Archived Story

College football desperately needs a complete overhaul

Published 1:46pm Thursday, February 21, 2013

Even though college football is mercifully over, we are still being blind-sided by the off the field actions that surround the college game.
Just in the past few days, we have heard of not one, but a multitude of negative incidents involving college football players right here in the Southeastern Conference.
What’s alarming to yours truly is that these stories usually don’t pop their ugly heads until after spring camps close and the kids go home for the summer.
I have said for the past five years, the real problems for the coaches and universities start when summer begins.
It began with four arrests at Alabama and ended with a DUI at Georgia.
That was just in the past seven days.
Just prior to these stories breaking, we had the smell of deer antler spray all over the SEC.
We have a continuing saga of a social-media hoax, involving a student-athlete and the sickening story will not go away.
In my opinion, the athlete was totally aware of the situation, but more importantly, Notre Dame had knowledge of this situation and they choose not to disclose their findings until after the championship game.
They allowed the player to carry on the ruse throughout the national media, which reeks of my favorite term, “lack of institutional control.”
Now, we have the governing body of college football, the NCAA, botching an entire investigation of a Miami football program.
The NCAA enforcement staff violated its own rules.
Nevin Shapiro, who was a booster, who provided impermissible benefits to a great many athletes at Miami.
Some of these benefits were at the level of “unprecedented” and could have subsequently led to the “Death Penalty” for Miami.
If you look back at some of the penalties imposed upon programs like Ohio State, USC, Boise State and others, the penalties rarely fit the alleged offenses.
I use the term alleged, because the NCAA is not a law enforcement agency nor do they have subpoena powers.
No court of law hears any proceedings involving the NCAA unless there is a civil suit filed against the governing body.
Todd McNair, who was the running backs coach at USC during the Reggie Bush investigation was branded with “ethical breeches” finding by the NCAA, which became the reason for USC being handed the lack of institutional control penalty.
That penalty cost USC 30 scholarships over a three-year period and two years of not being able to go to any bowl games.
McNair filed a civil suit against the NCAA and recently won the case.
The courts found the NCAA to be “malicious “in this investigation against the coach and the university.
Recently, Ohio State received a one year bowl ban and the loss of three scholarships over a three-year period.
The Buckeyes head coach, Jim Tressel was aware of players selling their rings, jerseys and other items in exchange for tattoos.
Not only did Tressel know of these players violating NCAA rules, he withheld the information for over 11 months and allowed these players to participate in the 2011 Sugar Bowl against Arkansas.
Ohio State did not receive the lack of institutional control penalty, even though, their head coach was implicit.
The NCAA totally botched the Cam Newton controversy. How can your agent father  be found guilty on a Monday, then innocent the next day?
Seems that everyone in the country knew ­­— but Cam — what his father was doing.
Then there was the tragic story with Penn State.   With the exception of a television ban, Penn State received the Death Penalty from the NCAA.
They must pay back millions of dollars and without television revenue, Penn State would have been forced to cease all football operations.
I would suggest that it is time to clean the NCAA house and start over.
Bring in people who understand terms such as integrity and character.
Get rid of NCAA president Mark Emmert and anyone who remotely has ulterior motives for being a part of the NCAA governing body.
Just in: Heisman winner Johnny Manziel attends school one day per month. All his classes are online.
Until next time …
Meyers is a columnist for The Outlook. You can follow him on Twitter at @brucemeyers11.