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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The NCAA and its shifting goalposts

The NCAA, deservedly under fire for some recent rulings, went a bit on the offensive on Wednesday. The governing body of college athletics posted a lengthy comment on its web page, entitled: “NCAA statement on fairness of rules decisions.”

Here’s the link.

I’m supposed to be objective as a beat reporter, but the NCAA is making it harder and harder.

There are so many holes in that statement, and so many areas to poke and prod, it can’t all possibly be addressed.

We’ve been through the Cam Newton situation. That ruling almost seems reasonable compared to the NCAA allowing the six Ohio State players to delay their suspensions until after the Sugar Bowl.

Then we found out Wednesday, thanks to rather blunt statements by the Sugar Bowl chairman, that the bowl and Big Ten commissioner Jim Delaney lobbied the NCAA to allow the six to play in the Sugar Bowl.

The NCAA release on Wednesday stated that “any insinuation that revenue from bowl games in particular would influence NCAA decisions is absurd, because schools and conferences receive that revenue, not the NCAA.”

Except, as the NCAA often points out, the NCAA is its member schools, not a separate governing body. Trying to act as if bowl money is completely unrelated to the NCAA is not only laughable, it’s disingenuous.

As others have pointed out, it’s also interesting that the NCAA would call playing in a bowl a “unique opportunity,” especially considering current players at Southern California are not being allowed to compete in bowls for two seasons, for violations that occurred well before their time.

The enforcement decisions of the past month or so lead to the conclusion the NCAA is just making things up as it goes along, and making selective enforcements. Now this release shows it’s moving its arguments selectively, forgetting what it said a week ago to make today’s argument.

The NCAA, simply put, is broken.

And for anyone who wonders whether I feel this way because I cover Georgia, and think A.J. Green got a raw deal: Nope, by the letter of its law, the NCAA made the correct ruling. Green himself said that.

But given recent events, I’ll ask this: If the jersey-selling incident were only coming up now, and Green (having played all season) was on the verge of winning the Heisman, and Georgia was in a BCS game, would the NCAA have still doled out a four-game suspension, starting immediately?

I’ll leave the question up to the room.


Anonymous said...

An agency with almost no transparency or oversight is bound to go down this path. Call me a cynic, but in no way is this shocking.

steve said...

The NCAA and the SEC is full of it. Neither are interested in treating its member schools fairly. And neither is a standard bearer for good morals.

UGA69Dawg said...

The NCAA is an association of it's member institutions and it's member institutions are not all created equal. Some are more equal than others. This is not new SMU got the death penalty because they were a private and relatively small school with bigger schools, notably Texas and Oklahoma screaming for their heads. No State school would ever get the death penalty because of the NCAA fear of government intervention. They are just trying to CYA as best they can until ESPN gets tired of the story.

Anonymous said...

The NCAA is a complete joke........

Brian said...

Didn't the UGA players who sold their Sugar Bowl rings set something of a precedent with respect to rules about selling memorabilia? I think "did not receive adequate rules education" is a weak argument for delaying punishment. Could I use that defense if I get a traffic ticket? And the speculation that Jim Delaney whined about it makes the situation even slimier. Hope those tattoos still look snazzy on Terrelle Pryor's arm when he's sitting next to Maurice Clarett in the retirement home in 40 years.

Muckbeast said...

The BCS and the way the bowl money works has created this situation. The NCAA is the complete slave of the bowls and their giant checks.

Every year, we see crooked crap happen to make sure the top 2 teams are either undefeated or 1 loss when the rest have 2 losses. This happens from the NCAA and the conferences. They are doing anything they can to prop up this broken system.

Anonymous said...

Here's an answer to your question... AJ Greene DID receive extra benefits, and Cam Newton did NOT. Period, end of discussion. Do a little research.

Anonymous said...

Every NCAA school has a system in place to educate their players about NCAA infractions so I don't see what was lacking about their rules education. The players should not be able to proclaim ignorance of the law any more than I can claim ignorance when I get a speeding ticket.

The players suspension should have taken effect immediately. Sad.

Charlestowne Dawg said...

Anon 8:46 AM,

...and OJ was innocent.

Anonymous said...


You nor anyone else have any evidence that any money exchanged hands in the Newton case. You can make stuff up all you want, but it doesn't make it true. Stick to the facts!

Charlestowne Dawg said...

And if the glove doesn't fit, you must acquit...

Anonymous said...

Comparing a murder case with football. Stay classy UGA!

Anonymous said...

Oh and by the way, where's "the glove" in the Newton case?