So we have another sordid scandal in college football. As the saying goes, “brand new day, same ‘ol (spit).
First it was Ohio State. Then it was UNC, followed by Boise State and Georgia Tech.
Now Miami has joined the salacious college football scandal club. In that scandal, it looked like EVERYONE was on the take – from the players and coaches all the way up to the administrators (notably the college president, athletic director, and some compliance officials). Hell there is even a photo out with the president accepting a donation check from the greaseball himself, Nevin Shapiro (what type of name is “Nevin”?).
This sort of thing (maybe not as salacious as Miami’s) goes on in college basketball as well, though most of it centers around recruiting instead of illegal gifts.
I know that the NCAA has been talking tough about eradicating cheating from all college sports. It even talked of simplifying the rule book.
While I am in favor of blowing up the rule book, here is how the NCAA should enforce its rules.
They should punish the administrators and coaches more so than the players. In other words, punish the adults more than the kids.
Did those students know they were doing the wrong things? Absolutely – at least they should have known better. However the problem becomes more unsavory when the coaches – and worse, the administrators – knew what was going on.
Again, I reference the photo of Miami president Donna Shalala accepting that donation check from Shapiro at a bowling alley. Given that and the allegations that the athletics director, compliance officials, and some coaches knew what was gonig on (or was on the take), all of those folks should be fired or take an EXTREME pay cut for a while.
I do not think it’s fair for the NCAA to reduce scholarships and prevent kids from playing in bowl games. That’s more or less punishing the innocent than enforcing the rules.
Again, I am not completely absolving the offending student-athletes. If they committed the crime, they should be held accountable as well, to the tune of suspension if they are still enrolled at the school. If they have graduated, either fine them heavily if they are playing in professional sports, bar them from returning to campus if they do not make it to the pros (I cannot think of anything tougher than that at the moment).
I just do not believe the coaches and administrators should get off scot-free, which in many cases they do. Again, the adults should always be held more accountable than the kids.
That is the case in almost all walks of life…