Wednesday, April 6, 2011

MrSEC gets it right: Bring the hammer, and install mandatory sentencing

image MrSEC gets it right. If the NCAA really wants to clean up college sports, it needs to bring the hammer on major violations. Author John Pennington makes several good points and the post makes for an excellent read.

Highlights: The NCAA isn’t corrupt. It’s simply too poorly staffed and is built around an outdated model. The NCAA also doesn’t treat large schools more leniently that small schools, with the post listing some of the biggest names in college football and basketball.

But the real takeaway from the post is the arbitrary nature of the penalties imposed on major violators.  Here’s the money quote:

The boys in blue can’t pull over every speeder on the roadway, for example.  But they can pull over a few.  Those who are stopped are given pricey tickets.  If you don’t want to be hit with a hefty fine, you ease off the accelerator.  That’s how deterrence works.

But for the NCAA to truly deter cheaters, the organization needs to really drop the hammer on rulebreakers.  Yeah, that’s right.  The NCAA needs to get tougher.

If the NCAA were to create “mandatory minimums,” for lack of a better term, coaches and boosters might think twice before handing a player an envelope filled with greenbacks. 

Consider this: What if any major violation a school was found guilty of would automatically carry a 15% reduction in scholarships for a year?  In football, that would be 13 bodies gone for a season.  From 85 to 72 scholarships.  Period.  End of argument.  No tweaking.  No plea-bargaining.  Guilty of a major violation?  You lose of 13 scholarships. 

In basketball, a 15% reduction in scholarships would drop a roster from 13 players to 11.
And the penalties could up by a scholarship or two for each additional major violation a school commits.

How many schools would still weigh the risks of cheating versus the rewards if such a system existed?  Not as many as currently do, that’s for sure.

This is a subject I have been hammering for months. The process by which the NCAA both investigates and punishes major rules violators is fatally flawed in the current system. That flaw is expressed by Chancellor Emmert himself, and in virtually every statement, press release or blog post from NCAA representatives:

"All these situations are case-specific, so you can't easily or appropriately generalize.”

Imagine if our criminal justice system were modeled like this, where no two cases are ever treated similarly. No two serial killers would be given life in prison without parole or the death penalty. What about two mob bosses convicted of extortion, money laundering, illegal gambling and drug trafficking? Don’t they both get life in the federal lockup?

Not in the current NCAA model, and that needs to be fixed first.

The NCAA’s “all cases are different” approach is the diametric opposite of the order and predictability that makes our justice system the best in the history of mankind. In fact, if there’s one thing that’s consistent with the NCAA’s investigative and punitive procedures, it’s that there’s no consistency whatsoever and the result is utter chaos.

A kid at one school accepts a ride in a golf cart from someone who turns out to be an agent. That kid is ruled ineligible. Another kid’s dad shops him around for hundreds of thousands of dollars, lies about it at first, then finally cops to pimping his son. That kid doesn’t miss a down. One kid’s dad accepts a plane ticket from an inappropriate source and is ruled ineligible, even though the kid had absolutely no clue about his father’s transgression. The kid whose dad was pimping him to the highest bidder says he didn’t know what his father was doing, and he gets to skate?

It leaves everyone—from the other college programs to the media to the everyday fans—scratching their heads and going “WTF?

That’s what makes the mandatory minimum such a great idea. There will always be unintended victims of such a cut-and-dried system. But if everyone understands what the penalties are—if everyone understands that all drug dealers go to prison, no matter what—there will be fewer people weighing the risk reward ratio and making the wrong decision.

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CaseyMc2 said...

I hope I get this right in the wording of this so that everyone will understand rightfully and legaly what I am trying to say but, the NCAA has to have the power to inforce the rules with enough power to curtail all that is going on in recruiting now, if we do not, College Football as we know it will be lost.

I want to see the NCAA say no more all star games before NSD and no more agents period. The problem being the safety of these Kids before they ever step onto a College Campus. Football is different than Basketball because it is a violant game there is to much of a probability that a Kid will get hurt and don't come here with that well it is better for it to happen now than later no it is not. If that Kid suffers a bad enough engery his he will have ended his chance of ever playing another game or signing with his dream School. They play enough games during the season to know how good that Kid is.

There is enough game film or there would be enough game film on these Kids if the Recruiting services covered all the games and did their jobs of evaluating the talent level of the Kids by what they see from game film and leave the Kids alone as far as personal contact with these Kids. Leave that up to the Coaches and the Parents to determine where a Kid goes to School and not the agents. Now a School wants to get game film of kids it has to be up to the School what Kid they get film on not the recruiting services the Recruiting service provides the film to do this with. All recruiting records must be made public 1 week before NSD in order to make sure a School does not have an advantage over the others.

It can be stopped but, the NCAA has to have controll over the Schools and in order for them to have it they need to go volentarily to the Congress Committee and ask for mitigating powers in order to gain that control, for without it they just do not have the control or the power to stop anything. If the NCAA does not get control of College Athletics as soon as possible we are going to loose College Football as we know it today. It needs to be done now before next season begins and the next recruiting cycle has gone any further.

The other thing is I agree with what you are saying in that the penalties have to be stiff enough that the offender will think twice before they undertake a rule violation. As much as these rules are discussed over the air waves whether on TV, Radio or the net they are accessable for all to read and study and learn before they get involved with recruiting or any other aspect of the game/s whether High School College or Pro they know or can find out just search do a simple search on Google or Yahoo or Bing It it is out there for all to see.

Make them understand before they cheat there consiquences for your actions. The other thing the Coaches that are involved with major violations need to be suspended for at least one year or longer and also if the School can have the Death Penalty then why not the Coach also. If that is out there believe they will make sure their ship is in order whenever the General wants to see and that means every aspect of the Program and also make the inspections Public and open for all to see. Nothing should be hid if there are questions of rules violations then it all is open for inspection and reported on including that Athlete's Academic records also if there are rules that prove to be broken. Make all aspects of the Programs suspect to being penalized and there will be a sudden stoppage of what we are seeing going on with the Coaches, Players Agents and Schools and most importantly the Boosters. Enough from me but something major has to be done.

Remember God Will Not Be Mocked!