I’m sorry, was that headline too aggressive? It’s hard not to be annoyed with the NCAA today, I guess. After all, decades of admitted academic fraud, much of which involved student-athletes, resulted in precisely… no penalties for North Carolina.
Keep in mind, this is the same NCAA that stripped more than 100 wins from Syracuse men’s basketball, along with some from the football program, in addition to docking the Orange hoops team scholarships for four years, after a few players were paid (a relatively small chunk of change) for working at a YMCA, one player got help with a paper, and the basketball program failed to live up to its own (non-NCAA mandated) drug policy on a couple occasions.
But potentially hundreds of cases of academic shenanigans for North Carolina, as it turns out, don’t fall under Mark Emmert’s umbrella. Or, I’m sorry – in his wheelhouse. I know that’s the term he likes to use. His wheelhouse.
Well, he can go out to his wheelhouse and shove his umbrella straight up his ass, as far as I’m concerned.
I’m not even mad for Syracuse’s sake here, either. I’m mad for the sake of every school – especially the ones who do things the right way, and don’t break any rules or create fake classes in order to help keep people eligible. And, oh yeah – the NCAA fully admitted that they are well aware of this, and they simply do not care.
“While student-athletes likely benefited from the courses, so did the general student body,” said Greg Sankey, the Division I Committee on Infractions Chief Hearing Officer. Which is apparently a position that exists.
Let’s ignore the hypocrisy that immediately jumps out when it comes to how regular students and student-athletes need to be treated the same, despite the fact that regular students can get jobs and get paid while athletes can’t (the YMCA stuff with Syracuse would never have been an issue had the people doing the work and getting paid for it not been athletes). Let’s instead focus on the fact that, apparently, because other kids benefited from the fake classes and fraudulent grading, it’s A-OK as far as the NCAA is concerned.
So if it hadn’t just been Fab Melo, but also another random student (Cab Trelo?) who got help with a paper, presumably Syracuse would have been in the clear on that one?
I could rant on and on about how stupid and pointless and useless the NCAA has become, but it’s more than likely just echoing what the bulk of the people reading this will no doubt feel toward the organization themselves. I could talk about how absurdly stupid it is that Syracuse got in trouble for a drug policy that the NCAA doesn’t even require schools to implement (it’s entirely up to the school to create a drug policy and administer it, meaning it’s just plain idiotic to actually have one – let your teams handle those things on their own and the NCAA will never bother you, so long as you keep it from becoming a documented, department-wide policy). I could talk about how, whenever a loophole presents itself, someone, somewhere, will always find a way to exploit it (and this doesn’t stop at the Division I level – I know for a fact that it happens at the Division III level) to create an advantage.
So go on, NCAA football and basketball programs. Cheat your hearts out. Create fake classes, but make sure one or two “normals” find themselves enrolled for those surefire A’s. Rick Pitino, next time be sure to hire a prostitute for some lucky schlub off the street, so that you can point out this isn’t a benefit being afforded only to basketball players.
Because the NCAA has made it abundantly clear they have no fucking clue what they’re doing, and the fact that they continue to stress the importance of the “student” athlete is entirely baseless following their preposterous conclusion that what North Carolina did falls completely out of their jurisdiction. Which – and here’s the thing – it really kinda does. But this is an organization that has hit schools with sanctions in the past for things tied to the academic side of things. It admitted that players at North Carolina were only eligible because they took fake courses, which caused the University to earn probation with regard to its accreditation.
But player eligibility apparently doesn’t fall in the NCAA’s wheelhouse, except when it does, I guess? Hold on, let me go ask Braxton Beverly, the freshman basketball player at NC State who this morning – at virtually the same exact time the NCAA was wiping its hands of the UNC case – was deemed ineligible because he had previously enrolled in summer courses at Ohio State, before deciding to play for the Wolfpack instead in the wake of Thad Matta leaving the Buckeyes. That’s right: a kid was penalized for having the audacity to actually attend real, accredited classes before the coach he pledged to play for left, while kids at UNC who took the most ludicrously fake classes this side of underwater basket weaving fall outside the NCAA’s jurisdiction.
Because that’s completely fair, and makes all the sense in the world.
Ugh. Guys, the NCAA is just really stupid, and I really hate it.