Alabama Football: College football’s looming exit from the NCAA

NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis.Ncaahall 311477 Jpg
NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis.Ncaahall 311477 Jpg /

Alabama Crimson Tide fans joined fans from across the nation in indignation this week. Triggering the response was the final NCAA ruling and penalties for Baylor University. The ‘slap on the wrist’ penalties should be an embarrassment to not just those part of college sports’ governing body, but to athletics administrators across the nation.

Baylor was found to have broken multiple rules, but whether the penalties matched the violations is not the main issue. The main problem is individuals at Baylor were guilty of offenses far worse than breaking rules of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. We know that because Baylor admitted it.

As stated by the NCAA,

"Baylor admitted to moral and ethical failings in its handling of sexual and interpersonal violence on campus"

Admission of such guilt should have brought down fury from the NCAA, at the least, permanently scarring Baylor University and possibly giving its athletic programs a forever ‘Death Penalty.’

There was no fury from the rules protectors of college sports. Instead, there was barely a whimper, an unstated admittance of what has long been known – the NCAA is a pathetically, top-heavy and inept bureaucracy, incapable of adequately policing anything.

Credible, national media sources skewered the NCAA (again).

The tawdry details of what happened at Baylor need no re-telling here. They are disgusting. The names Art Briles and Ken Starr should forever taint Baylor University. Neither should ever again hold a position in college administration or college sports. Starr’s future damage to society cannot be projected but it is assured Briles will be a college head coach again – probably soon.

There must have been celebrations in Baton Rouge when the NCAA ruling was published. LSU, Ed Orgeron and Will Wade have nothing to fear from an organization not equal to the task of running a grade school, after-school detention program.

The NCAA has made a big deal about re-inventing itself through a new constitution. The 23-member committee has the impossible task of saving its terminally ill patient. Whatever is done will not be enough. The best path is one that will not be chosen. That path is the less the NCAA is involved in anything, the better.

In 2020, the Knight Commission issued a recommendation the relationship between the NCAA and FBS football should be severed.

"Institutional leaders should create a new entity to oversee FBS operations, called the National College Football Association. The new entity would be separate from the NCAA and from the group that currently manages college football playoff and championship games, the College Football Playoff."

The problem with the Knight Commission recommendation is it leaves the NCAA in charge of everything but FBS football and the College Football Playoff. The pace of change will not wait on the NCAA. It is apparent a subset of FBS teams will deliver a split from the NCAA, with or without NCAA concurrence. How soon is not known, but there is little doubt it will happen.

Next. Why Mac Jones should start. dark

Alabama Football will be fine whatever happens. Many other programs are not so lucky. Alabama Basketball will be in a different situation if the split from the NCAA includes only football. It will have to compete in a system where rule-breaking is unimpeded.