Let Bylaws Be Bylaws?

By Chris Lauderback on June 2, 2009 at 7:00 am
Stop starin' at ErinBeats an NCAA logo image, right?!

With no on-field football activity to address, there's been a flurry of stories breaking down historical and real time troubles schools are having following the five inch thick NCAA bylaws.

On one hand, I want to think the amount of rules and the depth of their specificity is too much for any athletic department to realistically govern themselves with a high degree of compliance. On the other, it's clear there's no shortage of athletes looking to pocket some extra cheddar along with a high volume of coaches, boosters, agents and entourages willing to do almost anything to help themselves thus putting the NCAA in a spot where they are essentially forced to have a rule book as thick as Gholston's pipes.

It's always en vogue to pile on the NCAA, and there are certainly many valid reasons to do so, but when you consider the Dispatch noted almost 85% of all Football Bowl Subdivision athletic programs have been guilty of major infractions isn't the NCAA really in a no win situation thanks to declining morals, high expectations and a quest for the almighty dollar? Well, maybe not since a whopping 19 schools are still clean. Nineteen.

Considering the unrealistic expectation of any program following all the rules, is it time to streamline the totality of the regulations while getting tougher on the more egregious infractions? That will never happen but the NCAA's current battle seems like the war on drugs - a perpetual cycle of red tape and low level punishments while the real problem grows by the day.

Of course, it's probably impossible to determine exactly where to draw the line but focusing efforts on more sinister examples of recruiting violations and improper benefits seems to make the most sense while not being so concerned about things such as dinner. Speaking of dinner, maybe the NCAA would be more likely to back off violations such as a free meal if university presidents such as our very own wasn't apparently guilty of committing a minor violation. What's funny about this one is that Gee didn't even violate a rule by buying Laurinaitis dinner, he broke it by purchasing dinner for the the family members James had in tow.

On the recruiting front, what's your take on Auburn's throwdown over the weekend that has caught the NCAA's eye? The event was already a violation because it was advertised that recruits would be on campus while a second violation occurred when the players were announced by name, including their positions, in front of the assembled crowd of 100. These are both secondary violations so recruit eligibility isn't in jeopardy but would this be considered serious in your view?

If you were in charge of the NCAA, what changes would you make or do you think the current set up is as good as it gets considering the size and scope of the problem?