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Blog Entry

NCAA CEOs promise sweeping change. No, really

Posted on: August 10, 2011 7:04 pm
Edited on: August 10, 2011 7:10 pm
 
A grizzled reporting comrade, tired of the NCAA process, once said: "Just tell me when they actually do something."

He, like most of us, had grown weary of the NCAA's tough talk, but lack of action. Every new problem was met with some sort of meeting, retreat or summit. Change was slower than Yadier Molina to first base.

That sort of changed on Wednesday. Sort of, because presidents invited to the NCAA's celebrated retreat emerged Wednesday with talk of sweeping change. It was specific, it was bold, it challenged.

It might just happen.

"Some of these things," Penn State president Graham Spanier said, "our coaches and boosters may not like."

"It's time," Cal-Riverside chancellor Tim White said, "for some tough love."

Tough love? When did college athletics start to resemble a bunch of 14-year olds being sent to Rikers Island to see the inside of a jail?

It's the new NCAA, folks. They're wearing the same old suits, but they're also carrying shivs. Figuratively. There are further signs that these guys mean business. If the CEOs accomplish half of what they talked about Wednesday in an afternoon presser, then amateur athletics, not just college athletics, will have changed significantly.

The presidents potentially did more in the last two days than their predecessors did in the last 60 years.

They promised to streamline the NCAA Manual, a monumental undertaking. Their intent: To concentrate more on catching the intentional rule breakers, not necessarily the coaches who make too many phone calls.

"We're going to de-emphasize the rules nobody cares about," Spanier said.

I'm pretty sure the words "sentencing guidelines" have never been mentioned in the enforcement process. That was, before Wednesday. That's why penalties were so maddeningly inconsistent. Now there may be some sense to them.

There was serious talk about a hard 930 Academic Progress Rate. If not, schools don't get into the NCAA tournament. (Note: UConn, already hit with scholarship reductions because of a low APR, would not have been eligible for the 2010 tournament based on the 930 baseline.)

It looks like players are finally going to be paid. It will be a modest amount and the NCAA will bend over backwards to make it look like it's not pay for play, but let's be honest. It is. It's also fair.

So is the idea of multiple-year scholarships. No longer will schollies be renewable year-to-year at the whim of the coach. Kids deserve more security than that. College shouldn't be an annual tryout for a scholarship, it should be about education.

It would be boastful to suggest our July series on reform planted some small seeds in this debate, ah, but what the hell. Let's just say it did. It's a new day in the NCAA and its president Mark Emmert looks like Patrick Swayze in "Road House". Emmert/Patrick has entered the bar, the band has stopped playing, now he needs to clean house.

There is a very big caveat that comes with it. All, or most, of this tough talk has to be backed up. Emmert and The Presidents (hey, not a bad band name) are talking months instead of years in terms of implementing change.

They're on record now. Their reps are at stake. If this doesn't work, it's time to blow up the model and start over. That's what makes me think these sweeping changes are coming. The NCAA live streamed the retreat presser. It interviewed participants. We know who these people are. Where they work. They're frauds if they don't follow through.

Wonder what Walter Byers is thinking about this. The NCAA's first executive director (for parts of four decades) ruled the association with an iron fist. He controlled television appearances, he oversaw the enforcement department like a small-town sheriff dealing out penalties with impunity. It was under him that the perception began: The NCAA protected the rich and punished the poor.

In the last two days Mark Emmert has proved there is a new sheriff in town. One who looks like he's ready to clean house. Just don't ask Emmert/Swayze if he shaves his chest.


Comments

Since: Jan 3, 2007
Posted on: August 12, 2011 5:33 pm
 

NCAA CEOs promise sweeping change. No, really

So Im interested then...Should we start paying students what they are worth to the school? GPA effects schools attendance and grants and scholarships so maybe we should start paying students whatever amt. the school makes based on the GPA they are contributing. I mean technically all the students are benefitting the school financially. First they pay money to go, then their performance and testimony can help the schools rep, and alumni contributions are HUGE. I mean I would bet that every student arguably helps generate a ton of money for the school, why don't we pay them? Maybe my school should pay me...I've already gotten three more kids to go there based on my testimony...where's my 50K i just made them in tuition?

Just because their contribution is immediately evident doesn't mean thy are the only people  generating money or giving the school more than what the school gives back. Our society puts a huge emphasis on sports when there are hundreds of millions of regular students helping the schools spread their word just as much.

I'm glad you're interested in capitalism. It's a great system that works staggeringly well.

Every student at every university should be free to engage in any legal transaction that is freely entered into by both parties involved. This is the concept that capitalism and freedom rests upon.

If non-athlete students can provide a service to the university that the university is willing to pay for, then they should be free to make that deal. This, of course, happens every single day. Universities pay their students to work in dining halls and computer labs all the time.

In the case of high profile athletes, there is a clear connection between that athlete's presence and work and millions of dollars coming in. That gives him a much better bargaining position than the student who is able to wash dishes for the school. However, both of them should be paid for the services they provide.

A person shouldn't be paid just because his contribution is immediately evident. He should be paid because there is someone else willing to pay him. In the case of athletes there are lots of people who would be very happy to pay them. If other people can find folks willing to pay them for other activities then we, as citizens of the Land of Opportunity, should make sure that they have that chance as well.




Since: Jul 28, 2009
Posted on: August 12, 2011 1:10 pm
 

NCAA CEOs promise sweeping change. No, really

The SEC doesn't want ohio to go anywhere...they want to pimp-slap their ass some more in championship games....


Coming from a fan of a team that has not beat tOSU in years, I find this comment stupid.



Since: Mar 28, 2009
Posted on: August 11, 2011 7:49 pm
 

NCAA CEOs promise sweeping change. No, really

The SEC doesn't want ohio to go anywhere...they want to pimp-slap their ass some more in championship games....



