It is Friday night and 2 of the 4 big stories coming out from collegiate sports are rectifying themselves. These 4 stories have nothing to do with a game on the court or the field in a direct sort of way. All 4 concern troubling signs about how the NCAA can enforce rules and regulations. All 4 concern problems in different conferences and people in positions of authority coming under fire for things that almost everybody on the street would think is wrong.
The first story comes to us from Rutgers. It involves a Head Basketball coach that had anger management issues. He threw basketballs at his players, would hit and shove his players. He would call them homosexual slurs. The man's name is Mike Rice and he deserved to be fired when the administration found out about the treatment. But the administration at Rutgers decided to keep him on with a Zero Tolerance policy. And then when the public saw a videotape of what the head coach was doing, they fired him because of the bad press. The AD resigned under pressure on Friday. The President of the University is throwing everybody besides himself under the bus trying to keep his job. But there are a few questions that I would like answered that haven't been yet in this firestorm. 1) If the AD in December told the President of the University that the Basketball coach was throwing basketballs at his players, was hitting and shoving them, and was calling them homosexual slurs and the President did not decide to fire the coach on the spot, why not? 2) Who was the outside counsel that told the AD that the coach could not be fired for cause? 3) And if the President knew that there was a tape, why didn't he take the time to view it? All I know is that right now, Rutgers looks like a program that is out of control, the NCAA enforcement arm is nowhere to be seen, and the institution has a bad reputation coming out of this. I look for the President to resign by Tuesday evening.
The second is from the Left Coast. Ed Rush has resigned from his position of Director of Officials for the PAC-12. His crime? In a officials meeting at Las Vegas, he implored his officials to call a Technical or throw out Arizona Head Coach Sean Miller during the PAC-12 Conference Tournament. He says that he was joking, unnamed officials say that he was serious. Either way, he made the comment and in a tight PAC-12 tourney game between Arizona and UCLA, Miller got his first technical of the season. Arizona lost by two. The conference says that it was because Miller had left the coaching box. Well, watch the tournament and there were other coaches that were out of their coaching box lots of times and far out of it and they never got a technical. It doesn't matter if Rush was joking or not. If a team cannot rationally trust that the game will be called correctly no matter who they are playing then there is something wrong with the system. And tell me that Arizona could walk into any PAC-12 game and honestly say that they would get a fair game called if the person that wanted their coach to get a Technical or thrown out of the game was in charge of those referees that were calling that game. You can't and Ed Rush deserved to be fired. Commissioner Larry Scott said that the comment wasn't a fire able offense. This was a bunch of BS. Larry Scott might be a good commissioner with regards to econimic growth and stability, but he needs to grow a set when it comes to recognizing bad behavior by people under him. I bet that Mr. Scott is happy that the Rutgers scandal broke, otherwise he would be getting grilled on this subject.
Third, The NCAA screw-up at the University of Miami. How is it that Mark Emmert does not know what the enforcement arm is doing when it comes to paying money for information? That alone should cause his ass to be fired. But investigators lied to the institution, did not interview a former infractions investigator that was at the University of Miami before he died, used a lawyer of the booster who is under investigation as an inbetween for people that the NCAA decided that they could not interview, wrote the judge who is presiding over the booster's criminal trial that he has been cooperating fully with the NCAA investigation, and that the investigation about paying the lawyer has incomplete records and the institution is not being given answers by the NCAA. It is time that we look at Mark Emmert's track record and see why the NCAA seems like they just don't care about enforcing the law and why it seems like each and every institution that Emmert has been associated with has a bigger scandal just after he leaves it.
Finally, we go to the SEC and the Auburn 2011 National Championship team. New allegations have come forth about payments to the players, changing of grades, recruiting violations, and the cheating of drug tests. And of course all of this revolves around secondary stars of that team. Cam Newton's recruitment isn't even involved with that and the cloud of suspicion that is still surrounding his path to Auburn. Of course, Gene Chizick and the administration are denying these allegations. The players that told about these allegations all of a sudden are denying that they made them and are now being embraced by the school again. Watch how the NCAA sort of half-asses this investigation if there is even one.
It appears that the NCAA is becoming a bigger joke than it was in the 80's and 90's. I would look directly at Mark Emmert as the reason why. I believe that he is a rulebreaker and there is lots of circumstantial evidence to support that fact. I believe that in the next decade, that the NCAA will be in it's last throes as the authority of college athletics. In it's place will be an organization that is funded and sponsored by the major conferences in Football. And the line between amateur and professional will be non-existant.