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!