For The Love Of Money (Part 2)

By Gary Norris Gray, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: June 19, 2010

CALIFORNIA (BASN) — There is a second issue the NCAA must address in order to move forward to keep the sanctity and legitimacy of the institution of sports in colleges and universities.

It’s the constant issue of illegal recruitment and under the table payments to student athletes by boosters, sports agents, and alumni.

The students get penalized while the coaches, athletic directors, college presidents remain untouched. The coaches are even rewarded with new jobs after being caught or accused of misdeeds.

For smaller schools, an event like this could be a death penalty. The SMU football program had to endure this NCAA penalty from 1986-88. SMU finally abandoned their football program for two years.

It has taken the Mustangs almost two decades to recover. They could not recruit players for two years, they could not play home games for a year and they lost 55 scholarships.

It got so bad that some SMU players had to play defense and offense. Meanwhile, larger schools like USC, Miami (Fla.), Michigan, or Cal will just ride out the suspension and rebuild their programs.

The Trojans got slapped with suspensions and a two year Bowl probation for 2010-11 season. They will lose 30 football and basketball scholarships in the next three years but no DEATH PENALTY.

This is USC’s third infraction in 30 years. The Trojans should have been put in the NCAA Death Penalty box just like the SMU Mustangs. However, the NCAA does not want to lose this revenue producing cash cow nor do they want to see USC going through the same problems SMU had 25 years ago.

“For the love of money People will lie, Lord, they will cheat For the love of money People don’t care who they hurt or beat For the love of money” This is the hypocrisy of highest order by the NCAA. Former head coach Pete Carroll of the Trojan football program rode off in the sunset with a new lucrative rewarding contract from the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks.

Trojan football fans, the American Sports media, and ESPN will blame Reggie Bush, and O.J. Mayo fellow student-athletes. This is not fair or right. What happened to Mike Garrett, Athlete Director and C.L.

Max Nikias, President?

“For the love of money People will steal from their mother For the love of money People will rob their own brother For the love of money” At least the NCAA did not completely lose it’s collective mind and will allow USC Trojan juniors and seniors to leave the football program and transfer to any university they wish. This will only happen one time.

The NCAA is still gun shy about instituting the death penalty on any university after witnessing the damage done to the SMU football program. It’s a matter of capital now not morals and fairness. As Oakland Raider part owner Al Davis would say “Just Win Baby”.

No Al, it’s just make money, baby.

The next question is why did it take the NCAA legal executives four years to enforce these infractions on the Trojan football program?

In other instances, they enforced these same rules on smaller schools immediately.

When the football, basketball, or baseball programs commit these kinds of offenses, the President and the Athletic Directors should be held accountable.

Universities and NCAA executives know what has transpired with boosters, alumni, and sports agents on college’s campuses and they still look the other way instead of taking action.

Even famous basketball coaches like the late great John Wooden had problems with Bruin boosters, Alums, and sports agents at UCLA.

Two-time offender John Calipari of Kentucky should be on the death penalty watch. If he leaves or when he leaves Lexington, the Wildcat alumni better check their pockets and the NCAA rules committee better check his record.

Calipari has left a trail of destruction wherever he has coached.

Just ask the players, coaches, and alumni, at the University of Massachusetts, or the University of Memphis. The Minutemen have yet to recover from Calipari’s shenanigans 20 years ago.

The jury is out on the Tigers basketball program as Calipari took three basketball starters with him to play in Lexington, Kentucky last year.

“I know money is the root of all evil Do funny things to some people Give me a nickel, brother can you spare a dime Money can drive some people out of their minds” Rules have to be changed to protect the school and the student athlete. Rules have to be changed so coaches cannot run away from their knowledge of corruption without paying a dime.

Until the NCAA executives clean up known clandestine programs and known shady coaches this problem will continue to exist. Until the American sports fan request and demand changes this behavior will continue.

Until coaches and schools stop being so greedy the problem will grow.

NEXT: The series conclusion and some solutions.