NCAA Crackdown?

The NCAA has announced crackdown measures. I don’t know what you think, but my own belief is that “amateur” sports is a relic from the past, and I would think it would be wiser to figure out how to make these teams minor league professional sports … pay the athletes. Forget spending millions on policing programs. Own up to the reality: these are professional athletes and they are making schools gobs of money.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The NCAA passed a package of sweeping changes Tuesday intended to crack down hard on rule-breaking schools and coaches.

Under the new legislation, approved by the 13-member board of directors, programs that commit the most egregious infractions could face postseason bans of two to four years and fines stretching into the millions, while coaches could face suspensions of up to one year for violations committed by their staffs. The board also approved measures to expand the penalty structure from two tiers to four, create new penalty guidelines and speed up the litigation process.

Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/football/ncaa/10/30/ncaa-sanctions-rule-breakers.ap/index.html#ixzz2ApQC8UkT

About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than forty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.

  • http://cramercomments.blogspot.com D C Cramer

    I worry about the Pandora’s box of professionalizing college sports. Is four years of full scholarship not “payment” enough?

  • scotmcknight

    Yes, but that’s professionalism… no?

  • http://grahambates.blogspot.com Graham

    @DC Cramer
    The notion that these mostly poor athletes-who many times have difficulty getting through high school- are being paid for an education they can can’t use (they often major in “Sports and Leisure Studies” or other grade-inflated, non-marketable degrees) is unjust. These degrees cost less than $100,000 and yet they bring in multi-million-dollar contracts. Be reasonable.

    @Scot
    I agree. It’s time to stop the sham of “amateur sports” and the NCAA. I would like to see a “sponsored” scholarship system where professional teams draft players and and send them to school for a time. If teams are going to make money from these athletes they should have the opportunity to invest in their future.

  • PJ Anderson

    This is part of the larger downgrade in university academics.

    I fully support the harsher penalties, and honestly want even harsher ones in place.

    Take the University of Miami, currently under investigation (again) for improprieties. Specifically a major donor (now in jail) who paid players and provided parties with scores of prostitutes for team stars. If the NCAA wants to be taken seriously they should shutter the program for a year, allow students to transfer with no waiting period, and fine the school at the same level as Penn State. Otherwise these will just be the same things over and over.

    The professionalization of collegiate athletics is a symptom of a larger problem in so-called higher academics. It says a lot about our society and is, in so many ways, a modern recasting of Jim Crow days.

  • http://cramercomments.blogspot.com D C Cramer

    @ Graham: I asked a question, dude. Be reasonable.

  • Chuck

    Dittos to what graham said. These college athletic programs are shams for the most part, giving away degrees that many of the students did not honestly earn and will never be able to use in real life while coaches make millions (here in Texas the highest paid state employee is UT’s head football coach Mack Brown).
    College is for those pursuing academic accomplishment. If someone wants to pursue a career in professional sports then let there be set up farm leagues where the players will be paid and groomed for possible recruitment into the pros.
    Let our colleges and their students be focused on education and research.

  • Gary Lyn

    Some of these comments have a rather jaded, and I wonder inaccurate, perception of college athletes. Mostly poor students who major in Sports and Leisure studies, giving away degrees that they did not honestly earn?
    Yes, those athletes exist. But I believe that are not in any way representative of college athletes. One, we are talking mostly about one sport (football) maybe two (basketball). Two, I know lots of men and women who see an athletic scholarship as a way to get a college education that would not in any way be available to them otherwise (many of those poor students mentioned).
    So I would be in favor of strict rules and penalties as a way to be fair to the vast majority of college athletes who are deeply appreciative and use their degree as a stepping stone to a their future.

  • Chuck

    Gary Lyn – Admittedly, most of the dirt in college sports is concentrated in the larger (Div 1) schools and mainly in their football programs. Nowhere near the problem in most other colleges. However, the NCAA will never be able to police the very real corruption and cronyism that does exist, mainly because of the old adage – “Money (and power) talks”. The most egregious examples of “student athletes” who are much more athlete than student are also concentrated in these larger programs, simply because that’s where the highest demand for their services exist. These larger programs can generate upwards of $100 Million in revenue. That fact alone invites rampant corruption.

  • Larry Barber

    Scot, I think you’re overlooking the fact that most athletes don’t make any money for their schools or athletic departments. Only a few of the largest football programs make money and fewer still (men’s) basketball program. If you start paying athletes based on the revenue they generate most athletes still won’t be getting anything. Also paying the few athletes that make money will take money away the non-revenue producing sports, how could you fund women’s sports if you have to pour even more money into football? Paying for athletes would also cement the larger schools into place at the top of the football pyramid. No more Boise States or Texas Christians in NCAA football, we’ll be stuck with champions and bowl games being “SEC, all SEC and nothing but SEC”.

  • Phil Miller

    If the NCAA becomes too Draconian, it risks making itself irrelevant to the bigger programs, imo. I’m sure the thought process behind having stiffer penalties is that it will encourage schools to nip potential problems in the bud before the get out of hand, but the opposite incentive also becomes an issue then. If people know they face a harsh penalty, the incentive to push things under the rug becomes even greater.

    Honestly, my opinions on college sports have changed in the last few years. Had you asked me a few years ago about paying college athletes, I would have been totally against and said that they are already getting paid in the way of scholarships. But right now, I think that the biggest college sports – football and basketball – are such big businesses, that they are taking on a life of their own. College basketball, especially, is not much more than a feeder program for the NBA. When a kid only has to play collegiate ball for a year before going pro, it seems utterly ridiculous to pretend that kid was ever a “student athlete”.

    I actually think football has the potential of becoming so costly for schools in the somewhat near future, that many schools might see it makes more sense to not have a football program. What if more science reveals that even routine hits have the potential to cause brain damage? Do school’s insurance company’s want to be on the hook for these injuries?

  • jon

    I disagree with paying athletes, but I do support having an athlete allowance that is set for all scholarship athletes by the NCAA.


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