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NCAA Football: When Legal Government Loses Legitimate Governance

In a logical knot found only in the Sunday funnies, the NCAA found itself guilty of conducting an improper investigation with regard to the University of Miami. They then decided to continue with the investigation and Miami officially received a notice of allegations in the past twenty-four hours.

When I picked myself up off the floor and wiped tears from my eyes after gales of laughter and several “Wait, you are serious?!” looks of shock, I wondered: What legitimate governance does the NCAA have left?

What is legitimate governance? Consider the example of the American Revolution. The British, as the legal governing body of the colonies, passed a series of acts such as the Stamp Act and the Tea Act in accordance with the various needs of the empire. The Founding Fathers were so infuriated by the perceived slights that they completely lost faith in the legitimate governance of the British. Few centuries, a couple of bullets, and lots of rhetoric later and here we are today as the United States.

Now how does that apply to the NCAA? The NCAA is the legal governing body over college athletics. Snide jokes about street agents and backroom conspiracies aside, that fact is unequivocal. The problem is the legitimacy of the entire thing. How can anyone take a group seriously that finds itself publicly at fault, and then keeps going like nothing really happened? What is the breaking point?

The breaking point will be when a set of universities decide that they’ve been hosed by the NCAA and start really making noise. The president of Miami has already said no further sanctions should be levied. If not Miami, then the next university that gets investigated and the NCAA disregards its own rules in some way. The complete botch job with regard to Miami turned the question of the NCAA’s legitimate governance over college athletics from an “if it still exists” to a “when did it get lost and what happens now?”

Shout out to Dr. Harold Selesky, history professor at UA, for multiple lectures on legal government/legitimate governance, and for giving me the kernel needed for this piece.

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