Sometimes common sense slips by us all over society, in everyday life, in government and in sports. The NCAA suffers from a disorder I like to call my heads stuck up my ___and I can’t seem to get it out syndrome. Now, we all know the NCAA has tons of scandals going on right now. Every year we catch a few, the coach is fired, the University self imposes, the NCAA punishes, the “recovery” begins. Meanwhile some kid is getting slipped a bag of dirty money, keys to a car or something along those lines to play basketball at Kentucky, or maybe football at USC or wherever you get the picture.
I love college sports, but let’s not kid ourselves, there’s dirt all over the game. Before we get into a few ideas I have to make things better for college sports. I want to point out that in my view, nothing will ever make the game 100% clean. If we paid the players, someone would pay them more to get them to their school. If we allowed players to hire agents, the agents would find a way to dirty it up some other way. Whenever you have a ton of money and a bunch of people competing for it, guess what, that’s the formula for corruption. Just because you can’t fix it, doesn’t mean you can’t make it better. Here are just a few simple ways.
Fix the transfer rules: 300 or so student athletes have transferred schools. With all the controversy surrounding Wisconsin right now. Why not just make each school submit their transfer rules to the NCAA? Or better yet, set standard rules that every NCAA school must follow? It doesn’t make any sense that kids like Larry Drew and the Wear twins can leave UNC the way they want but other kids have a list of 26 teams they cannot choose to go to (after sitting out a year at that).
Provide Recruiting Phones to Coaches: We have the technology to trace every call/text made if we want to. Why does anybody have the ability to cheat with cell phones ever? The simplest fix in my mind, each team is given registered recruiting phones. It’s not like it would cost money, “Verizon the official recruiting phone of the NCAA” “Use the phones the coaches use to recruit your favorite players”. Tap all those phones, pay geeks like me to sit there and master the rule book and read through texts and listen in on phone calls all day (I literally mean guys like me, how great of a job would that be?). Simple rule, you can only use the recruiting phones to contact a recruit. During the dead periods where contact is restricted or prohibited, shut off the phones remotely. This is a rule that would need a zero tolerance policy to work. You violate it, you lose all new scholarships for 3 years or something out of this world.
This one may sting: I agree with Duke Coach Rat’s recent comments that the NCAA needs a better relationship with the NBA. The April 10th deadline to declare your intentions is a joke since the pro’s have a much later April 29th deadline. The NCAA needs the relationship more than the NBA so it’s going to take some convincing. A healthy relationship can open the door to endless possibilities (and all of them are good).
In Part II, I have a little more complex answer to the NCAAs problems.
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