“The NCAA hasn’t busted a single big-time men’s basketball program in nearly two years. It hasn’t nailed a major football program in nearly 15 months. It’s the longest stretch of compliance for the once iron-fisted organization in 46 years and the second longest ever according to an analysis of the NCAA’s major infractions database.”
- Dan Wetzel, in a must read piece NCAA naps during golden age of cheating from September 24, 2008.
Tip of the hat to Deadspin for highlighting the NCAA’s pursuit for justice against the basketball powerhouse Southeast Missouri State today. (Link) The Redhawks now join the likes of Middle Tennessee State volleyball and Texas Southern tennis as recent NCAA problem children.
The NCAA has thrown the book at Southeast Missouri State basketball, vacating all their men’s basketball wins from 2006-2008 because an assistant gave impermissible benefits to a player—by giving him a lift home to see his newborn baby.
Oh, it gets much more evil. Another basketball player received money to cover his unpaid “institutional fees.” How much money? $239 dollars. Coaches also committed the crime of “observation of out-of-season pick-up games” and offseason weightlifting. That’s three years probation for you. Oh, and coach Scott Edgar—who has already been fired—was given a “show-cause” penalty that pretty much means he can’t work for the next three years, because he is obviously a menace.
The women’s basketball team got it too, because a booster paid the tuition of a former player. A player who had used up all her eligibility, but was one semester away from finishing her degree and couldn’t get financial aid. Student-athletes: Good. Students?: Fuck them.
Thank goodness Southeast Missouri State is being put its place. I feel safer already.
The moment I saw this my mind immediately clicked west and thought of the USC Trojans. Evidently I wasn’t the only one:
Southeast Missouri State was hit hard today by the NCAA with a three-year probation based on impermissible benefits for players, illegal observation of players during a dead period, and unethical conduct by their previous head coach, Scott Edgar. Normally we wouldn’t do a separate post about this, but listen to what the ‘impermissible benefits’ on the men’s side amounted to: a one-time institutional fee paid on a player’s behalf for $239, and a one-time car ride by an assistant coach for 171 miles. Um, yeah, good work there, NCAA. SEMO will take a one-scholarship penalty for the 2009-10 season and will have to vacate all of its 2006-07 and 2007-08 wins from its record. It’s good to see that the NCAA gumshoes are completely on top of these scofflaws! So… um… what’s the latest on Reggie Bush and OJ Mayo, Mr. Brand?
The following are a few articles and some selected text about USC’s current dose of ‘double trouble’ that the world continues to wait to see resolved:
(1) NCAA needs to throw the book at USC by Michael Rosenberg.
(2) Double Trouble lands USC atop of era’s cheat sheet by Gregg Doyel (you know that we have to feel passionate about something to link to this bozo).
There have been dirtier college football programs. Southern Methodist with its Pony Expre$$ comes to mind. Oklahoma and all the hell that was breaking loose under Barry Switzer. Almost any of the schools coached by Jackie Sherrill.
There have been dirtier college basketball programs. Kentucky in the late 1980s with bulging Emery envelopes and bogus SAT test scores. California with Todd Bozeman. Baylor and that serpent, Dave Bliss.
But there has never been a dirtier combination of college football and college basketball programs, at the same time, than the Southern California Trojans.
This is cartoon stuff, the massive, two-sport improprieties being investigated at USC. This is Todd Bozeman meets Bobby Bowden. This is one coach being accused of outright cheating, and another coach being accused of not knowing, or wanting to know, the cheating happening with his players.
This is the most scandalous athletic program of this era. And that’s saying something. So the question to ask right now is not this one: Who should be fired at USC?
The question is this: Who shouldn’t?
And USC looks like the textbook definition of “lack of institutional control.” This is the worst charge the NCAA can level. It means you didn’t care about the rules.
So what does USC do, with its basketball and football programs under siege? Ideally, athletic director Mike Garrett would be disgusted by what has happened to his alma mater. But if Garrett were capable of that, we would have seen it already.
Garrett must know the Trojans can’t skate on this one. And don’t be surprised if USC tries to sacrifice basketball, and Tim Floyd, to save Pete Carroll and the football program.
There is, of course, always the chance that the NCAA botches this completely — that NCAA investigators file a harsh report but the always-dubious Infractions Committee gives USC a Get Out of Jail Free card.
If that happens, the NCAA should change its logo to a mouth without teeth. This case is a litmus test for the entire NCAA. The evidence is there. Let’s see what the NCAA does about it.
When it comes to NCAA issues and basketball programs, no fan base in the country has been more negatively impacted through the years by a peverse and disproportionate amount of punishment compared to the crime than NC State University. (Note that I do not blame the NCAA for any of our own self-imposed mis-management beginning around 1990. We own that as an institution of idiots.)
It is NC State that on two different occassions lost our footing as a major national power (late 1950s and 1990) for excessive punishments related to indescretions that ‘everybody was doing’ – including the harshest penalties in the history of the NCAA (to that point) in 1957 because alleged illegal payments made to Jackie Moreland that were never actually proven.
Additionally, it wouldn’t take an IQ over 90 to argue that the Wolfpack program lost a National Championship in 1973 because of ridiculous penalties levied because an assistant coach was ruled to have held illegal ‘try-outs’ for the nation’s top high school player (David Thompson) after playing in summertime pick-up basketball games on campus. To this day nobody has ever explained how a coach could be ‘trying out’ the nation’s most heavily recruited player who had already signed his scholarship papers and was scheduled to begin classes in the coming month.
To be fair, I guess I shouldn’t limit my previous comments to ‘on the basketball court’ should I? Don’t forget that it was NC State’s 1957 football team that was forced to miss (what would have been) our only appearance in the Orange Bowl in 1958 because of the basketball program. Could you imagine this kind of justice in sunny Southern California?
This link to Mike DeCourcy’s 10 Biggest College Basketball Coaching Scandals couldn’t have been more timely! Although, I struggle with the omission of Eddie Sutton and the Kentucky Wildcats of the 1980s.