Initial responses to the NCAA-imposed penalties on LSU for engaging in unacceptable levels of contact with a kid who signed a financial aid agreement with the school but eventually wound up at Alabama have largely been along the same line: a “confusing rule“, a rule that “has to change“, “the NCAA’s attempt to address the unintended consequences of its prior action are now having additional unintended consequences“.
An accidental mess, in other words, created by everyone’s favorite organization’s ineptitude.
Except what if it isn’t an accident? As MaconDawg suggests, “Finally, and perhaps most NCAA-y of all, this episode creates a real disincentive for schools to offer FAAs to players.” Yeah, so? Methinks it’s quite possible the NCAA perceives that to be a feature, not a bug, of the rule.
We already know the NCAA is, if not outright hostile to, at least unconvinced about the need for players to be able to avoid signing a NLI to play college football. If you can’t arrange an outright ban of recruits being able to avoid signing the letter, isn’t muddying the waters so much that the schools refuse to offer the possibility in fear of what’s happened to LSU the next best option?