Is a tougher NCAA on the way?

AP: The direction of the NCAA is clear: Those kinder, gentler days are giving way to a new, tougher approach.

In June, after spending nearly 20 months debating harsher sanctions for rule-breakers, the NCAA hit Southern Cal with the most severe penalties in years. The football program received a two-year bowl ban — the first time any school faced that penalty since Alabama completed its probation in 2003 — and barely avoided getting hit with the first television ban since 1996.

Now, with an increasing number of high-profile programs under scrutiny — Alabama, North Carolina, Michigan, Florida, South Carolina and Georgia among them — the penalty phase is getting more attention.

And Emmert thinks it is time to get tough.

“I can’t talk about any one of those cases, but the fact that we’ve got strong enforcement going on, I think, is a good thing,” he said.

It’s not just coaches and athletic departments Emmert is worried about. The NCAA has launched a widespread investigation into athletes who may have had improper contacts with agents. Two players — Alabama’s Marcell Dareus and Georgia’s A.J. Green — already have been punished.

Emmert said he is taking steps to ensure this does not become a trend. He has already contacted the pro leagues and representatives from various players’ associations and he hasn’t ruled out lobbying states to enforce their own statutes regarding sports agents. An Associated Press examination earlier this year found that many of those laws are unused. (read more about the new NCAA leadership below)


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  1. 1

    Maybe instead of hiring more people to enforce the rules, they should look into losing some of the rules. When there are 21039482309482930 laws, everyone’s a criminal.

  2. 3

    Furthering my last comment, check out the latest TMQ:

    — Last week Princeton was hit with an NCAA sanction because an adult friend paid part of a tennis player’s tuition.

    This isn’t as nutty as it sounds. The NCAA bans payment of tuition by anyone other than immediate family members. Otherwise boosters would pool funds to pay the tuition of prospects, and big universities could evade scholarship limits. Since in the Princeton case the person who paid was a longtime friend of the student, the NCAA should simply have let this pass. Instances like this are best dismissed on the legal concept of de minimis, which loosely means, “don’t worry about things that are too small to matter.” The NCAA penalized Princeton because a well-off adult helped someone get an education. Outside the NCAA context, donating money to support young people in college is viewed as highly admirable. Within the NCAA context, it’s suspicious — yet another indication that NCAA scholarship rules need a fundamental rethinking.

    TMQ Link:

    ESPN story on Princeton:

  3. 4

    I’ve said this before, I’ll say it again: if you want to lessen the pressure to cheat, give back scholarships.

    What’s wrong with giving the d1 football programs back ten schollies???

    Scholarship restrictions were brought about to supposedly level the playing field between the major college programs and the mid-majors and on down. It doesn’t work.

    Money and interest levels the playing field. Why hasn’t uab improved it’s football program??? It has the same access to the players ‘bama and auburn get.

    Why? Because nobody cares, that’s why! And uab’s no exception.

    Alabama’s is one of about 12 athletic depts. That makes money in these tough times.

    Why? Because their alum, fans and boosters care enough to make it that way.

    Scholarship reductions don’t work. Reduce the urge to cheat.

    Give scholarships back.

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