Since: Dec 28, 2007
Posted on: August 11, 2011 7:26 pm
 

NCAA CEOs promise sweeping change. No, really

I love the way everyone is ready to bash Ohio State. everyone wants to treat them like mass murderers. Lock them away and never let them on the field again. All I can say is you only want that best Ohio State is a consistant winner and the losers in the world can't stand it. You don't hear anyone bashing Auburn or West Virginia or Boise State or LSU or North Carolina. Has anyone noticed that they have broken as many or more rules than Ohio State? And who knows how many other little guys have broken the rules that you don't hear about because they are not a major player in the national picture.

I keep hearing about ineligible players. They would not be ineligible until caught which was after the season and they were cleared by the NCAA to play in the Sugar Bowl. If this were Joe Smith the science genius selling his tv nothing would have been said about it. I think the crime is in not allowing athletes to do with their own property what they feel like doing with it. Start allowing them to be given a month amount so they can get things the want or need and police that. Stop bashing kids for being kids.

And until you all decide to look at the other houses in the NCAA, stop bashing one. If you want to bash, spread it to all the convicts, not just one.



Since: Aug 25, 2006
Posted on: August 11, 2011 6:40 pm
 

NCAA CEOs promise sweeping change. No, really

They are huffing and puffing but have yet to blow any houses down. If they really want to show everyone who is boss, they will come down as hard as they can on Ohio State without giving them the death penalty.



Since: Jul 27, 2010
Posted on: August 11, 2011 5:52 pm
 

NCAA CEOs promise sweeping change. No, really

The NCAA invented the term student-athlete in the 1950s specifically so they wouldn't have to call these men what they really are - employees. The work that these young men do generates millions of dollars of revenue. Not only is it true that the schools don't pay them anywhere close to what they're worth, but they actively prevent anyone else from paying them what they are worth on the open market.

That, my friends, is simply unamerican. It is the polar opposite of the freedoms that this country was founded on and contrary to capitalism. Because it's difficult to have a fair college football game is not enough reason to abandon capitalism and freedom.
---------------
So Im interested then...Should we start paying students what they are worth to the school? GPA effects schools attendance and grants and scholarships so maybe we should start paying students whatever amt. the school makes based on the GPA they are contributing. I mean technically all the students are benefitting the school financially. First they pay money to go, then their performance and testimony can help the schools rep, and alumni contributions are HUGE. I mean I would bet that every student arguably helps generate a ton of money for the school, why don't we pay them? Maybe my school should pay me...I've already gotten three more kids to go there based on my testimony...where's my 50K i just made them in tuition?

Just because their contribution is immediately evident doesn't mean thy are the only people  generating money or giving the school more than what the school gives back. Our society puts a huge emphasis on sports when there are hundreds of millions of regular students helping the schools spread their word just as much.




Since: May 23, 2011
Posted on: August 11, 2011 3:07 pm
 

NCAA CEOs promise sweeping change. No, really

IF the sport cannot pay it's own way, the school should be allowed to DROP that sport if it does not want to subsidize that sport.  Be honest the GREAT majority of athletic programs depend on football to run the ENTIRE athletic budget.  ANY, school that CANNOT afford to allow a student to a multi-year scholarship, should drop down to Div III.  I am tired of seeing kids dropped from there scholarship, because a new player is coming in.




Federal law prohibits that.



Since: Jan 3, 2007
Posted on: August 11, 2011 3:01 pm
 

NCAA CEOs promise sweeping change. No, really

Sorry NCAA.  The players ALREADY get paid.  It's called a scholarship.


A free education is plenty payment enough. They don't need cash in the hand.


I have no idea why college athletes and only college athletes are the only people in the United States who are not free to earn a fair share of the money that they generate through their hard work. If anyone came to me and said that I should work for far less than I can earn because that lower amount "is plenty payment enough" and I "don't need cash in the hand", I would wonder what country they thought they were in. Yet folks say the same thing to college athletes - athletes who are barred from joining the professional ranks.

The NCAA invented the term student-athlete in the 1950s specifically so they wouldn't have to call these men what they really are - employees. The work that these young men do generates millions of dollars of revenue. Not only is it true that the schools don't pay them anywhere close to what they're worth, but they actively prevent anyone else from paying them what they are worth on the open market.

That, my friends, is simply unamerican. It is the polar opposite of the freedoms that this country was founded on and contrary to capitalism. Because it's difficult to have a fair college football game is not enough reason to abandon capitalism and freedom.




Since: Apr 22, 2009
Posted on: August 11, 2011 2:54 pm
 

NCAA CEOs promise sweeping change. No, really

IF the sport cannot pay it's own way, the school should be allowed to DROP that sport if it does not want to subsidize that sport.  Be honest the GREAT majority of athletic programs depend on football to run the ENTIRE athletic budget.  ANY, school that CANNOT afford to allow a student to a multi-year scholarship, should drop down to Div III.  I am tired of seeing kids dropped from there scholarship, because a new player is coming in.



Since: Mar 18, 2009
Posted on: August 11, 2011 2:45 pm
 

NCAA CEOs promise sweeping change. No, really

Good intentions is always a good start.  If the multiple (4 unless the kid leaves early for pro draft) scholarships are going to be honored, then so should the real value of a college scholarhip.  Make sure the spirit and the deninition of the agreement be fair for both sides.  Playing while on scholarship should require attending enough classes and passing enough courses to get a degree, and it is the responsibility of student, his family and mentors as well as the school's making tutors available in study hall for the student/athletes.  Coming back after a career in the league or a failed attempt at the league should not include a free pass to go to college again free of charge until you get a degree or a decent job. 


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