Apparently, The NCAA Only Cares About Money

June 21, 2010 – 3:29 pm by McD

Now that USC ipso facto has been given the death penalty, the question of what kind of institutional control the NCAA expects its member institutions to have has moved to the fore in the age-old student vs. athlete debate. The main reason USC got hammered is because it essentially had no idea what was going on with Reggie Bush and the football program and with O.J. Mayo and the basketball program.

The NCAA believed USC had at least tacit knowledge that Bush was receiving money and other things from wanna-be sports marketers he knew from high school because of the testimony of a convicted felon (whom USC reps were not even allowed to cross-examine) who said running backs coach Todd McNair sorta-kinda knew about the Bush family’s arrangement in San Diego.

The Bush’s received some very valuable gifts, according to this witness, because they thought Reggie would sign a deal with them after he graduated college. That USC either didn’t know or sorta-kinda knew about the Bush family’s activities is the very definition of a lack of institutional control. Could they have done anything to stop his family’s wheelings and dealings? That’s very, very debatable.

Besides, it was the basketball program that was out of control. The Reggie Bush saga is the sole reason the football team was part of the investigation. The basketball team was absolutely riddled with sketchy players and the kind of characters you hardly see coaches and programs go after anymore. Then throw in the fact that O.J. Mayo was essentially a salaried player when he spent one year at USC.

And then there are football programs like Florida and Oregon, who have not been caught with players taking large gifts or money, but that have arrest rates through the roof. Where is the four-year investigation of Florida’s incredible run of criminal activity? Nowhere, because no one on the Gators has been caught taking money from potential agents or whoever the hell that guy who gave Reggie Bush all that money was.

It’s gotten to the point in Gainesville that even Florida’s own student paper and in-state papers are going after it. And in pretty hilarious fashion, I might add.

So while Florida players continue to get arrested and kicked off the team and Oregon players continue to do the same, the NCAA worries most about sticking it to USC. I’m not saying the Trojans didn’t earn some major punishment, but since there’s no obvious cash changing hands in Gainesville or Eugene, I guess the NCAA figures it has better things to do.

NCAA, this is me calling you out. There are two programs that are legitimately out of control and are making the NCAA look pretty soft on crime. Sure, many of the offenders are getting suspended or kicked out of school altogether, but is that all that matters? What about the coaches who recruited these individuals in the first place?

That’s the easy point to make. The Skip Bayless point, as it were.

The more important point, in my opinion, is that colleges cannot control their players’ actions to a degree satisfactory for the NCAA. They shouldn’t be giving the players money a la Alabama in the 90’s. They shouldn’t be helping the players cheat in classes and changing grades a la Florida State in the 2000’s. And they definitely shouldn’t be running amok in their communities a la The U in the 80’s. But, if Todd McNair’s version is the truth, to expect USC to have any idea what the Bush family was doing a hundred miles away is just silly.

Grade changing and money distribution can be stopped without much of a problem. It takes a special kind of athletic department and coaching staff to get away with that level of cheating. But can the NCAA really expect football and other sports programs to stop their players 100 percent of the time from getting caught with two open bottles of Crown Royal or, say, taking money and a house from potential agents who have nothing to do with the school a hundred miles from campus?

The answer is yes, apparently. That is the reason USC was made an example of when the NCAA handed down its sentence. The expectation is now that programs must control the actions of their players at all times – so far only when it involves money, apparently.

The NCAA has yet to move on programs with players who are out of control in regard to the law, but I would imagine they’re next. Urban Meyer should be getting very nervous right about now. Actually, that might explain his adversarial attitude toward the press lately.

If there is no follow-up, however, no punishment for programs with legal issues beyond what they do to themselves (note: the NCAA offered no further sanctions against USC’s wildly out of control basketball program because the program punished itself), the hypocrisy that has become big-time college football and basketball will be complete. It will be obvious that the NCAA will only care about money – the money that it garners from sports revenue and that which is given to the athletes that earn the organization its money in the first place.

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  1. 10 Responses to “Apparently, The NCAA Only Cares About Money”

  2. Apparently, The NCAA Only Cares About Money


    By sparty on Jun 22, 2010

  3. You are way off base. The NCAA enforces its rules with regards to amateurism and sports. Criminals are the responsibility of law enforcement. Schools who knowingly recruit high school thugs who are already criminals do so at their own risk. That risk is the disruption to their program (plus publicity)when their players are arrested and kicked off the team. What would the NCAA have to do with law enforcement? They do not have jurisdiction in any state that I know of.

    By John Q. Public on Jun 22, 2010

  4. How do you suggest the NCAA enforce the laws of the 50 states, the various cities, etc. that the member colleges are located in? The NCAA purview is maintaining the amateurism in student athletes, not law enforcement. There are enough agencies to do that. Now should there be some rule that further penalizes a school if they have arrests in excess of a certain number? If you think that the NCAA rules are complicated now, it would be become ever more complex. And there are enough rule violations at the present to keep the NCAA busy without adding to the work load!

    By John Q. Public on Jun 22, 2010

  5. Actually, they wouldn’t enforce any laws. They would simply punish athletic departments and individual programs that have an inordinate amount of athletes who break the law like Florida and dozens of others. Programs like that are fifty times as embarrassing for the NCAA as what USC did.

    By McD on Jun 22, 2010

  6. To me, the rich people that runs it ony cares about two things and they are money and themselfs. If one area wants to grow an be bigger then them they will do anything to knock them down. Put that phrase as a business that wants to grow and the NCAA is the rich power like to the political parties. This is want happening everyday.

    By David Austin on Jun 24, 2010

  7. I lost faith in the NCAA years ago. Money and nothing but money has been the NCAA’s moto for many years. The men’s basketball tourney rakes in millions each year, does that money somehow trickle down to student athletes in need – no way. Tit. caa is too busy seeking other money making ventures to care. Bottom line, if member school demanded the ncaa clean up its own act and really be a good and model citizen the maybe something would change – but I doubt

    By Biogem on Jun 24, 2010

  8. The NCAA is ALL about the money….how to get more for themselves! Example: AT&T is a “Corporate Champion” helping 400,000 student atheletes have a better experience. Are there 400,000 cell AT&T cell phones and plans in their hands? I doubt it. Those $$$$$ (our dollars as paying consumers) are in the NCAA account and lining the pockets of their execs. Not for profit my butt!

    By Shue on Jun 27, 2010

  9. The NCAA had it’s place in time. It was clearly a positive influence to College Sports in general years ago. However, much like the Unions of old, their time has come. They have not provided the actie benefits of the current needs and desires of the College Sports world of today. They are two-faced on their policies when it comes to Rules or Supposed Rules of enforcement. To turn it’s head on the Florida and Oregon Schools (per this story) is a crime within in its own COI. The NCAA has come of age. They are due for a full audit of themselves. The real question today is what benefit is the NCAA providing the College Sports of the future? Are they even needed? Could a consolidation of the current conferences into fewere more powerful conferences be constructed with new bylaws to be in tune with the times and do away with the NCAA and it’s 1100 employees who cannot enforce a conssitent policy?

    Whether you agree or disagree with the performance of the NCAA you have to be open minded to the facts that the current state of affairs are way beyonnd their comprehension. They talk about Student Athlete while we all know they crave the allmighty dollar that these incredible kids bring to the schools and conferences.

    It’s time for change America. It’s time for the end of the NCAA. Vote with your voice. Strike up the topic and settle for nothing less.

    By Steve on Jun 28, 2010

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