The NCAA Recruiting Rules Debate – The Verdict

June 17, 2009

Read the Loyal Homer and Sports Geek’s opinion.

Well, nobody ponied up with the Krispy Kremes, so don’t blame me if you don’t like the verdict!

Before I declare the winner I have to get something off my chest – I do not like the current state of the NCAA one bit.

I can tolerate professional sports organizations – like the NFL, MLB, or NBA – working loopholes and angles to try and gain a competitive edge. I can tolerate multi-million dollar deals to bring in high-priced talent. These are legitimate businesses that are entitled to do what they can to try and make as much money as the market will tolerate.

The NCAA is NOT, however, a business. It was commissioned by President Teddy Roosevelt in response to the numerous injuries and deaths resulting from the game of football at the time. The purpose was to establish a governing body that would create and enforce rules to protect the players and the games. The NCAA is FAILING in that mission right now. Vacating wins is the most foolish and useless punishment that I have ever heard! Who cares that Alabama’s 2005 football record is going to be altered?! That’s not a punishment.

I like Sports Geek’s sentiment that punishments should be leveled at coaches and boosters. To take it one step further, they should also be leveled against the PLAYERS! Is Reggie Bush suffering for his violations? How about O.J. Mayo, or Derrick Rose? Do you think ANY of them care at all about what happens to their respective universities?

Before you can change the behavior, you have to change the mindset. Don’t give me the excuse that O.J. Mayo was just a kid getting money shoved in his face, and that he didn’t know any better, or that he was being taken advantage of. If someone shoved a sack full of cash in my hand for something that was against the rules when I was a 17 year-old kid I would have known EXACTLY what I was doing. Give the students, coaches, and boosters a reason to think twice before taking part in that activity.

Maybe I’m an idealist (or an idiot). To me college athletics are supposed to be about the spirit of competition. As a fan, I take pride when The Ohio State University shows up on a Saturday and routs “that school up North” (6 years and counting!!!). I like to think that it’s because the guys on the field believe in their team, and enjoy the majesty of the greatest rivalry in college football. I like to think that the players on MY team want to be a part of the history that is Ohio State vs. Michigan. I DON’T want to think that my team just has better cash, cars, and no-show jobs.

All ranting aside, it’s time to announce the winner…


While I disagree with Sports Geek’s sentiment that these student-athletes are being exploited (I don’t see Derrick Rose suffering for having been “exploited”), the argument does raise a very important point – the rules are not the problem.

I do not agree with Loyal Homer’s argument of winning at all cost. I think, in the interest of competition, rules have to be created and adhered to. The same principles that govern a successful business can apply just as effectively in collegiate athletics. That is, the idea that FAIR competition ultimately breeds success. Fair competition is what allows two people, teams, or organizations to evaluate and determine which side is better.

Loyal Homer does raise a valid point, though… ARE there any clean programs out there? The more I hear of these violations, the less I can comfortably believe in the idea that there are.

Last, I want to thank Sports Geek and Loyal Homer for coming on the show!

The NCAA Recruiting Rules Debate – Lose the Rules, No One Follows Them

June 16, 2009

Read the debate intro and Sports Geek’s opinion.

Recruiting scandals have been going for years. Monetary benefits are promised to high profile recruits. Homes are given to families. “Jobs” are given to recruits/student athletes by boosters. Where does it all end? Well, it’s not going to end. No matter what rules are out there, coaches and boosters will find ways around them.

Bleacher Fan mentioned the allegations involving Memphis, USC, and Alabama.

Now correct me if I’m wrong, but hasn’t Memphis (formerly known as Memphis State) been involved in recruiting shenanigans before? Yes I believe they have. Remember that 1985 team? No? Guess what? The NCAA doesn’t either. Thanks to a plethora of violations, their trip to the Final Four was made null and void. Well, here we are again with “The Derrick Rose SAT Story.”

