NCAA issues with Compliance & Recruiting

Over the last 2 weeks, more universities have come into the news about issues with compliance or recruiting. Oregon and Ohio State have become 2 of the newest culprits, following University of Southern California, Tennessee and most recently UConn who have been guilty of infractions. It all began with Southern California’s recruitment of Reggie Bush which they were given a 2 year bowl ban, 4 years probation, a whole year’s games which led to the 2004 National Championship and the forfeiture of 30 scholarships.  The NCAA ended up making an example out of the Trojans with this ruling, considerably more harsh than any other penalty given out. Now USC is a team which every year is in the top 25 in the AP poll and a serious contender to go to a major bowl game. With these sanctions, despite how good the record, they will not be able to participate in bowl games for 2 years. For something that never impacted any of these athletes during their athletic careers.

Next, was the University of Tennessee and their Men’s Basketball team. Bruce Pearl was suspended for the first 8 games of this year’s SEC season for what is being called, “a violation of NCAA rules and misleading investigators.”  Unlike with USC, Pearl’s infractions were only specific to the SEC therefore making his penalty specific to the conference.  Initially they had considered suspending Bruce Pearl for the whole season, but his admission of misleading the investigators gave him a lighter sentence. So he admits to lying to investigators, and only gets 8 games. Seems a little too light for the punishment, considering Tennessee played non-conference games during this time and Pearl was able to coach every single one of them.

Then there was the case with Jim Calhoun and the University of Connecticut. Calhoun was suspended for 3 FUTURE Big East games in what is being called, “failure to create an atmosphere of compliance within the program.”  These will be the first 3 conference games of the 2011-2012 season. UConn was also hit with scholarship reductions for three academic years, recruiting restrictions, and dissociation of a booster and three years probation. Now why is Calhoun being suspended next season, because the investigation is still underway?

Recently, the University of Oregon  football program popped up in the news again, this time not for the right reasons. The NCAA announced that they would be investigating the program based on payments made to recruiting services which helped steer top recruits such as LaMichael James and one of this year’s top running backs in Lache Seastrunk. While this may be legal on paper what happened, the NCAA is conducting an investigation looking for any sort of indiscretions about this which to me is the smartest idea. USC in the wake of a dominating stretch in the Pac-10 conference in football was penalized, since the penalties, Oregon has flat-out dominated the conference and doesn’t look to have many contenders next year, with USC still bowl ineligiservices ble. But there is something sketchy going on with this service Oregon claims to have. They plaid $25,000 for someones to recruit the top running back who happens to be from Texas. How many top recruits from Texas leave the state, to the Pac-10 nonetheless or even to play in the Pac-10. Something isn’t right about this. Not because I am a USC fan, but I just don’t see this situation panning out as some over-hyped action by Oregon and the NCAA.

Ohio State, which before the Sugar Bowl this year had suspended 5 players for issues with selling memorabilia for tattoos, today announced Jim Tressel was recieving a 2 game ban and would be fined $250,000. Just 2 games? Apparently Tressel knew about these incidents in April of last year, and still did nothing! In most cases this is a fireable offense. He chose to take a blind eye to what was going on in front of him, so he decided to let it go. Then when the NCAA found out, he makes the players involved take a vow that they would return for next season in order to play in the bowl game.  Tressel also had been informed that two of his players had been caught up in a federal drug trafficking case. Now the biggest issue is should Tressel be fired for what he did not tell NCAA? There is information out that he received an email in April about the issue and he said he would get right on it, yet still those 5 players were able to play every game this season and will not sit out until next year. The games which they are suspended for are against the likes of Akron, Toledo, Miami (FL), Colorado and Michigan State. The only game out of these which should give them trouble is Michigan State. So for these players not to suffer a serious penalty, really bothers me. This is something they did themselves, meaning it should affect them during their season. In the case with USC and their players, none of them committed the offense. Also, why is the NCAA allowing these players and coaches choose when they serve their suspensions. Something is not right, and the NCAA needs to fix this soon or else there will be a bigger issue in the future.

 

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