NCAA Rule View

Via Ian Rapoport of the Birmingham News. Click Here to view the NCAA rule page:

15.2.3.1 Dollar Limit.

15.2.3.1.1 Eligibility Ramifications — Restitution for Receipt of Improper Benefits.

For violations of Bylaw 15.2.3.1 in which the value of noncourse-related required books is $100 or less, the eligibility of the individual (prospective or enrolled student-athlete) shall not be affected conditioned on the individual repaying the value of the benefit to a charity of his or her choice. The individual, however, shall remain ineligible from the time the institution has knowledge of the receipt of the impermissible benefit until the individual repays the benefit. Violations of this bylaw remain institutional violations per Constitution 2.8.1, and documentation of the individual’s repayment shall be forwarded to the enforcement services staff with the institution’s self report of the violation. (Adopted: 4/24/03 effective 8/1/03)

What does this mean? I have no earthly idea. The Ball State case seems to be mentioned, although rumor has it that the scope of this issue at Bama is a good bit smaller. Plus, BSU’s administration did nothing of great note in trying to contact the NCAA or conference officials. Still, nothing is official until the University releases more information.

BTW, congrats to Glen Coffee for his baptism this Sunday. Sad to see it over-shadowed thanks to bad timing.

College Loans & Cuomo

As mentioned in the preview post, The New York Attorney General, Andrew Cuomo, has released a statement regarding college education lenders and college athletic departments. Why does this matter to the average Alabama fan? Well, Cuomo’s news release mentioned 3 universities from the state of Alabama (Auburn, UAB, & North Alabama).

After doing so research, it has become quite apparent to me that one of Cuomo’s main goals as AG in New York is to sniff out every single unethical loan policy he can find. If you visit his site, you can find a stockpile of press releases, statements, and settlements regarding this topic. I won’t link every single one for you since would take up a good bit of space (I’m not joking, he’s very serious about this stuff, and has too many links to show on this blog). I’m starting to wonder if Cuomo has higher political ambitions in the next decade or so. Being the leader on this issue would be a HUGE feather in the proverbial cap for any politician.

But, back to this student loan story. I’m not sure that there will be anything juicy coming out about Auburn, UAB, or UNA athletics. But, then again, he did prove that the athletic director of Dowling College on Long Island received $75 for every new application, so you never know. I imagine every school on that list will make a deal sooner or later.

His goal is to either reimburse students for the cost of revenue sharing agreements between Universities and the lending companies, or have the companies and universities agree to his code of conduct and donate to his national fund regarding this matter. Let’s take a look at some of the settlements regarding the student loan industry the past year. The dollar figures next to the link represent the amount of money either donated to his fund, or the payments to students and their families:

Cuomo is basically trying to change the way every student loan company does business. His new Student Bill of Rights seems to be putting some pressure on the schools and companies to change their ways in order to save face. The Student Bill of Rights codifies Cuomo’s College Loan Code of Conduct, the basis for settlements with lenders and schools across the country. This latest move appears to be one of the biggest agreements he’s ever tried to pull off.

How does Cuomo do it? Well, for starters, he’s done his homework and has been calling organizations out regarding their practices:
Read the rest of this entry »

Kickbacks From Education Lenders?

NY’s Cuomo expands student loan probe to athletic departments

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is now investigating whether top college athletic departments nationwide — including those at Auburn University, Ohio University and Texas Christian University — steered student athletes to education lenders in exchange for kickbacks.

–UPDATE–

It turns out that there are two other Alabama universities involved in this. From Cuomo’s website:

The schools that received subpoenas and document requests include: Arkansas State University; Auburn University; Bowling Green State University; CAL State Sacramento; Central Michigan University; Colorado State University; East Carolina University; Florida Atlantic University; Georgetown University; Georgia Tech; Georgia State University; Howard University; Indiana State University; Marquette University; Ohio University; Oregon State University; Rutgers University; Southern Illinois University; Tennessee Tech; Texas Christian University; Tulane University; University of Alabama-Birmingham; UCLA; UNC Greensboro; University of Central Florida; University of Detroit Mercy; University of Houston; University of Kansas; University of Louisville; University of New Orleans; University of North Alabama; University of Oregon; University of Pittsburgh; University of South Florida; University of Texas at San Antonio; University of Texas El Paso; University of Texas Pan American; Wayne State University; Wright State University; Youngstown State University

Posted in NCAA. 1 Comment »

Are NCAA Investigations Still Relevant?

The NCAA employs 25 investigators. Do you know how many of them work as full-time NCAA investigators? The answer is THREE. That’s right, they only employ 3 full-time investigators with 22 part timers to police every school in the NCAA. Miles Brand’s great bastion of college athletics is behind the times in a big way.

