I love reading about sports. That is actually how I started writing for Bleacher Report. Well of all the columns and articles that I read, and all the writers who compose those columns, one of the most controversial guys I came across is Bryan Burwell of the St. Louis Post Dispatch.
Make no mistake about it, Mr. Burwell is an excellent writer. Having said that, he isn't afraid to speak his mind, and because of that, he often writes something that makes one side or the other mad. Hey, give the guy his due, at least he takes a stand on the issues. I have disagreed with a lot of the articles he has written over the years. I have shook my head sometimes.
Today, I completely agreed with his article. Word for word, Mr. Burwell got it right today.
Burwell makes a great point that Mizzou is basically being held hostage right now by the NCAA. When they did their due diligence and checked Haith's background, the NCAA gave him a "clean bill of health." Haith was not going to be connected to this mess going on in Miami, but investigators did have his name on file.
Why didn't they tell Mizzou this? Why didn't they tell Mizzou why his name was on file?
Think about it...if the NCAA would have had the professional courtesy to say, "we need to question this guy about a possible payment to a recruit," then at least Mizzou would have known there was an allegation. They would have known about this, and they could have asked Haith during the hiring process. If there was enough smoke, maybe Mizzou could have hired someone else and avoided the whole media circus going on with Mizzou basketball now.
To make matters worse, the NCAA wants Mizzou to wait to make a decision. What if the NCAA finds out on January 22nd that Haith is guilty? Does Mizzou then fire their coach in the middle of the season? That is just crazy to even consider! I agree with Burwell, that Mizzou should conduct their own investigation and act on their own timetable.
If Haith is not guilty, then end the speculation. If he is guilty, then cut him loose.
Because taking any other course of action would only punish the Mizzou basketball team. These players deserve to know if Haith is going to be their coach or not. Why should they listen to this guy if he is about to get fired? And what about the recruiting class for next year? Are we just supposed to put recruiting on hold for a year at good ol' Mizzou? I don't think so.
And what about Frank Haith? He is just twisting in the wind here. Frank Haith deserves to tell his side of this story and attempt to clear his name. Things don't look good, but if he isn't guilty, then his name is being run through the mud for no good reason. So Mizzou should investigate now! Mizzou should take action, one way or another, now!
Again, doing it the NCAA's way only punishes the student athletes. Aren't those the very people the NCAA says it is trying to serve?