Thursday, June 23, 2011

Time For Another Death Penalty Sentence In College Football

Anybody who knows the history of college football knows that there has only been one so-called death sentence given out to a university.  That university was SMU who could not play for a year and then struggled to put a program together that could be called a winner for 20 years.  Well, with USC, Ohio State, Oregon and other universities around the country doing their damndest to cheat and not get caught, it is time to bring the death penalty out of the mothballs and implement it on a university that plays "big time" college football.  And I believe that there is a great candidate out there for this to be used on.  The University of North Carolina Football Program.

Why UNC?  Well, we have the former Associate Head Coach at UNC not cooperating with the NCAA, that same coach being in business with an agent.  Said coach was listed as a Vice-President of the agent's company while employed as a coach at UNC.  7 players received over $25,000 in improper benefits.  The nanny of the Head Coach is doing player's homework.  And a former tutor providing improper benefits to players. And to tell me that the Head Coach has no idea of any of this going on?  Ridiculous.

The notice, released Tuesday evening, accuses former associate head coach John Blake of providing ''false and misleading information'' to both NCAA investigators and the school regarding his relationship with late NFL agent Gary Wichard. That included a failure to report $31,500 in outside income from Wichard's firm, Pro Tect Management LLC, from May 2007 to October 2009.

The NCAA said Blake worked to steer players to Wichard once they reached the NFL. Blake's attorneys have previously characterized the transactions as loans between friends during tough financial times.

The notice states seven players received more than $27,000 in improper benefits in 2009 and 2010. In addition, the NCAA alleged unethical conduct by former tutor Jennifer Wiley for refusing to cooperate with the investigation and providing about $3,500 worth of extra benefits in travel, parking expenses and free tutoring to players.

The school was also cited for failing to monitor ''social media activity'' of the team in 2010 as well as the conduct of former player Chris Hawkins. Hawkins was previously connected to trips to Atlanta and Las Vegas made by cornerback Kendric Burney, and also paid $1,000 for the jersey of Georgia's A.J. Green - a transaction that resulted in Green's four-game suspension because the NCAA said Hawkins qualified as an agent. Hawkins had hung around the program and players in recent years, but has since been told to stay away.

So the University needs to pay for the improper benefits that the former players received.  And if that was the only thing here, I would say let them do the scholarship reduction and vacating wins.  But when you have the Associate Head Coach actually being part of a Sports Agency, it shows that there is no institutional control of the program.  And that is why the University of North Carolina should be hit with the death penalty.  One full year of no games being played.  One full year of no practices.  Send the message to the powers of UNC that if the coach is retained, there will be further sanctions.  Cut the scholarships down to 50.  If the NCAA does this, they send a clear and precise message to everybody in collegiate sports.  Enough of the BS that you are allowing coaches and boosters to get away with.  You have a compliance office, use it.  And UNC with Butch Davis and the cardinal sin of having a Sports Agent Vice-President as your Associate Head Coach should make this very clear, UNC was cheating more than USC, more than Ohio State.  They were perverting the "amateurism" of the football players that went to Chapel Hill.  Butch Davis deserves to be vilified by the NCAA and anybody else that wants to abide by the rules that each university pledges that they will abide by.  Give NC the Death Penalty, put them out of their misery and then see if they can run a program that will abide to rules instead of being the Miami Hurricanes of the 80's or the USC Trojans of the past 30 years.

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