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.
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.
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!!
The Cam Newton ruling is stunning to me. The NCAA says his father broke rules by shopping his son, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong for Cam to play stupid while boosters and Cecil Newton negotiated a private transaction. I sort of get their point – if the school itself and the player itself didn’t do anything improper, what the heck are they going to do about it?
Jadeveon Clowney is the top recruit in the country according to Rivals.com. He’s a bonecrushing 6’6″ defensive end from the Palmetto State that reminds scouts of Mario Williams, a former #1 pick in the NFL Draft and an All-Pro. Cownley hasn’t committed yet but has offers from 13 BCS conference schools from Alabama to South Carolina to all the way out West from Southern Cal. At this point, why commit to anyone? Just get your dad to contact each school’s booster club and get the best price. Rivals.com’s #3 prospect is a Virginia linebacker named Curtis Grant, who runs a 4.5 40 and is 6’3″, 222 as a high school senior. There’s 22 schools after Grant and he hasn’t made a decision. Why make any decision that doesn’t involve getting paid? Just let your parents get a media spanking from the NCAA and smile as they cash the check.
I guess it’s nice to know that Texas has one of the wealthiest alumni bases in America, but now we face an ethical decision. We share a conference with Oklahoma and Texas A&M – who have a long history of shady behavior and are going into the postseason while the Longhorns stay home this year. If Pandora’s box has indeed been opened – the Ags and the Sooners both will be at the front of the line with their checkbooks open. Texas can pay coordinators and position coaches more than the majority of head coaches in the FBS…but does any of that matter if OU and A&M start paying for five star athletes? Just because RC and Switzer aren’t running things doesn’t mean those alums went away.
There’s probably some 14 year old freshman phenom right now leading his team into the playoffs this weekend that will become the first million dollar recruit if his dad plays this system right. Coaches and scouts will flock to his games in 2014 watching him shred opponents while praying that their school’s rich alums and the phenom’s family can work out a deal behind their backs. As long as the athletic department stays ignorant and the recruit’s parents tell him where he’s going to school, this is deemed acceptable by the NCAA. He can roll onto his new campus in a 80K ride and have a 200K off campus condo if his parents bought it all for him, right?
All this talk about the NCAA closing this loophole is probably dumb. That says that they don’t want a filthy program like Auburn to get punished for THIS season. Auburn has faced sanctions a whopping 7 times since 1950. This is a quote from former Auburn president William Muse after the NCAA dropped the hammer on Auburn in 1993 for alums paying players: “If this program is to survive, there can be no more days like this one, intentional or unintentional.”
Guess you lucked out on this one, War Eagle. Can Reggie Bush have his Heisman back now?
Texas commit Malcolm Brown and Cibolo Steele made their season debut last night in a nationally televised game on ESPN. Steele struggled early and was overall a little overmatched up front by San Antonio Madison but Brown definitely showed why he is one of the top running backs in the country.
He had to fight hard for nearly yard and some of his 5 yard runs showed more about his elite power and vision than his longer ones. Brown finished the night with 179 total yards and 2 touchdowns, most of which coming on the amazing 88-yard touchdown run below:
You can find full video highlights here which include some great stuff from Texas target Aaron Green and another angle of Brown’s run.
The state’s top player and maybe the program’s most important recruit of the last 5 years has committed to the Longhorns. Cibolo Steele running back Malcolm Brown officially committed to Texas today, causing many Texas fans to step back from the ledge. Once considered a near Texas “lock”, the longer Brown’s recruitment dragged on the more panicked fans became that he might end up choosing Alabama.
Watch Brown’s junior highlight video below to see what they hype is about:
The 16th commitment is in for 2011. David Smoak is reporting that linebacker Kendall Thompson out of Carthage has made his pledge to the Texas Longhorns. From Smoaky…
For the second time this week the Texas Longhorns have received a commitment from an East Texas blue-chip linebacker. This time it’s Carthage linebacker Kendall Thompson (6’3, 232, 4.7) who was offered on Saturday afternoon and committed to Mack Brown when offered, “He asked me if I wanted to be a Longhorn and I said yes sir, this is a dream come true for me, I’ve been a Longhorns fan since I was a little kid so let’s make it official right now.”
Thompson will likely end up at defensive end in college, possibly the next “Buck” defensive end for Will Muschamp’s defense that [tag]Sergio Kindle[/tag] excelled at this season. According to Orangebloods.com he’s currently slotted as the #34 player in the state and he’s #48 at Inside Texas. The Texas coaches reportedly really coveted Thompson and I expect him to climb the rankings once people get to see more film of him.
Be sure to check out the full 2011 Texas football commit list to see all 16 recruits.
Wow. The kid is huge. The newest Texas linebacker commit Steve Edmond is 6-foot-3 and in the junior highlight video below he is flying around killing people. He might end up at defensive end in college but wherever he plays he is going to make a people fear him. Watch:
David Smoak of Smoaky.com is reporting that stud linebacker Steve Edmond has verbally committed to Texas. If it happens in East Texas, you can bet Smoak will know about this so you can pretty much count this as confirmed.
This is yet another huge get for defensive coordinator Will Muschamp. Edmond is one of the top players in the state at any position and is rated in the top 10 on both Orangebloods.com’s LSR 100 and Inside Texas’ Texas Top 100.
Nobody recruits like Mack Brown. He hits early and hard. Only a couple of weeks after inking a top 2010 class, Mack and his coaching staff are 13 recruits into a strong 2011 class. ESPNU recruiting experts discuss Texas’ quick start…
Before the first Junior Day for the 2011 class even started Saturday, the new commits started rolling in on Friday. Star wide receiver [tag]Jaxon Shipley[/tag] out of Brownwood (not Colt McCoy’s roommate) was the very first one Friday afternoon and the commits didn’t stop until Saturday night when lineman [tag]Marcus Hutchins[/tag] was the 13th high school junior to tell Mack Brown and Co. he wanted to be a Longhorn.
Here’s the full list of future Horns…
We’ll have thoughts on each recruits (as well as ratings predictions) soon.