Over at FoxSports.com, Thayer Evans has an article about how the NCAA should put sanctions in against cheating programs by taking away the money that the school earns from their cut of the conference pie. You can read that article here. However, in my eyes, that does not go far enough. I would also throw in some other penalties.
The first thing is Television. I would ban the school in trouble, for example Texas, from a period of 1 to 5 years. They would not be on any major network. They would not be able to play on the Big XII network. And the kicker would be that they wouldn't be able to play on the Longhorn Network. Think that might irritate some people if they turn on the Longhorn Network and they couldn't see any Texas Longhorn games? And the TV ban would be for the entire institution. So if the Baseball team gets caught with rules infractions and gets a 2 year ban for TV, that means that each and every Longhorn team also gets the 2 year ban from TV. I could see some troubles between the coaching staffs and players. But if we are going to continue to say that these athletes are amatuers, and not professionals and that the academics are more important than the athletics, then this should be a good first step.
The second thing is the coaches. If they are found to have broken NCAA rules and the infraction committee finds anything besides a secondary infraction, the coach automatically goes on a "show cause" review status for at least 2 years. And if the school decides to retain the coach that is under the "show cause" infraction rule, then the school must pay the NCAA $2 Million for each year that the coach is retained by the school until the "show cause" penalty expires. So if the LaCrosse coach gets a 4-year show cause penalty, the school will pay $2 Million each of the 4 years that he is there or until the coach no longer has a job. All money paid by an institution will be divided up and given to the other members of the conference that the school that committed the infraction is in.
The third thing is the institutions themselves. If you have a systemic failure like it looks like at Miami, then it is time to go nuclear. All sports teams will receive the "death penalty" for 1 or 2 years, depending on how much corruption is found. It might be a bad thing for the school and the conference, but let's get real here. The conferences should be doing a better job of keeping their member institutions for cheating. But they don't. They look the other way and try to figure out how to keep the problems from appearing out in the open. The athletes that are not involved in the scandal can transfer to any school of their choosing and do not have to sit out a year of eligibility. Those athletes that are implicated in the problems at the institution will not be able to transfer and will be declared ineligible for any sport until the investigation is completed and the verdict handed down.
If a student-athlete is found guilty of any rules infractions that is more than a secondary violation, then that student-athlete will no longer be eligible to play collegiate sports for the rest of his or her life. That is about all that you can do to the athletes.
These may sound tough and overly strong, but the NCAA needs to put a stop to this mess that we see each and every day. There have been more than enough scandals to change things. You have the following scandals that should spur the NCAA into action: Reggie Bush-USC, Terrelle Pryor-OSU, The street recruiter that steered recruits to schools that paid him the most, Miami and everybody under the sun, UNC and the Assistant Coach/Agent, and others. The NCAA needs to be a dictatorship and crush any school that decides that they will play by their own rules. Yes, take their money, but also take the school's pride and legacy of sports. Those are the things that the schools care more about than anything. The money that they can make and the reputation that the school has. And threatening to eliminate those things from a University might make the University more diligent in staying in compliance with the NCAA rulebook.