and end coupled with the NCAA? But this is a unique and extreme circumstance to it.”  [Emphasis added.]

That’s all the ambiguity wrapped up in a nutshell.  We won’t know the answer to that until the next time the public gets its panties in a wad over something related to college athletics, I’m afraid.  I just hope when that happens, my school is far, far away from the action.

87 Comments

Filed under The NCAA

Mark Richt has a new tailor.

This outfit and a goatee would match the exact mental image I have of Evil Richt.

33 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Bait and switch

What a mess the SEC has made of its basketball schedules as a result of expansion:

SEC basketball coaches met in Florida early last month to, among other things, determine how scheduling would be done for their new 14-team league, and everything was settled by the time the meetings concluded. The league decided each school would play every other school once per season, have a constant rival it would play twice per season, and four other schools it would also play twice per season to complete an 18-game schedule.

Not everybody was happy.

But everybody at least knew the score.

And then last week happened, and now everybody is confused.

“I got an email from the SEC office, and my four [home-and-home] opponents … were changed,” once SEC coach told CBSSports.com. “There was no discussion or phone call. I just got an email of our league schedule, and the league schedule wasn’t the league schedule they told me I’d have last month. It’s crazy.”

It’s Mike Slive’s league, asshole.  You’re just coaching in it.  Shut up and do as you’re told.   By the way, did anyone mention there are new TV contracts coming?

10 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

Just because he’s dashing out the door doesn’t mean he’s in a hurry.

SOD wants everyone to know that simply because he’s pushed himself to the front of the queue trolling for Penn State players as quickly as any coach in the country, it shouldn’t be taken as a sign that he’s, um, actually in need of more talent at UT.  Because on that front, things are just awesome in Knoxville, thank you very much.

“No. 1, I feel good about the players we’ve signed,” he said. “We’re not desperate.”

I can only imagine his sales pitch to Penn State sophomores and juniors:  Come to Tennessee, fellas.  If things don’t work out for us this season, at least you’ll have a chance to play for your fourth head coach in three years!

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UPDATE:  In fairness, SOD may have had to move quickly to the front of the line to avoid being run over by this guy.  Although it’s not like anybody’s going to Kansas in the hopes of playing in a BCS game, anyway.

12 Comments

Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

For Paul Johnson, playoffs are about “at least”.

Paul Johnson is in favor of a sixteen-team playoff.  Of course he is, bless his heart.  And for just the reason you’d expect.

“You take 11 [conference champions] and then you add five at-large [teams], give ’em a chance,” Johnson said this week at ACC Media Days. “If your conference hasn’t done well, you become the 16th seed. You have to go play against No. 1, but at least you had a chance.”

Cue the obligatory movie reference.

Within a few months of college football adopting such a format, I’d expect Georgia Tech to move to the Sun Belt Conference.  The battles it would have with Georgia State to make the playoffs would be epic.

17 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Georgia Tech Football