by Rodimus Dunn
I abhor hypocrisy, and the body that runs the NCAA is the biggest group of hypocrites in America. There are too many examples of their nonsense, so I’ll just focus on three: their ridiculous punishments, the money allocation (it’s always about the money), and transfer rules.
With Reggie Bush allegedly getting his Heisman trophy taken, and USC getting trampled for several indiscretions, NCAA mandated sanctions is a hot button item. Yahoo sports reports years ago that Reggie Bush and OJ Mayo are getting illegal benefits from agents and their handlers. Moreover, apparently Bush’s family is getting their rent paid for by unnamed people for more than a year. The combined effort of Yahoo sports and ESPN’s Outside the Lines produced several articles, interviews, and even receipts of rule violating purchases. Why does it take the NCAA years to investigate what took a few investigative sports reporters days to get the scoop about? Why couldn’t they just use the intel that was already established? So what ends up happening is the NCAA nukes USC years after Bush is gone, and right after the head coaches who presided over the charade are gone. Why do you punish the people who are there to clean up the whole mess? If a significant majority of a college’s revenue comes from the athletic department (most obviously coming from football and basketball), isn’t the whole university affected by a small group of people? Why should the water polo team not be able to afford chlorine for the pool just because a small group of people screwed up? Trust me; Reggie Bush is doing just fine. He’s a millionaire many times over, he’s gotten to sleep with Kim Kardashian, and he’s got a Super Bowl ring. How is he punished from USC losing scholarships and not being able to play in a bowl game? He’s not. I really don’t blame him very much. He’s a 20 something year old athlete, how much accountability can I expect out of him or any 20 year old for that matter? I’m more annoyed with guys like Pete Carrol. He was the leader of the whole program, and right before the guillotine falls, he leaves for the NFL, and 5 million dollars per year? How is he punished for running a program that ignores all of the NCAA’s draconian rules? Short answer, he’s not. Here’s my idea, instead of ripping scholarships, etc from the schools that mess up, just fine the coach and the football program a ridiculous sum of money. I guarantee if Carrol and other coaches like him were on the hook for 5 million dollars for these infractions, they wouldn’t be so cavalier about enforcing rules. These uber-control freak coaches who micromanage every detail of everything always say they had no idea these horrid things were going on. If their neck and wallet were on the line, I’d imagine they’d ensure this nonsense stopped happening. I can’t hold an unpaid 20 year old with no understanding of future repercussions accountable, but I can a well compensated middle aged man. Lastly, USC needs to get off their high horse with erasing Bush’s existence from the history. It’s not like he murdered anyone like another one of their great running backs has … allegedly.
I won’t spend so much time on this next point because it has been discussed many times over the years, but the way the NCAA handles money is horrid. These institutions make countless dollars off of these “student” athletes who get no compensation. People always say, “But they get their education paid for.” That’s hogwash. These guys go to school just to get drafted to the pros. If they didn’t have to attend college to play professional, they absolutely wouldn’t. According to USA Today, in 2008, the average salary of the top 10 Division I football coaches was just over 3 million dollars per year. In 2010, the average salary for the 65 men’s NCAA basketball tournament coaches was 1.3 million dollars. But its fair right, these kids get classes, which they don’t give a crap about, totally paid for! What’s more, after years of protest, proposition 62 was passed in 1998, and it says that athletes can work part time, but they can’t earn more than a total of $2000 more than their total grant. Thanks for throwing them a bone from the malnourished chicken. So we can get a few million selling your jersey, but we’ll allow you the opportunity to work for $10,000 each year. Thanks for the generosity.
Lastly, who made the asinine transfer rules? Why do I have to sit out a year to transfer schools when the guy who promised me that he would be a second father to me, since I’m traveling across the country and leaving my family to play for him, has left two different schools in three years? If coaches don’t have to honor contracts, who should the players have to? How is this even legal? The Nick Sabans, Bobby Petrinos and Lane Kiffins of the world can pull in a few extra million while leaving these teenagers abandoned, yet there are no penalties or repercussions? Why is a scholarship more binding than a signed contractual agreement? Many don’t know this, but Derrick Rose, Tyreke Evans, and Xavier Henry had clauses in the national letters of intent that would release them if John Calipari (the man who recruited them all) was not the coach of the school when they enrolled. This wasn’t an issue for Rose or Evans, as Coach Cal was at Memphis when they attended. However, Henry was blindsided this past year when Calipari decided to become the new coach at Kentucky. Henry exercised his clause, and successfully went to Kansas instead. This clause is a fantastic idea, since if the coach can leave on a whim, the players aren’t stuck to deal with the horrible aftermath. By the way, the NCAA outlawed that policy later in the year.
The NCAA is a selfish, self-serving, blood sucking dictatorship that benefits a few men wearing suits. The never ending supply of “student” athletes serves as the perfect host for this parasite to feed on. One day they’ll get their competition, and be forced to make major changes and improvements (just like with Microsoft and Windows vs. Apple, Firefox, etc); I just don’t see that day coming any time soon.