Bleacher Fan brings up an excellent point. Has the NCAA just swept the Reggie Bush scandal under the rug? Will no wins be vacated by them? No titles striped? Oh, okay, then! Well I know of a five star athlete who will win a Heisman and help take your school back to glory. If you get his mom a good job and get his family a big fancy house, I will hand deliver him to you. And, don’t worry about the NCAA! I’ll make sure they turn their head.

Alabama… hmmm. Is it just me or did they just get off probation? Yes, and some shenanigans (you’ll find that this is one of my favorite words) took place in the 1990’s that they were put on probation earlier in this decade. Yet, with these latest violations, the only thing that happened to the Tide was the vacating of wins. That’s all well and good, but does that really matter? Is that just punishment for a school just coming off of probation? Granted, this round of violations was very minor, but the rules are there for a reason – apparently, the rules were made to be broken.

Tennessee head football coach Lane Kiffin has found himself feeling some heat in SEC territory for secondary violations (what a joke this term is).
I ask our loyal readers… do you believe there is there a clean program anymore? Of course, I say this in a sarcastic tone. But, a clean program seems to be a rare commodity.

You know, I’m to the point now where I say let’s just throw all the recruiting rules out the window. It’s a “dog-eat-dog” world out there. Do what you must to get the best athletes to come to your school. Get the star recruit an easy job, even if it is at an automobile dealership with strong ties to the school. Get the family a house. The bottom line is WIN and I don’t care how you do it!

It’s not like the NCAA is going to do anything about it! So I say go for it! Win at all costs!

As Al Davis says, “Just win baby!”

The NCAA Recruiting Rules Debate – Rules are Good, The NCAA Is the Problem

June 16, 2009

Read the debate intro and Loyal Homer’s opinion.

Bleacher Fan poses an interesting question – should the NCAA even bother with recruiting rules in the age of “self-reporting” and NCAA nonchalant governance. Of course they should! The NCAA must have some measures in place to protect against entities (and coaches, boosters, etc.) that are seeking to exploit athletically talented students for their own gain and fortune. Protection of the student-athlete is one of the primary reasons recruiting rules came to fruition in the first place – along with the need to comply with Federal law and level the athletic playing field between institutions. However, rules that are open to a wide array of possible interpretation and a general lack of strict enforcement has distracted from the real value these rules still contain. It’s time to close the loops and get serious.

What started (in 1890) as a basic set of instructions for how a college coach can seek an athlete’s talents for their various teams – and, lest we forget, their intellect for the institution they represent – has devolved into a secret battle where opposing coaches try any method possible to reach out to a high school student-athlete, make a connection, and secure their talent. If a coach goes to an extreme to get a student admitted into a school (such as complicity in faking SAT/ACT scores) or students knowingly cheating in class in order to maintain their academic eligibility (ahem, Alabama, ahem, Florida State… ahem), then those students and coaches involved should receive a penalty. A big penalty. They’re cheating. If a student is expelled for cheating in a class, why does an athletic program or coach get a pass for cheating? Because the rules are poorly written and improperly enforced, not because they aren’t good rules.

To play sports in college a student must adhere to certain academic standards. If those standards are not met (or completely ignored in some cases) then the athlete becomes a de facto professional athlete, not a student athlete, and the playing field is no longer level. Therefore, the rules must exist.

But, it is not the rules themselves that are an issue, rather the NCAA’s decision about when and how to enforce them, and when they choose to turn a blind eye. The so-called “Death Penalty” for athletic programs at an institution is losing the specter of intimidation because it’s never been effectively used. The first instance of the rule being invoked involved Kentucky men’s basketball got the Death Penalty in 1953 after a point-shaving scandal. Somehow, they managed to get back into the NCAA Tournament after two years, and win another championship before the decade ended. In fact, in each instance where the penalty was levied, the athletic program managed to resurface later. Kinda takes the “Death” out of the “Death Penalty” – doesn’t it?

