After the recent revelation that NCAA investigators were tampering with evidence in a investigation into the University of Miami’s football program and the NCAA’s decision to move forward and accuse Miami of a lack of institutional control, fans and the media were quick to respond with frustration at the hypocritical nature of the NCAA. That’s what many people have been wondering for a while, as somewhat questionable rulings have come through from the Enforcement division that have many scratching their heads.
Anybody who knows me personally and/or read some of my posts from the past know that I’m one of the biggest critics of the NCAA. Sure, there are a lot of problems with the NCAA, their enforcement division being one of them. Their rules and officials division needs work as well, with a rulebook that would compete with the state of Alabama’s constitution. I’m also a realist and with the powers that be at the present time, there’s not much chance that’s changing anytime soon.
We can’t depend on the current leadership at the Association to do anything about these issues. President Mark Emmert can’t even keep his staff accountable for their actions. Even after the Miami investigation debacle, the NCAA Executive Board give Emmert a unanimous vote of confidence. That alone indicates where the NCAA stands on the tampered case issue. How can we depend on the governing body to govern itself? We can’t, especially when one’s board chooses to ignore change and move on with mediocrity.
The university presidents and athletic directors aren’t going to do much either. First of all, they receive too much money from college athletics to speak out against the NCAA. Sure, the paperwork, the long list of rules and living under the constant threat of an NCAA investigation can be very frustrating to most of the school leaders. From their perspective, however, the amount of support the NCAA gives will always outweigh the cons.
Coaches won’t do anything about the NCAA because their job is to build the best team they possibly can. Sure, coaches can be vocal. But any coach will tell you that they don’t like any off-the-playing-field interference. The less they can deal with, the better. So, speaking out against the NCAA doesn’t just draw unnecessary media attention, but it creates distractions that could affect their team.
Finally, we come to the fans. Sure, the fans probably have the loudest opinions about college athletics, especially about their team and the NCAA. They like to go on Facebook or Twitter and give their thoughts a voice. But the fans can’t do much because the NCAA is not there for the fans, it’s for the NCAA-represented schools and their student-athletes. Plus, even with all the controversy surrounding college sports, they will continue to buy tickets, make donations and support college athletics. It doesn’t just stop because some investigators tampered with evidence.
So, with all that in mind, what has to happen to bring change to an organization that needs it? A change in thinking and a change in leadership. We don’t just need a new president. We need a new president that is willing to go from top-to-bottom and create change that keeps the NCAA moving forward, not backward. Until then, it’s the NCAA’s world and we are all living in it.
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