The word is out.
Allegedly USC football coach Pete Carroll has escaped to the NFL just ahead of violations being imposed by the NCAA into benefits provided to former Trojan Reggie Bush.
This comes after former USC basketball coach Tim Floyd greased the palm of a handler to insure that top prospect O.J. Mayo became a Trojan.
It seems that USC is treading dangerously close to the NCAA determining that there was a “…lack of institutional control” and the serious penalties that come with it.
First, let’s address the elephant in the room. Michigan is no stranger to NCAA violations. The Ed Martin fiasco which brought criminals Chris Webber and Robert Traylor to Ann Arbor crippled the Wolverine basketball program for nearly a decade.
We Wolverine fans have seen first hand what happens when the NCAA brings the hammer down.
But it’s not enough. Too often coaches leave a program tainted with NCAA violations only to turn up at another school with a bigger contract and a clean slate.
The NCAA needs to make the following changes when a program gets caught breaking the rules.
1. Release the innocent players
It’s wrong for players to be punished for a violation that may have occurred prior to their attendance at a school. The only fair thing to do is give them option to re-open their recruiting, transfer and be immediately eligible the next season. Of course, unless they were part of the problem.
2. Require coaches to have certification to be eligible for NCAA post season bowls or tournaments
It’s very simple, if you’re on the coaching staff of the school that gets caught with major violations you lose your certification for five years. Any school is welcome to hire you but (1) the school will get no revenue from the NCAA post season tournaments or bowls and (2) you will not coach in any post season games. If you go to a pro league, the certification clock doesn’t start until you return to college.
3. Widen the culpability for NCAA violations
There are far too many people who look the other way while violations are happening. Too few people on coaching and athletic departments pay little or no price when a program gets busted for cheating. The NCAA needs to encourage people to constantly be on the look-out for potential violation rather then looking the other way. You need to make their future job prospects depend on it.
4. Simplify the rules
The NCAA rulebook is a jumble of contradictions and unrealistic guidelines. It needs to be simplified and streamlined to be easily understandable.
5. Set a future date for adoption
Give schools two years for these new rules to simplified and prepare for the changes.