Congress Loves Sports: So Why Don't They Try to Fix NCAA Recruiting?

Rob KelleyCorrespondent IMarch 6, 2011

WASHINGTON - MARCH 17:  U.S. Rep Tom Davis (R-VA) (L), Chairman of the House Committee on Government Oversight, listens to U.S. Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-CA) during a hearing investigating steroid use in baseball on Capital Hill March 17, 2005 in Washington DC. Major League Baseball Commissioner Allen 'Bud' Selig will give testimony regarding Major League Baseball's efforts to eradicate steriod usage among its players.  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Win McNamee/Getty Images

We have an unemployment rate that is still atrocious. People continue to lose their jobs in this country at an alarming pace.

Our health care system is unacceptable. It is finally being deemed "unconstitutional" in many states who have been fining people who cannot afford health insurance.

Like anyone refuses health care and insurance for kicks and giggles—it is because it is simply not affordable.

We could be paying over four dollars per gallon for gasoline within the next couple of months. People who are working minimum wage jobs will actually lose money driving to work if they do not have a short commute.

There are fools in the state of Wisconsin who are trying to get the state to pass a new collective bargaining agreement that would eliminate teaching unions, and they are encouraging other states to get behind them.

On a similar note, we have teachers who put in so many hours per week doing an important job, they they wind up making less than minimum wage when everything is said and done.

And then we have players and owners in the National Football League who cannot figure out how to fairly distribute over nine billion dollars annually.

But believe it or not, this article is not about the NFL players and owners. It is not even about greed.

Then where am I going with all of this? I'm laying the ground work. I promise I do have an agenda.

The United States Congress is clearly in love with sports, both on the professional and collegiate level.

That has been demonstrated quite often over the past decade.

Instead of fixing the unemployment rate, they worry about who took performance enhancing drugs back in the early 1990s.

Instead of dealing with our poor health care system, they want to work with the NCAA and help them realize why a playoff system is better than the BCS bowl system.

If Roger Clemens took steroids, then he must pay.

If we continue to get screwed when it comes to increasing gas prices and cannot afford to drive, that is fine with them.

So if Congress wants to get involved in sports so badly, as opposed to dealing with the real problems facing so many Americans, then why won't they get involved in one of the biggest issues today in college sports?

Moving back the three-point line.

That is where I may need to take out my sarcasm sign.

Yes, that was a joke.

I am referring to the growing problem in college sports—college football, more specifically—of recruiting violations.

Agents and recruiting companies are ruining college football.

They are not hurting the players—they will still get paid in the long run.

They are not hurting the coaches—they can seemingly do what they want, and once the violations penalties are about to hit the fan, the coach simply leaves for another school.

But they are hurting the program where the violation occurred.

In many of the cases, the coaches and players may be at least slightly aware of the fact that what they engaged in was wrong. But not always.

That is when you feel bad for everyone involved.

Agents are like predators, to a certain extent. They prey upon young student-athletes and promise them the world if they sign with their agency.

Many of these athletes—who are still just kids—come from very little money. They play college sports just long enough before they can enter the draft and sign a multi-million dollar contract. Then they take care of their family and friends while enjoying financial freedom.

Those are the smart ones.

Some of them cannot decipher right from wrong when it comes to what they are allowed to do, or what they are allowed to say, or what they are allowed to accept. They are told by agents that they are doing nothing wrong, and they are still innocent enough where they believe them.

It is a shame.

The NCAA has had too many recruiting violations and allegations of accepting improper benefits. The number is alarming.

We all know about Reggie Bush and the USC Trojans. He did give back the Heisman Trophy, but he was not truly penalized. Pete Carroll was the coach at that time, but conveniently left the school for the NFL and Seattle Seahawks last season, before the punishment came down. Therefore, nothing happened to Carroll either.

The school, however, was penalized. That is how it generally works.

But I am not picking on USC. It happened with the North Carolina Tar Heels. It happened with Cam Newton and the Auburn Tigers. And now, there is an investigation into the Oregon Ducks.

That means that both teams in this past season's BCS Championship Game were involved in investigations over the past six months.

I may have alluded to it as a joke earlier, but I do not actually feel that Congress needs to get involved. They should focus on what is more important to people in this country.

But all joking aside, isn't this a bigger issue then steroid usage of 20 years ago or if certain schools do not get a fair chance to compete for a national championship?

Congress may not intervene. They should probably focus on other issues. But something does need to be done.



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