H ate the NCAA all you want, but it was right in this case.
While it feels good to rage against the arbitrary and capricious enforcement actions of the NCAA and its Committee on Infractions, Alabama Crimson Tide fans should realize the Committee’s penalties were not designed to harm the school. In fact, the Committee on Infractions selected a vacation of wins penalty as a means of mercy.
That is right. The NCAA was merciful to Alabama. The Committee would have been within its rights to seek far harsher penalties because of Alabama’s recidivism. The Committee on Infractions said it considered harsher penalties. In its public report the Committee said, “In fact, because of the institution’s extensive recent history of infractions cases, the committee strongly considered making a more serious finding of a lack of institutional control, rather than a failure to monitor. However, because the institution ultimately detected the violations and promptly reported them, the committee decided against making the more serious finding of lack of institutional control.”
The Committee on Infractions picked the least possible charge and enforced a very minor penalty for the violation. How is this bad? How is this bad for Alabama?
It isn’t popular to say this, but Alabama’s chaotic administration over the last 25 years created an environment where compliance was lacking. And the textbook case was another instance. The Committee on Infractions would have been within its right to advance a more serious charge and put forward scholarship reductions or postseason bans.
How can anyone complain about giving up a few irrelevant wins when scholarship reductions or a postseason ban could have been the outcome?
In this case, the NCAA worked cooperatively with the University of Alabama. The penalties were reasonable, and the NCAA deserves praise for it.