Southern Schools Getting Off Easy in Terms of NCAA Sanctions

Charles BennettSenior Analyst IJuly 23, 2012

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - NOVEMBER 25:  Jacory Harris #12 of the Miami Hurricanes passes to Mike James #5 during a game against the Boston College Eagles at Sun Life Stadium on November 25, 2011 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The NCAA has hit western and midwestern schools with harsh penalties of late.

A couple years ago, they hit USC with a two-year bowl ban and vacation of wins for violations related to Reggie Bush.  Last year, they gave Ohio State a two-year ban for misdeeds in the Jim Tressel era.

A few weeks ago, they hit Caltech with a three-year postseason ban and vacation of everything except the one win in basketball they had against my alma mater.  This, despite the fact that the Division III program doesn't recruit, routinely finishes bottom-of-the-table in the SCIAC and has 50 percent of student athletes who couldn't make their high school squads.

With the western and midwest eastern schools hit hard, when is a southern school going to get the book thrown at them?

For example, what sanctions should the University of Miami (FL) get?  A Miami booster confessed to providing free cars and prostitutes to players, which combines illegal moral depravity by players with recruiting violations.  They topped it off with further recruiting violations this offseason.

Miami took a voluntary one-year bowl ban, and there was little to no investigation, at least not so much as witnesses at USC and other less serious violators.  I'd think that that would warrant three years out of the bowls, wouldn't you?

Likewise, the allegation that Cam Newton received pay-to-play benefits similar to what Reggie Bush got was swept under the rug with little or no fanfare.  I could go on with unpunished travesties by southern schools.

It just doesn't seem right that a D-III program that never wins should get harsher penalties than a school that was furnished with ladies of the evening.  The fact that southern programs have been generally getting off scot-free in recent decades portrays the NCAA's bias in favor of southern schools, particularly those in the SEC and ACC.

In short: If you hit non-Southern schools as hard as you do, you've got to start hitting southern schools a little harder.