NCAA Shake Up: Time To Separate Division I Football from the NCAA

John SmithCorrespondent IIDecember 30, 2010

COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 13:  Quarterback Terrelle Pryor #2 of the Ohio State Buckeyes calls signals at the line against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Ohio Stadium on November 13, 2010 in Columbus, Ohio.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

It is time for Division I football to abandon the NCAA from a governing role of its sport. The kid has grown up to be too big for its parent’s rule.

Division I football has become so big and powerful that the actual governing body that is supposed to be ruling over it has simply lost all control of it and they don't know what to do.

Now, before you read this article, let me preface you by saying that I am not reporting this is happening. This is just something that I feel strongly about, and after reading this, I think you will as well.

Earlier I wrote about how the NCAA is destroying their integrity and credibility, and how the NCAA is losing control of college football

I am not saying that Division I football needs to become independent of collegiate athletics and universities completely. But simply that a new organization should be in charge of running it.

I also wrote an article about why I think the SEC should take over. Now I will try to appeal to a broader audience and do it with a wider message.

Someone needs to take the shovel the NCAA is using to bury its own grave and run Division I football. 

Division I football is just too big and its too important right now to screw up and the NCAA is doing that right now.  No one cares if the NCAA screws up any other collegiate sport; college football is just something special.

It is a sport where its fans bleed its colors unlike any other sport on the face of the planet. We just care way too much, but I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Just experience a Saturday afternoon during the fall—I prefer spending it in the SEC.

The NCAA just doesn’t have the guts to run college football anymore. They have gotten away from their job; it’s time for a change.

These are just to of the many examples of how the NCAA is losing control of Division I football. Let’s look at postseason play and the inconsistency of enforcing their own by-laws and punishing players and teams.

First, the postseason. Every single sport at every single level has a tournament-style bracket to determine its champion. But Division I football is the exception. Why?

It’s simple; they just don’t have the guts to do it. They decided to delegate the authority of something that they should be in charge of to the Bowl Championship Series.

This genius system decides to use some mathematical calculation—something that has never watched a football game—to determine who should have the opportunity to play in the mythical national championship game.

Are. You. Kidding. Me?

I got an idea NCAA, why don’t you do what you do for every other sport that you govern and implement a playoff system.

Correct me if I am wrong, but you are the governance council of collegiate sports, the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Or am I missing something from your name?

For all of you say that a playoff would diminish the importance of the regular season as well as the bowl system, get your head out of the ground and realize that this will benefit college football.

The NCAA and the schools make it seem like the bowls are something special. But let me ask you, of the 30 bowl games this year, that’s right 30, other than the BCS bowl games, are there any must-watch games?

If you aren’t a fan of either team playing in the game, will you really care about the games being played? The 2010 bowl season has been watered down with sub-par competition which has resulted in really bad games.

They say that bowl games makes schools money, but they really aren’t. The bowl executives absolutely love the games, who wouldn’t like a fat six figure check for running a bowl game.

Most schools will actually lose money from participating in their respected bowl games, just look at Connecticut.

They will play in a BCS game for the first time ever, and they are going to lose money because they can’t get people to buy all the tickets from the 17,500 tickets it is required to sell.

Athletic directors receive bonuses, coaches receive job security, and players get the chance to travel to some exotic place and receive $500 dollars worth of merchandise.

Why would they want a different system, a playoff?

But guess what, contrary to popular reports and beliefs, a bowl system could coexist with the playoffs. It wouldn’t diminish any regular season game, it would create more excitement. And that is not something that is up for debate.

The fans and integrity of the games is what loses. We as fans lose out on a true, got-it-on-the-field, champion. Every other sport in the world has this, why doesn’t Division I football?

Then, there is that whole lack of ability to hand out a severe punishment and implement consequences to teams and player that have committed violations.

"My dad did it", "I didn’t know it was a violation", and "we didn’t give them adequate rules education" are now valid excuses for breaking rules and avoiding punishment.

Where else would this defense hold up, it wouldn't even hold up in a United States court of law.

For this, look no farther than the Southern Cal, A.J. Green, Ohio State, and Cam Newton incidents.

Southern Cal was punished harshly after Reggie Bush and his family received improper benefits. They received a two-year bowl ban and lost scholarships, and were forced to vacate wins—four years after the fact.

After it was shown that Reggie Bush received improper benefits, he was retroactively ruled ineligible, and every victory USC had after that was vacated. (Just keep this in mind)

A.J. Green sold his own personal jersey for $1,000 dollars to a memorabilia collector and was immediately forced to sit the first four games of Georgia's 2010 season. (Keep this is mind also)

Cam Newton's father shopped him around to play college football (something that Cam knew nothing about). Now, this is an NCAA violation—but he was ineligible for less than 24 hours and in plenty of time for the SEC Championship game.

Five Ohio State players sold championship rings and other memorabilia for thousands of dollars, and will now be forced to sit the first five games of the 2011 season—but they will be able to play in the 2011 Sugar Bowl.

Correct me if I am wrong, but Ohio State players sold merchandise and received improper benefits. Not only did they remain eligible the even after the benefits were received (see Reggie Bush case) they will also be able to play in the Sugar Bowl (see A.J. Green immediate punishment case).

But wait, it's okay because they didn't know they were breaking rules, they didn't receive adequate rules training, and players get preferential treatment because it's a bowl game

Really, NCAA? Do you know what you are doing?

You are opening the door wide open to anyone that commits a violation in the future.

What about personal accountability, and enforcing rules?

Last time I checked, if you break a rule, you should be punished for the rule you break. Your punishment shouldn't be based on what the NCAA deems convenient and they shouldn't give players preferential treatment.

If I go to court I want the NCAA to decide my case. I will just say I didn't know about the law that I broke and wasn't educated properly.

Like that will work. No, it's called personal accountability and on the NCAA's side, enforcing your own rules and being consistent in your penalties.

The bottom line is that there needs to be a change. The NCAA has just shown that they really don't know what they are doing.

I think that Mike Slive, the SEC Commissioner, should be in charge of Division I football. His ability to strive with the SEC along with the increased popularity of college football is why I see him fit to run college football.

Say what you want to about the Cam Newton case, he simply had his hands tied by the NCAA because they said that the rules shouldn't be enforced "because he didn't know."

This leadership shouldn’t be limited to the SEC. Other conferences will also send representatives to not only represent their respected conference, but to also add fresh opinions.

This newly formed organization would be specifically designed to only run Division I football. This will be an organization that includes the brightest minds in regards to how college football should be run.

The inability for the NCAA to enforce their own rules, punish people who break them because they don't want to hurt anybodys feelings, and their lack of control in regards to their postseason show me that they shouldn't run big-time college football.

Now, maybe this is solely attributed to Mark Emmert. The NCAA President that took over in April of 2010. And look, all of these situations have come after he was hired.

Maybe he needs to go, and new leadership needs to be brought in. But the bottom line is, there needs to be a change, and it needs to happen fast.

I have stated my case, let me know what you think, let’s have an educated debate about something that we all care about.

What should the NCAA and Division I football do?

Should a new organization come in and run Division I football?

And if so, who exactly should this organization be?


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