As I was reading Greg Doyel's lovely piece on CBS Sports about why it was unlikely that Miami would be given the death penalty by the NCAA as a result of the brilliant investigation that revealed over 70 recruits and players had partied with and received benefits from Ponzi schemer Nevin Shapiro, it became apparent that the NCAA couldn't do such a thing because it would send the NCAA itself over a cliff.
In other words, the turkey would in effect be rooting for an early Christmas.
But there's probably another reason why the NCAA wouldn't do such a thing: It doesn't want to "go nuclear" again.
It went nuclear in football once with SMU and in the process destroyed a program and a legacy.
Sure, that legacy was rotten to the core in the first place, but it destroyed that legacy.
Now if you're a rich Southern Methodist, you love football, and you want to find a school to go to, SMU probably won't be your first choice. You'll probably go to Texas (and then you'll just go to Berkeley United Methodist and be happy with it).
Does the NCAA really want to destroy Miami? Does it really want to destroy a legacy of having some of the best athletes in the land going to school there? Does it really want to destroy the golden images (excuse the pun), of players running out pumped in the mist?
We don't think so.
We wouldn't want it, either. College football has been great, but it's still not as great as it could be with a strong Miami.
Even if some of their more right-wing fans say differently, Florida State and Florida want a strong Miami because it makes Florida a really, really competitive state.
We love wide rights, wide lefts, geeky QBs, and ducks with attitudes. (It's a duck, right?)
Besides, it gets boring talking about the SEC all day and night.
What we'd propose is that Miami get a harsher USC-style probation in which bowl games are taken away, there's a massive fine levied against the school (if it is found that the school knew anything about this), and scholarships are taken away.
Death penalties in this day and age just aren't cool.