October 23rd, 2013 02:43 PM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
║ Schools: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Missouri, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt
Tags: Alabama, Miami, NCAA, Southern Cal
There was an autograph scandal involving last year’s Heisman Trophy-winner. Going after Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel could have opened the door for a lot of skeletons to come rattling out onto the floor.
There was a report of agent-runner-player monetary transactions in the SEC. Four past players and one current player were shown to have received extra benefits by way of a runner. Alabama (two players), Tennessee (two players), and Mississippi State (one player) could all eventually be stripped of wins for playing ineligible players (should the NCAA take the stance it usually takes in these type situations).
The Ed O’Bannon lawsuit is still on the horizon. Major schools are calling for major reforms that would allow the richest of the rich to provide full-cost-of-tuition scholarships for their student-athletes. The NCAA recently walked back its heavy-handed penalties against Penn State… penalties that never should have been assessed in the first place.
And through it all the NCAA’s investigation into the University of Miami program just dragged on and on and on. That terrible tale even included the NCAA calling out some members of its very own investigative team for crossing too many lines in their efforts to get the dirt on the Hurricanes. When it comes to black eyes, the Miami investigation might be the biggest shiner to date for Mark Emmert and his organization that everyone loves to hate.
So couldn’t the bungled two-year investigation into Miami — and all the negative press college sports’ governing body has received because of it — be the real reason that most of those being investigated at Miami were given light sanctions?
Miami will not be forced to miss any more bowl games. Yes, the school will be docked an additional nine football scholarships but how many Cane fans would have gladly signed up for that when Yahoo! Sports first broke the news of booster Nevin Shapiro’s wrongdoings? “Nine schollys? No problem!”
Missouri basketball coach Frank Haith — who came out of the investigation looking pretty darned bad — was given a five-game suspension. That’s it. Five games. No show-cause penalty for misleading investigators. No three-year de facto ban from the sidelines like the one Tennessee’s Bruce Pearl received.
Since the NCAA handed down the less than Draconian penalties, there’s been much head-scratching. How could the NCAA not drop the hammer on Miami as it once had Southern Cal? How could the NCAA not freeze out Haith the way it once had put Pearl’s career on ice? And Jim Tressel’s?
First, as we told you yesterday, it’s impossible to try and draw direct comparisons between NCAA cases. You’ll drive yourself nuts making the attempt. Each case is different and the closest you can get to A-to-B comparisons are broad generalizations.
That said, did we mention that it’s not been a banner year for the NCAA?
That’s right, people. We believe timing played a big, big role in the NCAA’s decision to tell the U and Coach Haith, “Go and sin no more.”
Check the above examples. With all the stuff that’s hit Emmert’s fan in recent months, the NCAA seems to be meting out penalties that are easier on both the guilty parties and on the NCAA itself.
In Manziel’s case, the NCAA decided to give the high-profile star a slap on the wrist for not trying to stop other people from profiting off of his name. Yeah, that’s one way of looking at a player’s decision to spend several hours signing thousands of autographs that would later be sold.
But if the NCAA had gotten serious on the matter and delivered a tougher blow than a suspension for one half of one game, the governing body would have been forced to look long and hard into every other player whose signature is now available online. In a word: Nightmare. So the NCAA took the easy way out. Manziel was hit with a one-half ban and the precedent for others had been set. Remember that as soon as the NCAA’s investigation into Manziel came to light, fans began to toss allegations at rival schools’ players. Thanks to the NCAA’s ruling on Johnny Football, any other player alleged to have sold autographs can now be handed the same, one-size-fits-all penalty. “Sit for one half of one game.” Simple. Fewer headaches for all involved.
|Post Comments »||Comments (5)|