Daily dump: NCAA an exercise in futility

Matt TarrContributor IJune 23, 2009

We admit it, we have no life. That’s why we took the time over the weekend to actually read (well, skim) Florida State’s appeal of NCAA sanctions against the school’s athletics department, as well as the NCAA’s official response to FSU’s appeal.

And what did we learn? In a nutshell, that the NCAA doesn’t work anymore as a governing body in college athletics. Which leads us to our next question … how long do you think it will be before someone in Washington wakes up and realizes that the NCAA has dissolved into an abject disaster? Now we realize that addressing real problems in college athletics isn’t nearly as voter-friendly as grandstanding about BCS reform. A true attempt at cleaning up the mess of college sports would require actual thought, actual work and actual commitment. It’s much easier to step up to a microphone and yammer about bowl games.

But let’s step away from the fine print in the FSU sanctions and look at the big picture. Just in the last few months, five of the NCAA’s marquee programs have made headlines for improprieties off the field, some involving academics, some involving pay for play.

Alabama got dinged for giving away textbooks. USC is still “investigating” claims that former coach Tim Floyd paid an associate of O.J. Mayo to lure the talented player to the school, a charge that could lead to the program facing stiff penalties, up to and including the stripping of the Trojans’ BCS title in 2004. Memphis could be stripped of up to 38 basketball wins from 2007-08 if the NCAA determines Derrick Rose had a stand-in take his SAT test for him. The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch recently reported that Ohio State has averaged 40 secondary violations a year since 2000. And now, FSU coach Bobby Bowden — who’s long cared more about his win total than academics or discipline — stands to lose 14 critical wins in his bid to become college football’s all-time winningest coach.

Look, we love college sports. We love our schools, the rivalries, the bowl games and the tournament. But seriously, isn’t it all starting to feel a little … um … dirty? And by dirty, we mean dirtier than usual. Sure, the NCAA has a proud tradition of thumping its chest while looking the other way. But if the last few months have proven anything, it’s proven that the NCAA has officially lost control. When the elite of the elite programs are making a mockery of your system, you know it’s time for a change.

Elena Dementieva

Elena Dementieva

And on that happy note, let’s kick off today’s roundup! …

- Here’s a good laugh to put us all back in a good mood: Baseball’s best manager ejections. Nothing like a grown man acting like a nincompoop to put a smile back on your face. (No Guts, No Glory)

- William & Mary searching high and low for mascot ideas. We think they should rename the school William or Mary and call themselves the Trannies. Just a thought. (PhillyBurbs.com)

- Stunning video evidence that there is, in fact, one Florida Marlins fan passionate enough about the team to get into a stadium fight. (Deadspin)

- Hookers and Egyptians and thievery, oh my! (Sunday Independent)

- Former tennis JAG (Just A Guy) Michael Stich makes more headlines in 12 hours Monday than he did in 12 years on the tour. How? By asserting that women’s tennis players are there to “sell sex.” If you’ve ever actually seen Stich, then you know no one has ever accused him of the same. (Sports by Brooks)

- For the record, we here at Sportspoop.com do not condone Mr. Stich’s remarks in any way. We have long appreciated women’s tennis players for their athletic achievements rather than their physical features. Now check out the gams on Elena Dementieva.