So if you're running a football program, what's the dirtiest thing you could possibly do?
- Have scholars take your players' tests for them?
- Yank scholarships to players who don't perform?
- Cover up sexual abuse scandals committed by your players?
- Or (gasp) look the other way when your players buy their buddies some textbooks on your dime.
For an explanation of what went down, here's this via Rivals, via Yahoo, via the All-Powerful Internets:
The NCAA’s Committee on Infractions said Thursday the football team must forfeit an unspecified number of wins in which any of seven players took part during 2005-2007. The university identified the seven as “intentional wrongdoers.”
The NCAA said that 201 student-athletes in the 16 sports, including men’s basketball, obtained “impermissible benefits” by using their scholarships to obtain free textbooks for other students. It also found the university guilty of “failure to monitor.”
This would matter more to me if the NCAA wasn't such a joke on the things that matter. Yes, they have a rule against paying them to play. Yes, the books they get for their scholarships are supposed to only be for players.
But it's not like this would be the first time a student with a textbook hookup helped another student. Does Ulrichs deserve to have a separate purchase for every student who takes a certain class?
I'll come clean, too: when I was in college, I gave pot to a Shaman Drum employee for cheap books.
Sorry, guys, that 1999 broomball championship never happened.
I see the harm for the program, who has to foot the bill for the buddies' books. But how does this become an NCAA issue? How did the hookup affect play? What's the actual damage of a few friends of athletes getting textbooks? It's not like they used their scholarships on Fifths of SoCo (memory shudder). They got more textbooks for cash-strapped students. There are worse things in the world.
One one hand, it looks like the NCAA, whose idea of "amateur" is questionable at best, is trying to make a show of coming down hard without, you know, actually coming down hard.
On the other hand, Bama is a dirty, dirty program. Perhaps this is the NCAA harassing the mob, nothing more.
So what's the feeling of the board? Is this the NCAA getting Capone through tax evasion, or just an arbitrary application of a capricious rule?