Last week when Yahoo! Sports dropped the proverbial bomb on the University of Miami Hurricanes’ athletic department, people should have been shocked.
There should have been outrage at a once-storied program breaking and bending the rules of the NCAA. The scandalous story of money, sex, and drugs should have shaken the college landscape to its core. People should have been disgusted about the way Miami conducted its business so contrary to what college athletics is all about.
But it wasn’t shocking or surprising. Sadly, it merely came across as a sign of the times for how far college sports have fallen.
Something needs to be fixed with the NCAA, because it is broken. All across the country, the top college headlines are most often about the violations and treasons coaches and schools commit, rather t hen than what they accomplish on the field. When a storm passes at one school, it is sure to pass onto the next one. Last week it was Miami. This week it’s Bruce Pearl and violations he committed when he was at Tennessee. Who’s going to be next? Any guess is as good as the next one.
To think there isn’t some sort of violation going on at every school across America is ignorant.
There’s always going to be some player getting illegal benefits from a booster or a coach bending the rules when it comes to recruitment. The reason why all of this keeps happening is the NCAA is so inconsistent with the punishments it hands out.
Why not cheat when the punishment is a slap on the wrist?
It’s similar to the steroid scandal in baseball. If one player is using steroids in order to stay relevant, another will too. If one coach is illegally recruiting a kid and getting away with it, another coach is going to have to do the same thing if he wants to keep his program afloat.
This is where the NCAA needs to finally take a stand.
It needs to decide whether or not to pay players. I personally don’t know if this is a good idea, because it opens up a pandora’s box of problems. How much should they be paid? Would one player earn more than another? What about schools that can’t afford to dish out what the bigger schools can?
The other option the NCAA could go with is the “Death Penalty.” That’s the term being dished out for terminating the Miami athletics department. Sure, this seems harsh and an absolute travesty for sports fans in Florida, but it would sure send a message. How many coaches or players would knowingly break the rules if they knew it would kill their program? What do you think has fixed the steroids problem in baseball? The MLB penalties for steroid users are incredibly tough. You get caught one time and it’s 50 games. A second time is 100 and a third is a whole season. That league makes it so players can’t afford to cheat.
The NCAA needs to finally decide where it stands. It either needs to make it so coaches and players wouldn’t dare to violate the rules, or just let everybody get away with everything.
Until then, people will continue to be numb to every scandal that continues to pop up every week.