The United States of America is the greatest nation on planet Earth. However, as long as our nation remains, there are three groups that you can always expect to be corrupt—Our politicians, Wall Street, and the NCAA.
In the last few years, the NCAA has gone from questionable to laughable. Their judgments are rarely consistent and their not allowing a playoff system is despicable.
For example, a college coach can leave his current school for another school at any time, but players are penalized for doing such. Coaches make millions of dollars, but Boise State wide receiver Geraldo Boldewijn was forced to miss four games this season because he borrowed a 1990 Toyota Camry with 177,000 miles. He was required to pay a charity $700 for his violation.
Boise State, on the other hand, brought in 14.5 million dollars to their school last year and paid their coach 1.6 million dollars.
The NCAA's mission statement is as follows: "Our purpose is to govern competition in a fair, safe, equitable and sportsmanlike manner, and to integrate intercollegiate athletics into higher education so that the educational experience of the student-athlete is paramount."
It is clear that the NCAA has lost sight of their mission statement.
With that said, the NCAA has an opportunity to begin righting their misguided ship. The AJC reported today that the NCAA will be meeting, over the next few days, to discuss several crucial issues. There are three topics in particular that would help the NCAA take great strides to returning back to their goals described in their mission statement.
Those three topics are—A $2,000 increase in scholarship money for student-athletes, changing scholarships from single year agreements to multi-year agreements, and increased postseason bans for poor classroom performance.
The first issue of increasing players’ scholarships $2000 seems like a no brainer. The current scholarships do not cover the full cost of college attendance. However, because of title IX regulations, schools would be required to match the funds that they give to male sports to female sports as well.
This might put a strain on schools that do not have a thriving athletic department. However, this measure, if passed by the NCAA, would have to be voted on by the individual conferences as well. Those who can afford it can vote it in and those who cannot can reject it.
The second issue, and more crucial in my opinion, is the motion to change scholarships from needing to be renewed on a year-by-year bases to a multiyear agreement. The current rule stands as one of the most puzzling in all of sports.
Currently, the players have to make a four year commitment to the Universities. However, the colleges only have to make a one year commitment to them. This allows coaches to pass out scholarships like they are candy with little repercussion. The player, on the other hand, will have to sit out a minimum of one calendar year if they change their mind.
Make no mistake about it—Coaches are currently taking full advantage of this situation. Not only do coaches not renew scholarships but they use it as negotiating grounds when they are encouraging a player to transfer or take a medical scholarship.
Anything short of requiring that sports scholarships are four year agreements is a mistake.
The third issue that I believe can help restore the image of the NCAA is that of how to handle the new APR guidelines. The NCAA recently raised the Progress Rate cutline from 900 to 930. They also passed a regulation that will ban teams from postseason tournaments every time they do not meet the APR cutoff line
However, until now, they have not added a postseason ban for bowl games. That could change this week.
Fanatic fans will argue that this could hurt college football. However, as long as the NCAA is forcing student-athletes to maintain certain criteria, the schools and football programs need to be held to the same standard.
The ball is now in your court Mr. Mark Emmert- It is time to make the NCAA respectable again.