Ole Miss Football: The NCAA Is On Life Support And Time Is Ticking

Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images /

As many Ole Miss football fans know, the NCAA has been the governing body over college athletics for many years.  As with any organization, things become stale, outdated and antiquated. The NCAA is slowly dying.

This is not something which just affects Ole Miss football. It ripples throughout collegiate athletics. When the NCAA was created, it was designed to support college athletes and not much more than that.  As college football has evolved into a multi-billion dollar business, the current rules and practices of the NCAA just don’t work anymore.

Today’s student athletes have more on their plates than ever and many come from low-income families and simply can’t afford the normal college existence outside of football and the classroom.  This week, the NCAA ruled University of Central Florida kicker Donald De La Haye ineligible because he makes money off of his YouTube account.

The Problem

Ole Miss Rebels Football
Ole Miss Rebels Football /

Ole Miss Rebels Football

The NCAA’s problem, UCF says, wasn’t with De La Haye making money off YouTube videos in general. The school got an NCAA waiver that said the kicker “could maintain his eligibility and continue to monetize videos that did not reference his status as a student-athlete or depict his football skill or ability.”

De La Haye decided not to accept those conditions. He’s now ineligible and no longer kicking footballs for UCF.

How does that make any kid of logical sense?  He has a hobby that he happens to make extra spending money on so he can go to McDonald’s or put gas in his car and that’s illegal?  Yet Jim Harbaugh can take his Michigan team to Rome, Italy but that’s not an extra benefit?  Really?

Double Standards

But if you make a YouTube video at UCF or sleep on a coach’s couch at Ole Miss because you couldn’t get into your new living space you are in violation of the most ridiculous regulations of any group or organization since the USSR broke up.

Don’t hunt on a boosters land and break the rules like in the Ole Miss case but go to Michigan and you can hunt for artifacts in the Colosseum in Rome with the Michigan Football team and that’s not a benefit?  Oh, OK!

Not only are the NCAA’s rules as ancient as the coliseum but their dictator style investigation practices are just as archaic.  For those who don’t know, when the NCAA investigates a university, you are guilty until proven innocent.  They don’t need evidence of accusations.  If they believe it’s true, they can charge and penalize you for it.  Not only that, but the investigators can use intimidation and even impersonate other people to get to their desired outcome.

A Level Of Shadiness

Just last week Steve Godfrey of SB Nation broke the story of NCAA investigator Mike Sheridan‘s unethical tactics in an investigation of Donte Moncrief in 2013.  It stemmed from the fact that his brother Spencer bought a used car and even though he had a job Sheridan used every questionable tactic to make Moncrief ineligible.  Ironically this occurred the week prior to the Alabama game.  What a coincidence.

The question is, after it was proven Donte did not receive extra benefits, how did Mike Sheridan keep his job.  Even more puzzling is that the NCAA and Ole Miss would allow Sheridan to be the lead investigator on the current Ole Miss case.  Could Sheridan be out for revenge because he has a grudge against Ole Miss?  Makes one wonder for sure.

It has been alleged that Sheridan has used questionable practices in the current Ole Miss investigation and that Godfrey may be exposing more of his antics in an upcoming article.  With today’s technology to include social media, the NCAA can no longer hide their unfair policies and procedures.

It seems that NCAA President Mark Emmert has done nothing to remedy the situation and they continue to operate status quo.  It seems that the NCAA picks and chooses on who to investigate.  Of course, Emmert hired Nick Saban when he was the President at LSU.  Many feel that Saban gets a hall pass no matter what happens in Tuscaloosa.

The Stumble

The NCAA has many missteps in recent years from the Obannon case at UCLA, to the Miami and Penn State cases.  The Ole Miss case with pending lawsuits seems to be headed down the same path of litigation.  How much longer will the power five schools put up with the current state? Schools and coaches are making millions and players can’t afford gasoline or take a date to a movie.  Of course this can’t continue.

Next: What's Next?

The NCAA is sitting on a powder keg. If they don’t make changes to diffuse it, their very existence is in jeopardy.  That may be a good thing.  It’s time for a new governing body that fits today’s game and athletes.  Not a self-serving aristocratic group that is only working for their self interests. Yep, the NCAA is on Life Support.  It’s time to pull the plug.