I recently caught an episode of Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel on HBO where they did a profile with the whistleblower on what lead to the current sanctions handed down to USC by the NCAA.
In the interview that Andrea Kremer conducted with former USC head coach Pete Carroll, Carroll said he had no idea that anything was going on that would be against NCAA rules and regulations. Pretty sad considering he claimed to be both the USC head coach and general manager.
Unfortunately I don't think that this is the only program in the country that is "playing dirty."
Coaches can only do so much. They can coach the players on the field and off the field to a certain extent, but they can't be there to hold their hands 24/7.
So how much do coaches know about the program and what their kids are doing off the field?
Well, they probably know a lot, but there is no way they can know everything.
In USC's case, I think it is unfortunate that the greed of one player five years ago is going to cost them bowl games for the next two years. I also think it is sad that it will cost scholarships. But rules are rules and they were broken.
So where else could this be going on?
Things could be happening under the table everywhere, including the small FCS schools.
The bottom line is money talks and when an agent approaches a young impressionable kid with a little green, they are more than likely going to consider taking it.
Another problem is how tough they are on student athletes. When I was in school I knew guys who played on the football team and they told me how much they were allotted per semester, and it wasn't much.
The NCAA is as much to blame as the coaches, athletes, and schools in my opinion.
Coaches for the most part will not know anything about what happens in college football's dark side. Even if they do, why would they take the chance of going public with it and potentially lose their jobs?
College head coaches do not, and will never know everything that goes on in their program. It's just too much to babysit 70+ kids on an entire team and keep a leash on them.
In my opinion it all comes down to recruiting high character players. Just like in the NFL, the more the player is considered to be of good character, the less headaches for the organization.
Unfortunately, there will always be those coaches who would rather deal with and attempt to cover up the problems with red tape. For those coaches, they pretend to not know what is going on, like a Pete Carroll.
For others, they probably aren't aware anything illegal is going on. In this case it is unfortunate for them, the school, and the other players that end up taking the NCAA's wrath.
This has just become a part of the college football landscape now even more than in the past.
With the NCAA investigating as many as seven other schools, sanctions could be handed down more now than at any other time.
College coaches are going to take the brunt of the NCAA punch, there is no question about that. It doesn't matter if they knew what was going on or not, because there has to be somebody to blame, right?
As always, that's just my opinion, I could be wrong...