The dictionary definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result. This past week the NCAA has taken away USC’s 2004-05 national title, Terrell Pryor and Jim Tressel stepped down from their respective positions, and most recently Tennessee Volunteers athletic director Mike Hamilton who had been with the school eight seasons. This doesn’t even take into account the myriad of other investigations and crackdowns in recent memory. Reggie Bush getting the Heisman ripped from him years after he won it, the Cam Newton saga, and the University of Tennessee investigation into the infractions of Volunteer’s basketball head coach Bruce Pearl. Nor does this cover the whispers and rumors such as the comment made by Rachel McCoy, wife of former Texas quarterback Colt McCoy, in which she was less than subtle hint that Texas might be a part of the improper benefits act as well (gasp).
If the NCAA keeps trying to keep up with, track down, and punish everyone like they’re doing now, they’ll be taking away titles from now until the end of time. The reason being is that there is nothing wrong with their investigations. Those work just fine. Eventually they always catch who they’re looking for. That person always loses their job and what not, but the point of these investigations is to deter teams from breaking the rules in the future. This is clearly not working. Teams continue to bend the rules and cover up the truth and the investigations will keep coming along with the sanctions and removal of titles and so on.
The NCAA needs to cut it’s losses and realize that it’s time for a rule change. I liked the article by Pete Fiutak over at foxsports.com which he advocated allowing the players to make money. I couldn’t agree more. I’m not talking about paying the players, because if you pay a football player then you’ve got to be fair. You’ve got to pay football players, water polo players, and field hockey players. It’ll never end. However we live in the year 2011 and we’ve still got guys getting in trouble for signing stuff? Why? He or she earned his or her fame and notoriety. Why shouldn’t the student athlete be able to market themselves for money? The NCAA makes money off these kids all the time and when Terrell Pryor signs some stuff and sells it that’s a punishable offense. The BCS is thriving on the labor of college students who don’t make any money. College football is a billion dollar business, but apparently not for those who actually run the business. That’s freaking ridiculous and everybody knows it.
The NCAA needs to consider another way of running it’s business because it’s unfair and because their current way of handling it isn’t working. It’s not fair that the BCS, NCAA, and every major TV network can profit of the success of the student athlete, but the athletes themselves have no say and make no money. The coaches, players, and boosters aren’t broken. Maybe the system is.