Armen Keteyian of HOFMag.com enlightens us:

So the fact that Michael Michaels, an investor in New Era, was reportedly attempting to steer [Reggie] Bush to a San Diego agent by the name of David Caravantes, is straight from the Casablanca school of news. So is the fact reporters broke the story and not the NCAA. Because in the Real World, the NCAA, for all its talk of insuring a “means of accountability” and “integrity and fair play among its members,” is so outgunned in these matters it’s not even funny. Or maybe it is. You know how many full-time investigators the gumshoes from Indianapolis have to police issues involving renegade agents? Three. As in One, Two…That’s not enough to cover the MAC let alone the Pac-10.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve known the heads of Enforcement for years, from David Berst to David Price, and they try. But how much can a total of 25 investigators, mostly lawyers and ex-jocks, really do when it comes to more than 325 Division I programs and the personal lives of thousands of student-athletes and their families? The system is so sophisticated now, so discreet, the corruption so enveloping, as to be opaque. The only way news like L’affaire Bush ever surfaces now is when estranged business associates (Ornstein) or losers (Michaels and New Era) seek retribution or revenge, and intrepid reporters like Charles Robinson and Jason Cole are given the time and resources needed to investigate such allegations and connect the dots.

So how can the NCAA justify focusing on schools like Alabama and Oklahoma while there are many different opportunities possibly being missed? Well, they probably can’t behind closed doors. But, in my opinion, there is a possible answer no one seems to be discussing. The NCAA wants to rule by setting examples, hoping to shock everyone into submission.

Take the Albert Means situation. Had there not been a secret witness dressed in bright butterscotch orange, Alabama may have skated on to freedom (not counting Spurrier’s letter that is). But, once they were provided with what they deemed reasonable evidence and testimony, the allegations were too egregious to ignore.

Let’s face it, we did deserve to be caught after trying to pull off such a huge bribe. But, my biggest beef has always been what I see as the cherry picking of provable cases by the NCAA. If they feel that they cannot prove it from an initial glimpse, or don’t receive enough evidence, then they will honestly just hope for it to disappear, ala Bush and Michael Michaels. The same could be said about the Oklahoma situation as well.

They spent the many years after SMU covering their eyes and ears, pretending that they have done enough after forcing the only death penalty to date; look at them now. They’ve fallen so far behind they may never recover, so they simply pick and choose in order to appear that they are actually making a real difference. This way they can give those who wish to see the rules being enforced a bone every once in a while in order to calm the masses.

This could very well be the biggest period of cheating college athletics has ever witnessed. Just pray that we never have to be an example ever again.

So please leave a response and tell me if you think the NCAA and their investigation methods are still relevant and effective.

Kramer & Delany: College Football Kings

When Roy Kramer stepped down as the Commissioner of the SEC, he was seen as the ‘King of College Football’. Not only did he change the way people in college football think, but he changed the money college football makes. He was a a visionary and a hated man, all in a span of 12 years (1990-2002).

Now, with Kramer missing from the world of College Football, you have to wonder who is the new pioneer of the game. While no commissioner in the game today is nearly as powerful as Kramer, there is one who has enacted changes in the game that other conferences are starting to follow. His name is Jim Delany, and he is the Commissioner of the Big 10 Conference. Not only has he started trends that are being–or soon will be–followed in the game today, but he even possesses qualities similar to Kramer.

He helped to create instant replay in College football, which is now used by every major conference in the NCAA. He and the Big 10 are also about to unveil the Big 10 Network, a channel devoted to nothing but Big 10 athletics. You have to admit that there are plenty of SEC fans wondering when we’ll see an SEC-TV. While Kramer’s creations were more ground-breaking than anything Delany has done, you have to respect the man for trying to improve the game (well, for the conferences and schools at least). I do need to point out that Delany did start the conference expansion craze when Penn State joined the Big 10 in 1991.

Delany is almost like a mini-me of Kramer when you think about it. His two biggest innovations (instant replay, Big 10 Network) are blazing a new trail, but they are not as ground breaking as Kramer’s (SEC Championship Game, the BCS). They have both seen national championships for their conferences in both football and basketball. But again, Delany falls short compared to Kramer is this category (Kramer: 3 football titles, 3 basketball titles. Delany: 2 football titles, 1 basketball title).

