Posts Tagged ‘NCAA’

NFL pounds New Orleans Saints for paying bounties for maiming opponents. Will the NBA, NHL, NCAA, FIFA be inspired?

March 21, 2012

 

I used to be a boxing fan. Joe Louis, Sugar Ray Robinson, Jake LaMotta were boyhood heroes, and the highlight of my week was the Gillette Cavalcade of Sports, telecasting fights every Friday night. The program was top-rated until more and more fans—eventually including me—gradually came to understand that the object of the game was to cause brain damage, hopefully temporary but occasionally permanent and cumulative, as happened to thousands, most famously Muhammad Ali.

I became an even bigger pro football fan, until being turned off by the violence—not the inherent violence of the game, but the intentional maiming of marquee players like Brett Favre, DeSean Jackson, and Tony Romo.

It was no surprise when earlier this month the NFL disclosed that the New Orleans Saints had paid bounties for injuring opposing players, with extra money for “cart-offs” –when the injured player had to be carried off the field in a motorized gurney.

But today there was a surprise—a welcome one: the league came down with crushing punishments for the practice: Saints head coach Sean Payton was suspended without pay for the entire 2012 season, former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams (who apparently initiated the practice) was banned indefinitely (more…)

Advertisements

Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel resigns, long after lying to NCAA and playing ineligible players

May 30, 2011

Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel, arguably the top coach in college football with eight BCS bowl appearances in ten years and a national championship, resigned today. Tressel has been caught lying to the OSU administration and playing players he knew to be ineligible.

In the midst of an NCAA investigation into OSU athletics, and with several allegations of higher-ups condoning the rule-breaking, the university is trying to pin the entire rap on Tressel and avoid penalties against the Buckeyes’ top-rated football program. The school used the old trick of sugar-coating public relations pros by releasing the news on a holiday weekend, hoping that fewer people would notice.

A year ago the NCAA levied harsh penalties against USC for what appears to be a much lesser offense involving one assistant coach and one player, Reggie Bush. The OSU case involves the head coach, the director of compliance, and twenty-eight players over nine years. It may also involve the athletic director and the university President. Stay tuned for more transgressions and to compare penalties.

Ex-Auburn Prof Jim Gundlach gets a mythical Sam Goldwyn award* for speaking truth to power—to Auburn football

January 6, 2011

 

Auburn’s football team is rated #1 in the nation as it prepares for the national championship game Monday against the Oregon Ducks. Academically its team is rated #85 out of 120. It was rated #4 until a sociology professor spoke truth to power.

According to an article in today’s New York Times, one day in 2006 professor Jim Gundlach saw on TV that an academic player of the week was a sociology major. Gundlach had never had him in class, and two other sociology professors said they hadn’t either.

Gundlach smelled a rat in the football world, and dug around to expose widespread academic fraud in the Auburn football program. The Times broke the story back then, and Auburn, under pressure from the media and from the NCAA cleaned up its act—some—to publish honest academic ratings.

Gundlach didn’t get hero status at Auburn for correcting the football program: he was hounded out of the university by hate mail and calls assailing him for hurting the university. Gundlach doesn’t see it that way. The Times quotes him this way: “The things that I did in the process of going out was one of the best things I’ve ever done for Auburn,” (more…)

Who’s unethical: USC Trojans coach Lane Kiffin or the Washington Post?

November 26, 2010

When the newspaper says you’re a cheater, a womanizer, and only got your job because of your father’s influence you must be a pretty bad person, right? Well, maybe not if it’s the Washington Post making the accusations.

The Post’s Norman Chad wrote these things last Sunday, in a piece headed “USC’s Kiffin and Carroll are the best – at circumventing the rules.”

It’s true that last year, as head coach of the Tennessee Volunteers, Kiffin broke some rules that the NCAA called secondary violations with no penalties, mainly speaking disparagingly of Southeastern Conference rivals. It’s also true that the USC football program was sanctioned by the NCAA because star running back Reggie Bush’s parents accepted gifts from an agent looking to buy influence with Reggie. No suggestion, however, was made by the NCAA investigation that coach Pete Carroll had even a hint of the payoffs—the charge was that the school’s policing of the rules was inadequate.

The Post calls USC football a rogue program. Far from it: to make up for its failure to learn about the Bush pere payola, USC has hired a new athletic director, the squeaky-clean Pat Haden, and appointed a university vice president for compliance. An example of USC’s dedication to compliance: the Trojans’ suspended their hot-shot running back, freshman Dillon Baxter, for the Oregon State game (which the Trojans lost) for accepting a campus ride on a golf cart that was driven by a student who—unknown to Baxter—was a part-time sports agent. Baxter was reinstated only after making a donation to charity of five dollars—the imputed value of the illicit ride. (more…)

No shame at USC for NCAA sanctions. The USC response: “There was nothing but a lot of envy. They wish they all were Trojans.”

June 11, 2010

The National Collegiate Athletic Association has imposed harsh penalties on the USC athletic program for disregarding NCAA rules and for permitting a general campus environment that made compliance efforts difficult.

USC is barred from post-season bowl games for two years, is losing ten scholarships a year for three years, is on probation for four years, and is docked 14 victories and probably the 2004 national championship, The bowl ban could be especially costly: the Rose Bowl paid its participating teams $13.5 million each last year.

USC’s sin: allowing super star Reggie Bush and his parents “impermissible benefits in the form of cash, merchandise, an automobile, housing, hotel lodging, and transportation…worth many thousands of dollars,” and allowing basketball star O. J. Mayo to collect “benefits in the form of cash, lodging, merchandise, automobile transportation, meals, airline transportation, and services.”

Pete Carroll, arguably the most successful football coach in America for the past nine years, was “absolutely shocked and disappointed” at the NCAA decision. He protested that “We didn’t know, the University didn’t know” about the Bush violations. Carroll may not have known, but Todd McNair, a USC assistant coach did. And athletic director Mike Garrett made it clear that he didn’t want to hear about the Mayo affair. (more…)