Typically one starts writing with a desire to make a point or argue a position so forgive me for another pathless post but I am really interested in your comments on this and I am somewhat lost to formulate an authoritative opinion on how this should be handled.
We've spent a lot of time discussing improprieties in and around collegiate athletics and its policing body. From the Men Of Troy to Black Santa to Cam Newton to Tatgate.
Back in 2008 TaylorTRoom produced an exhaustive History Of College Football Recruiting Cheating which many of our newer readers may have missed. It's well worth your time in its Gibbon-esque 10 volumes.
Having just finished re-watching the ESPN 30 For 30s The Best That Never Was and Pony Excess it got me thinking about where we've been and where we're going.
srr50, our own Bellmont Herodotus, produced a great companion piece to this SMU story: Pony Excess: Tipping Point in The Demise of The SWC. We're thankful to have him here as he was there and can speak to the environment firsthand. The discussion on that thread predictably devolves into people saying that everybody cheats and then getting into a discussion of degree.
Is there a difference to a kid getting $10,000 laundered through a casino and a booster handing a kid $100 every now and then? Sure. Is it 10 X worse? Is it linear?
This seems to be an untenable defense and a poor road map.
Is there cheating at every program? By the letter of the law, no doubt. Let's stipulate this is so for the purpose of this discussion.
And what of Ronnie Chalmers - dad of prized recruit Mario Chalmers at Kansas a few years back? He was hired at Kansas as Director Of Basketball Operations or something. Mario finished his career at Kansas as a buzzer-beating hero with a National Championship banner and is now in the NBA. I don't think Ronnie is still in Bill Self's employ.
And this isn't even against the rules. I have to think some of our alums could find kick ass jobs for pretty much anybody we wanted. The NCAA is often criticized for its byzantine rules and regs and its capricious and inconsistent use of power. That seems like a pretty easy rule to write. The University can offer no benefits, pay, jobs, etc. to any family members or friends of players.
Much of the oft discussed street agent game isn't even illegal. I guess it's unethical but there are arguments against that too. The NCAA has been cool with the runners bullshit in college hoops forever. Probably around the time they started banking billions of dollars from March Madness and running it through their non profit status.
Like I said, I don't know how you fix it. The business is too big. There are too many people involved and the people in charge of enforcement are bureaucratically disorganized at best and badly conflicted at worst.
Do you care?
Hopefully, the discussion can be interesting. For the purposes of this discussion we'll just agree that Texas has cheated its ass off like SMU, OU and A&M.
Is it possible to fix? If so, how?