While Delany is seen as the biggest opponent of a CFB playoff in the game today, he isn’t being portrayed as the enemy as much as Kramer was during his day. Delany is disliked for other reasons as well, such as his comments about the SEC. Unfortunately for Delany, the Big 10 really hasn’t taken the top spot like the SEC did under Kramer (of course, some cheating was possibly involved…. kinda, sorta, definitely). Delany does lead the way in whining.
I guess the only question now is who will take Delany’s place once he steps down. Mike Slive might be the best answer, if he stays long enough. Just consider who else is available: The Big XII commissioner just resigned to work for Delany, The Big East commish isn’t too concerned with football it seems, and I have no clue who runs the ACC and PAC 10 (does the average SEC know?).

-EDIT-

Yes, I do realize the role Kramer played in the 2000-2001 Alabama probation saga. I’m just going to pretend that never happened since I’d only end up sad and angry at the world of football.

NCAA 2008: Buy or Wait?

So NCAA Football 2008 has come out, creating hysteria amongst the college football world. There are a few Bama bloggers who have already bought their copies (Todd and Memphis Tider).

My dilemma is this: I want to buy this game and play it. But, I have a PS2 (which isn’t the end of the world by any means). I want to get a game with the best graphics, or graphics good enough to satisfy most people. I know I can afford an Xbox 360 in a few weeks if I wanted that version. Or, I could save my money for a longer period of time and get a PS3 eventually.

The only problems with buying an Xbox is that I would have to go buy a lot of games for it instead of just putting in my old PS2 games into the PS3. However, the Xbox is cheaper than the PS3, and seems to run at 60 frames per second. Plus, I could just keep the PS2 and still play those old games on it.

So, I propose a set of questions to you, the reader:

1. Should I buy the game for the PS2 or wait for another system?

2. If I do buy a new system, should it be the Xbox 360 or the Playstation 3?

3. Am I stupid for wasting a post on this topic?

4. What would Nick Saban do?

5. Is EA Sports just messing with my head? If so, how successful are their tactics on me compared to the rest of the country?

ncaa-08-custom-cover-43.jpg

Temptation: Do you really want to spend the rest of your life wondering…

Recruiting Hypocrisy

USC has a commitment form a 14 year old boy. Yes, an 8th grader has already decided to play for the Trojans before figuring out what High School he will attend.

In a world where every move in college athletics in this state is being looked at through a microscope, it amazes me what can be ignored as an actual issue. The offering of scholarships to Sophomore, Freshman, and Jr. High basketball players seems to be a silent problem that isn’t going to stop anytime soon. It even isn’t a bigger issue than anything supposedly done by Nick Saban and what Oklahoma did with a car dealership.

Coaches are not allowed to have in-person contact recruits off-campus prior to their senior year of high school. Tim Floyd of USC used this rule to his advantage by talking to one Ryan Boatright in a Radisson hotel during a senior elite basketball camp. Pat Forde has the story on ESPN.com:

There is some question whether the Radisson — which serves as a dorm for some USC students and was the player housing for the elite camp — is considered part of campus. The USC compliance office had no comment on the issue this week. Sports information director Tim Tessalone said the recruitment of Boatright is being reviewed, but there is no evidence of wrongdoing.

While I’m not letting Tim Floyd and USC off the hook, it should be noted that they are not the only ones engaging in trying to sway young talent their way. Floyd is just the first documented case of an actual commitment from a Junior High student. Kentucky’s new Basketball Coach, Billy Gillispie, has oral commitments from two members of the class of 2010. Baylor University has a couple of commitments for 2010 as well.

Now don’t put this practice and special coaching camps in the same category. There are no scholarship offers or anything close to it during a coach’s camp. The only type of camp that can be actually tied to this are the All-American/Junior Elite camps mentioned in Forde’s article.

After reading all of this, I’m left asking myself how could this not be as important as talking to a high school senior 30 days before you’re allowed to per NCAA rules. So far, the NCAA has yet to say anything regarding this kind of recruitment. In fact, Freshman basketball players are not deemed as recruitable prospects by the NCAA. This may be due to the fact that Freshman basketball players were not recruited in years past. But, as the methods change, so must the NCAA. If something is not done about this soon, chalk this one up as another sign of NCAA hypocrisy.

As for Boatright, it seems that his mother is upset with the people who are not happy with this kind of situation:

“I thank God that there’s positive things on the news about my son. It’s not about a murder or something else. Every day you turn on the TV and see an African-American young man being murdered. “Whether they offered him something at 14, 16 or 18, what is wrong with it? What if it was a scholarship for good grades? Wouldn’t that be exciting? My son makes good grades and he is good at sports. Hey, he’s a good kid. He’s been trained to work hard and study hard.”

I’m left speechless.

For now, all we can do is wait and see what actually happens.

P.S.

Word is that Gottfried is already setting up his Pokemon trading card camp for 5th grades that excel in basketball.

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