The enforcement issue comes from a convoluted definition of the core NCAA recruiting rule – what constitutes a “lack of institutional control?” Here’s how the NCAA defines that term:

“In a situation in which adequate institutional procedures exist, at least on paper, a practical, common-sense approach is appropriate in determining whether they are adequately monitored and enforced by a person in “control.”

Huh? Something tells me the “practical, common-sense approach” is widely defined and applied when determining punishments for offending institutions. Also, why is the program always at fault? Why doesn’t the NCAA ban a coach, or this mysterious “control” person, if they break the rules?

The rules exist because they’re important. But, the NCAA is terrible at responsibly enforcing them. The consequences and bad press are going to continue to pile up until the NCAA gets serious. With increasing scrutiny and public outcry, the NCAA should step up and enforce the rules to prove they’re more than just window dressing.

The NCAA Recruiting Rules Debate – Does the NCAA Need Recruiting Rules?

June 16, 2009

Read Sport Geek and Loyal Homer’s opinions.



I can hook it up so that you can meet Sports Geek face to face! Exciting, isn’t it?! I KNOW! Well, I can make that happen for you. All YOU have to do is commit to reading our site every day for the next year. If you can do that for us, I can make your WILDEST dreams come true!!!

Okay, maybe meeting Sports Geek isn’t one of your wildest dreams (sorry to crush your ego, Sports Geek), but it seems like there’s been a lot of recruiting wheelin’ and dealin’ going on in the NCAA lately, and I just felt like joining in on the fun!

The NCAA has been handing down penalties to some of the major sports programs in college athletics. Allegations of recruiting violations are flying around, and someone’s going to lose an eye if people don’t start being more careful!

Let’s run down the NCAA recruiting drama of the past few weeks:

  1. Men’s Basketball Coach John Calipari and the Memphis Tigers – Calipari is currently under investigation for “knowing fraudulence or misconduct” on a player’s SAT exam from the 2007-2008 season. It is believed that the player in question is current Chicago Bulls star point guard Derrick Rose.
  2. Tim Floyd resigns from USC – Under allegations of bribery in the recruiting of current Memphis Grizzlies guard O.J. Mayo in 2007, Tim Floyd decided to step down from his position as the head coach of the USC Trojans Men’s Basketball Team.
  3. The Alabama Crimson Tide must vacate football wins – Following reports that student-athletes – from 16 different athletic programs within the University of Alabama – participated in a textbook scandal, several punishments were leveled on the Crimson Tide. The most severe of these penalties is reserved for the football program, which will be force to vacate 21 wins from the 2005 season through the 2007 season. The school is also being placed on probation until June of 2012.

While those have been the most recent examples of excitement stemming from recruiting violations, let’s not forget some of our favorites. We have The Ohio State University’s spree of 13 reported violations during the 2007-2008 school year. Is it just me, or did people magically forget about the alleged recruiting violations regarding New Orleans Saints running back Reggie Bush at USC. (It’s beginning to seem like USC running backs can even get away with murder, right O.J. Simpson?!… thanks for that one Nick!)

Whatever your violation of choice, it seems there is a recruiting violation on the market for everyone right now. With all of these violations, we here at TSD World Headquarters began asking ourselves :

“Should the NCAA even BOTHER with these recruiting rules anymore?” (nice segue, huh?!)

With the seemingly constant barrage of new violations, claims of bribery, no-show jobs, free textbooks, SAT cheating, two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese… sorry, I lost control for a moment…

Anyway, with all the reports of violations, it begs the question of whether or not these rules serve their intended purpose. So, our crack squad of debaters has assembled here at TSD, and we intend to find out!

Sports Geek will argue that, yes, the rules do still serve a very valuable purpose.

Loyal Homer will argue that, no, the NCAA shouldn’t even bother with these rules because they aren’t being followed anyway.

With that, the debate begins (although the ruling can be bought for a dozen Krispy Kreme’s!).


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