UM vs USC Alleged/Potential Violations

Submitted by Victory Collins on February 23rd, 2010 at 3:39 PM

I'm ready to get killed on this one, but I think the integrity of the Board deserves this counter-point, so...

A reasonable argument could be made that, in many respects, the alleged violations at UM are worse than those at USC involving Bush:

USC's alleged violations involve a single player's receipt of (mostly) indirect benefits, whereas UM's consist of widespread prohibited practices and activities -- many of which probably do not take place at all other Div. I institutions.

USC coaches were probably not aware of most, if any, of Bush's benefits, and at the least were probably not involved in procuring them, whereas the UM coaches in this case most likely knew or should have known what was going on with the QC personnel essentially running practices, and other exceedances of NCAA time limits.

USC's alleged violations did not result in a competitive advantage, whereas UM's were specifically designed to do so (ironically, these measures desgined to gain a competitive advantage have yet to bear any fruit whatsoever -- at least if we are going to skirt the rules, let's get some wins to show from it!).

So while USC's allegations certainly are more unsavory from the standpoint of maintaining the sanctity of the amateur athlete (a notion that I think is becoming more and more nostalgic, rather than practical), UM's are worse in that they sought a competitive advantage over other programs in a way that the entire coaching staff knew or should have known about.

Which is worse? I open the debate.

Comments

Noahdb

February 23rd, 2010 at 3:50 PM ^

"USC's alleged violations involve a single player's receipt of (mostly) indirect benefits, whereas UM's consist of widespread prohibited practices and activities -- many of which probably do not take place at all other Div. I institutions."

Reggie Bush and OJ Mayo are definitely two different people.

"USC coaches were probably not aware of most, if any, of Bush's benefits, and at the least were probably not involved in procuring them, whereas the UM coaches in this case most likely knew or should have known what was going on with the QC personnel essentially running practices, and other exceedances of NCAA time limits."

Coaches usually aren't. With the exception of Alabama buying Albert Means (the DUMBEST violation ever), they almost always maintain deniability by making sure that booster-player contact happens when they are out of the room. They "know" it goes on the way that I "know" that it goes on. But you couldn't put me on the stand to talk about it.

"USC's alleged violations did not result in a competitive advantage, whereas UM's were specifically designed to do so (ironically, these measures desgined to gain a competitive advantage have yet to bear any fruit whatsoever -- at least if we are going to skirt the rules, let's get some wins to show from it!)."

Bzzzzt. Creating a culture where players know that boosters will take care of them doesn't give them a competitive advantage??

I'm not going to mention the names of the school...but there is a rather famous basketball program where the starters have access to SUVs. They don't own them. A booster with a dealership makes the cars available and the players know where the keys are. You can go to the parking lot outside of the dorm and just count them. It's not a secret. Everyone knows about it. It's been going on for at least 20 years. It used to be Isuzu Troopers and now it's Land Rovers.

The coaches aren't involved at all. But do you think recruits don't hear about it on their visit? Do you think that doesn't give them an advantage?

Come to our program and wear this uniform and have Dick Vitale rave about the logo and the tradition and everything else. Oh, and while you're here, you can major in Rocks For Jocks, there's tons of tail to chase, and the boosters take care of you.

Victory Collins

February 23rd, 2010 at 3:58 PM ^

I should have made clear I was focusing on the alleged violations in football (and not basketball).

Also, I do not know how clear it is that (a) USC has an atmosphere where recruits understand pretty clearly that they will receive improper perks if they go there, and (b) how much the Bush stuff contributed to that culture. If these are true, then, yes, it can be argued that the Bush violations helped foster a potential competitive advantage.

Allmanski

February 23rd, 2010 at 3:57 PM ^

every one of your points is demonstrably false... I'm not as familiar with the USC allegations but here it goes...

"USC's alleged violations involve a single player's receipt of (mostly) indirect benefits, whereas UM's consist of widespread prohibited practices and activities -- many of which probably do not take place at all other Div. I institutions."

False. Reggie Bush, Joe Mcknight and OJ Mayo (that we know of). Also, paying players is a prohibited activity and paying multiple players across sports seems "widespread".

"USC coaches were probably not aware of most, if any, of Bush's benefits, and at the least were probably not involved in procuring them, whereas the UM coaches in this case most likely knew or should have known what was going on with the QC personnel essentially running practices, and other exceedances of NCAA time limits. "

False. There was testimony I believe that Carroll was on the phone when one of Bush's shady agents was describing the shady living arrangements of Bush's parents. Not only that but there have been a host of allegations that agents and various other characters were allowed to hang on the USC sideline. This is not a good practice even if it may not be prohibited.

"USC's alleged violations did not result in a competitive advantage, whereas UM's were specifically designed to do so (ironically, these measures designed to gain a competitive advantage have yet to bear any fruit whatsoever -- at least if we are going to skirt the rules, let's get some wins to show from it!)."

False and Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? The whole raison d'etre of paying players is to gain a competitive advantage. When you have an atmosphere where players can get away with anything and get paid in so doing you can get more players there.

aaamichfan

February 23rd, 2010 at 3:58 PM ^

"UM's are worse in that they sought a competitive advantage over other programs in a way that the entire coaching staff knew or should have known about."

At this point, Michigan has not admitted to intentionally going over a known limit. To say they "sought a competitive advantage" is a bit disingenuous.

This thread is rather unnecessary, and will ultimately make people believe this is a bigger deal than it actually is.

Blueskins

February 23rd, 2010 at 4:31 PM ^

Now I've never played or coached football at the D1 college level, but I would wager that paying a Heisman to come play for your team would give a bit more of a competitive advantage than practicing an extra 20 mins to stretch would.

Seth9

February 23rd, 2010 at 4:47 PM ^

By taking money and other stuff from agents and the like, Bush forfeited his amateur status. As such, whenever he stepped on the field he was giving USC an illegal competitive advantage because he was (in the eyes of the NCAA) a professional football player.

Furthermore, Reggie Bush taking money is a violation of the very core of the ideal of collegiate athletics, as far as the NCAA is concerned (amateur athletes who are students first). Practicing too much is not. Nor is punishing students who skip summer class.

neoavatara

February 23rd, 2010 at 5:07 PM ^

Apparently, you cannot disconnect the two. One of the problems for Michigan is we were still in the 'probationary' period after the Ed Martin Scandal...and that could effect how they treat us now.

USC's Basketball and Football programs are linked under athletic dept...and they will likely be punished harsher because of the bball's problem .

WolvinLA2

February 23rd, 2010 at 5:30 PM ^

Admittedly, this is completely unsubstantiated, but one of my good buddies out here is a USC alum who currently works for their athletic dept. Like many Californians, he likes USC football but doesn't have the kind of connection to his alma mater that we have. He's told me a few times how he sees the players get handed iPods or jewerly for their girlfriends or deisel jeans/designer clothes, what have you. He said they aren't even all that secretive about it, and all the players get it.

I have absolutely no evidence to back this up, but this guy went to USC, so it's not like he has any reason to bad mouth them. They are also his employer. He does understand how the rules work, and jokes around about how dirty it is.

Noahdb

February 23rd, 2010 at 6:34 PM ^

That's why the suggestion that NCAA players should be paid is so silly. They already are being paid. And it's a true meritocracy. The good players get taken care of and the bad players don't.