Leave it up to the U to make the ostentatious mid-80s SMU athletic scene look like Mayberry. Sex parties, bounties, abortions, yachts, hotels, jewelry, cars, mansions, dinners… Does that about cover it? I guess the security guards in the UM athletic department channeled Helen Keller for nearly a decade and allowed the inmates to run the prison (with paid “conjugal” visits, of course).
So now we’ve got Hurricane Nevin, a Category 5, bearing down onCoral Gablesand the aftermath will be the death penalty. Considering the SMU football program got the gas chamber for transgressions far more benign compared to some of the things that have reportedly happened inMiami, how could The U not be shut down? Besides the colorful tales of cheating at SMU, the most interesting thought I took from the 30-30 ‘Pony Excess’ documentary was nearly everyone agreed the death penalty was too harsh and would never be seen again in college athletics.
Everyone assumed after the SMU situation, University compliance offices would have the intelligence – no pun intended – to jump in and fix things before the illegalities spiraled out of control. It was universally understood no program or friends of the program would ever be foolish enough again to operate with such arrogance and opulence. Well, everyone on the SMU documentary saying the death penalty doesn’t deserve a home in the current NCAA rulebook is wrong. To those who believe death is off the Miami table are being incredibly naïve, because once you strip away Miami’s school colors all that remains is a multimillion dollar business cast in a different shade of green.
In the real world when a big company breaks rules – usually done by only a few at the top – there are massive repercussions. It goes bankrupt, the NYSE gives it the boot, employees get fired, lives are ruined, and people go to jail. When a company publically flaunts its crooked behavior there are no fines, just death. SoMiamibreaks nearly every NCAA rule and they should be exempt from the death penalty? They expect fines and a few years of probation? Give me a reason why they shouldn’t be kicked out of the NCAA? Enron… Tyco… WorldCom… Global Crossing… I don’t have a problem adding the Hurricanes to that list, but will the NCAA?
In possession with what seems like a mountain of indisputable evidence, what is the course of action for the NCAA? What happens to the current players and coaches involved? When did it start and end? Who knew what and who chose to ignore it? What can be proven? Given the window of time and the sheer number of people involved, where does the NCAA start? Maybe it’s easier to try and pinpoint where this ends because there is little doubt in my mindMiamiis walking the Green Mile. If the NCAA really wants to toughen up and stop being a bunch of mannequins – in every sense of the word – they should do the following:
1) Administer the death penalty and shut down the football program for three years. The U receives no revenue from the ACC for anything football-related during this time.
2) Current and eligible players on theMiamiroster can immediately transfer without having to sit out a year. Current players on the roster who received improper benefits can check their pads at the door because their collegiate career is over.
3) Any coach who knew about this or was involved in some capacity is banned from coaching at the NCAA level for three years and must repay a percentage of their salary.
In addition to handing out punishments, maybe the NCAA can actually do something for once that improves the current culture of the game and figure out a way to pay players legitimately. Until they do I wonder what team it will be next year?
Maybe the greatest question of all is how did The U not picked up as a reality show by MTV years ago?