Ole Miss football fans can agree that the NCAA with its archaic rules and arbitrary enforcement is in need of a completely new mission.
Of course, the rules were originally designed to ensure college athletes remained amateurs. For Ole Miss football fans and fans of other colleges it seemed a worthy purpose at one time. However, in 2018 the rules for amateur athletics are completely different from when these rules were implemented. The Olympics now allow professional athletes. The coaches at major football programs receive millions of dollars in compensation annually. And, of course, let’s face it college football is a serious revenue driver for universities across the country.
Additionally, the NCAA enforcement of these rules is arbitrary and often seems to make no sense. The NCAA is an independent entity with no checks on its enforcement. If the NCAA wishes to punish a school it can always find a reason. It can even make up punishment outside of the normal guidelines as well. Of course if it is felt, for whatever reason including saving face, it reflects more positively on the NCAA.
Premier Programs Receive Leniency
Ole Miss Rebels Football
A school with a premier basketball program recently received especially lenient treatment for football and basketball. This was the case even though there was little dispute that the school had set up fake classes. These fake classes allowed select ‘student athletes’ to meet the required progress toward graduation.
Other schools that were not as “creative” were at a clear disadvantage from a competitive standpoint. These fake classes were also completely unfair to the students who participated. They were robbed of the education they were promised. Given that this is the only compensation the athletes receive this is particularly egregious.
Bias in NCAA Enforcement
It is not only Ole Miss fans who recognize bias In NCAA Enforcement. In a case involving Southern Cal a judge ruled in a lawsuit brought by a former USC assistant coach. The judge ruled “that emails between members of the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions “tend to show ill will or hatred” and described the conduct of people involved in the investigation as “malicious.” This is clearly a sentiment Ole Miss fans can relate to.
Looking At TSBU
In another case, which die-hard Ole Miss fans are very familiar with, a student athlete took $10,000 in compensation from a representative of Mississippi State the school he eventually chose to attend after an intense recruiting battle. This is a fact that reportedly isn’t in dispute. Yet apparently this school will evade sanctions or even further investigation.
The logic the NCAA uses for this type of ruling is extremely convoluted and is clearly self-serving. They choose to use the process of offering immunity to a player as a way of uncovering rules violations. This immunity somehow turns out to immunize the school that broke the rules. That bears repeating. The school that violated the rule the immunized player identified received immunity. There is no logic to this.
Former Assistant Athletic Director at Oklahoma, Ron Watson was quoted as saying this process “was making a mockery of the NCAA system.” This is a sentiment shared by not only Ole Miss fans but fans all over college sports.
Process Can Be Punishment
Ole Miss fans are well aware that the process of just having an NCAA investigation is punishment well beyond any sanctions that are finally imposed. The process which went on for over 5 years at Ole Miss. It decimated the Ole Miss 2017 recruiting class and certainly affected the 2018 class. Although the current staff is having significant success at minimizing the 2018 class impact. This is the result of the process lingering for 5 years.
NCAA Mission Should Be Reevaluated
The mission of the NCAA should be completely reevaluated. The NCAA is an organization that is the funnel for millions of dollars. There is a need for an organization to serve the purpose of organizing and negotiating contracts for at least some levels of NCAA competition. However, if the NCAA wishes to survive and maintain relevance as anything other than an intermediary to major media outlets it will need to take a serious look at its mission moving forward.
Replacing old archaic rules with new rules that are relatively easy to enforce is necessary. This will also result in little need for NCAA ‘investigators’ invading college campuses to find rules violations with the sole purpose of sanctioning the targeted school even if that means letting other rules violations slide.