Posted July 25th, 2011 by Ross
Filed under: Feature, Football, Recruiting

As we are on the verge of another college football season, the biggest debate is not over who is ranked number one in the preseason polls (looks like OU in 2011), but whose team is going to be on probation. The entire season will be littered with teams that are on probation, dealing with secondary violations or owners of the dreaded lack of institutional control. I believe that we are nowhere close to the brash and blatant cheating of the 80’s, but this season will be scrutinized by fan bases identifying this team as the dirtiest program in college football.

So how do you propose to change it? I do not have all the answers but I will throw up a few for debate.

Do Not Pay Players

I cannot stress this one enough. Most fans want to see college football players get paid because of all the millions of dollars that colleges rake in. People forget that football pays the bills for many college sports including all the Title IX sports. For every great college football player that is glamorized on TV or on a video game there are a host of other no name college athletes that are still getting scholarship money paid for by the school. Not to mention the facilities that the athletes use, the travel that they get to experience and the notoriety that they can obtain all on the schools tab. No regular college kid would ever be able to have that kind of head start after they graduate. Jay Bilas wants kids to have the ability to make money off their name while in school by autograph signings. Do you think anyone wants to buy the Northwestern’s wide receiver autograph or for that matter want the polo teams John Hancock? There is no solution that be can be equally administered or financially viable for all of these universities.

Shine the Light

Have you ever read a college scholarship offer that is signed by these young athletes? I have never seen the verbiage or the rules that it states. How about language in a scholarship that states that if you take improper benefits you will be permanently kicked off the team? Compliance offices are set up to help guide the student athlete on how to handle overzealous fans. How about every season ticket holder going through a course on what is acceptable behavior around student athletes? Let’s shed a light on these contracts that these kids are signing and educate fans on what their jock sniffing efforts will do to their program.

Coaches’ Amnesia

This is the biggest crock of all. Head college football coaches hide behind the fact that they cannot watch their players 24/7. Coaches have immense resources from academic counselors to compliance personnel, other coaches, and their true football leaders in the locker room. The current thought is if it is not reported than it cannot be wrong. Reporting violations while tedious is still the best way to clean up the bad apples before it affects everyone else. If you are worried about Johnny Five Star going out late and damaging the reputation of your program, do not recruit the kid. Former Coach Mike Leach said that coaches are their own worst enemy because they think that they can rehabilitate these kids when they bring them into their environment. Probably the real problem is that head coaches are numb from all the stupid rules that exist. Until the universities that run the league take a hard look at overhauling the NCAA, it needs to follow the rules that are set forth for everyone. It’s time for head coaches and the AD’s to be accountable for the millions of dollars that they earn every year to police their teams and keep the little issues from festering into a lack of institutional control.

Harsher Penalties

I love the fact that Coach Nick Saban calls runners and agents that hang around college football as pimps. (Don’t college coaches do the same thing?) Ask college basketball coaches what they think about AAU programs and you might find a more colorful word for those people. States need to get involved and legislate harsher penalties so that recruiting services, boosters and agents will be met with loss of certification, jail time and financial penalties. Most state governments around the country made money off the tobacco industry. They sure could use another revenue producing vehicle and college football is full of money. Also, please inform the NCAA that taking wins away does not hurt a school at all. The NCAA needs to affect the schools pocket books with the elimination of college bowl games and television appearances.

College football fans will never tone down their fervor for recruiting, daily updates and the need to go to every practice to rub elbows with the players and coaching staff. Since the passion of college football will never be squelched. Universities, state attorneys, and even the television networks are going to have to shine a light on college football to show everyone what is going on. We thirst for more information on twitter, blogs, and the internet. Add compliance notices and simple NCAA rules for the fans to add to their daily intake.

Thanks for following my WTH articles throughout the season. I appreciate the opportunity to rant about the greatest University sports program in the country. You can continue to follow comments on all of UT sports on twitter at 40AcresSports or follow me at Horns1991. HOOK EM!!

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1 Comment

  1. reply to  #1

    Ross

    University is putting information cards with season football tickets explaining improper benefits with student athletes. Its a start!

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