Tag Archives: money

NCAA Punishments for Violations Need Change

Chip and Pete

There have recently been reports of both Auburn University and the University of Oregon having major violations with their football teams.  This allows us to revisit the punishment of vacated wins and scholarships being lost for sports programs, due to that being the most likely disciplinary action that will be taken with these schools. Both vacated wins and loss of scholarships  are the most ridiculous punishments possible. Vacating wins doesn’t do anything, but put an asterisk next to a season in the record books. Let’s take the 2005 National Championship Game for example. USC beat the crap out of Oklahoma 55-19. Now, technically no one won that game. The problem is we all remember that game. To say no one won that game is crazy. Vacated wins does nothing except take a trophy out of a case. All the players, coaches, fans and media know who won.

As for loss of scholarship, all this does is hurt a bunch of kids who had nothing to do with any of the violations. It also creates a trickle down effect that affects a few kids at the bottom of the scholarship offers pool, not the kids that have the talent to play at a Oregon or Auburn. It affects kids who probably wouldn’t even have a chance to play at the large school receiving sanctions. Let’s take a look at that USC example again.

USC lost ten scholarships per year for three years for the violations of the 2004-2005 season. That is ten kids that could have played at the top program in the country. Now, they have to go to elsewhere. That takes ten spots from ten other schools at the same level or just a step down from USC, for example: Texas, Oklahoma, Florida State and others.

Those ten spots continue to trickle down and take roster spots for kids who would have ended up at schools like Memphis, UAB, and Central Michigan.  This effect will work its way down to the Montanas and Portland States of the world. Moving through all teams, regardless of division, that can offer a full football scholarship.

There is a finite amount of scholarships that can be offered throughout college football. There are under 7,000 scholarships to the 225 FBS and FCS schools and there are over one million high school football players trying to earn that potential financial aid for education. You take ten scholarships away you aren’t taking them from the Andrew Luck and RGIII’s of the world, players of that caliber will receive a scholarship no matter what. This type of punishment is taking a scholarship from the kid who starred at a 2A high school and was going to go to Portland State. His spot was filled by the falling talent that got bumped off the better team and fell to the next best team.

The NCAA says they are punishing the school, but realistically they are punishing future kids. Even with the bowl bans, they are just taking away opportunity for kids that had nothing to do with the violations. If a kid cheated on a test in his first period class, you wouldn’t take it out on the second period class. You need to punish the one responsible. Make players pay back scholarships. Fine coaches, even if they have already left the school. Make the school pay back money. The schools and coaches are the ones who made the millions off the success of the team, not the student-athletes.

The easiest way to deal with these situations is to fine the school large amounts. Let them play in bowls still, but don’t let them collect the bowl money. Take their cut and spread it out to other schools in their conference or across the country. This doesn’t take away kids’ educations and opportunity to have the same fortunes as other football players. The fine will also take away the pointless vacating wins thing (which by the way, they should vacate losses too). It will also be determined by how much the school benefited financially off those wins. Money is the main reason these violations happen. Attacking the deep pockets of these programs would definitely get the attention of those in charge.

Start taking away the money and change will happen.

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Expectations For Athletes Might Be Too High

Mike Vrabel went down for stealing 8 beers.

Mike Vrabel went down for stealing eight beers.

Over thelast two weeks, there have been two tragedies in the NFL. Jevon Belcher murdered his girlfriend and soon after killed himself at the Kansas City Chiefs’ facility, earlier this month. This past weekend, Josh Brent was charged with intoxication manslaughter after getting in a car accident that killed his friend/teammate Jerry Brown. These aren’t the first incidents involving athletes. There have been all kinds of negative publicity, maybe not as severe, brought to the professional leagues in America by the athletes playing in them. It isn’t always drugs or alcohol. We all remember Ron Artest (now Metta World Peace) going bananas in Auburn Hills or Vernon Maxwell punching a fan back in 1995. It even goes beyond the drugs and violence. Some of the athletes are reckless with their money and eventually go bankrupt. Even the Shawn Kemps and Antonio Cromarties with herds of kids gives the professional athlete a black eye.

We all like to think we would be perfect citizens and role models, if we were in the same situation. The fact of the matter is, we wouldn’t be. Think back to the days when you were 18-22 years old, hell even in later into your 20′s. Now, give yourself what seems like an endless supply of money. Now, take that money and put it back in your pocket, because everyone wants to give you everything for free. Do you still think you would make the “right” decision every time? Doubt it. Fellas, how hard were you trying to hookup with one girl at the bar. Imagine 15 trying to hookup with you. Would you be able to turn that down? Doubt it. I’m pretty sure you would end up with a few kids with those odds. Not to mention some of those girls wouldn’t mind that phatty child support check. Ladies, imagine you have enough money to buy all the clothes and merchandise you and your friends want. The problem is it would never stop,because your friends want you to buy them everything all the time. You think it is really easy to say no?

Your work life may seem smooth now, but imagine one person heckling you constantly for three hours. Do you think you could resist not punching them in the face? We get all over athletes for just telling a fan to shut up. So, you don’t even have that option with the person coming down on you at your desk. Idon’t think many people could resist not doing or saying anything.

The point is we expect these guys, who we know are immature, to grow up overnight. We didn’t grow up overnight.  In fact, some of us still haven’t grown up and we are well on our way to our forties. I’m not saying we should cut anyone slack for murdering someone or killing someone while drinking and driving. Just think about all the mistakes you made in your life and be thankful you didn’t have two million Twitter followers and even more people finding about everything you do through news sources. You’re lucky there were only two people, who didn’t know who you were, on your “walk of shame” home or only a few people know about the time you were arrested for peeing in public.

Charles Barkley said it best: “I’m not a role model. Just because I dunk a basketball, doesn’t mean I should raise your kids.”

We put too much stock in athletes being the pinnacle of society. Their job is to entertain us through competition, not to live their lives to a standard you don’t even live yours.  Enjoy sports for what they are and don’t focus so much on the negative things players are doing in their private lives.

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Protecting The Money

The NFL isn’t concerned with injuries, just injuries to a chosen few. We all know who they are.


Ticket sellers.

The guys that pose in front of bathroom mirrors with razors, shill boots and push home and auto insurance onto the masses.

One large issue looming around the Saints, Redskins, and probably every team in the NFL is that the targets of these bounties aren’t on Joe Sixth-Rounder, throwing his body down the turf on a special teams play in an un-ceremonious fashion. It’s a target on the big players, the men who help the NFL push their business model into the billions of dollars while most of the league humps it for their version of minimum wage.

The NFL has now started investigating these allegations now that they have come to light. This will now begin some of the bigger witch-hunts in professional sports behind PED’s in Major League Baseball in our lifetime.

The general consensus I feel from reading the web, catching some sports radio from time to time and some discussions I have had with a few sports fans is that this probably has been going on for forever, and really isn’t that upsetting. The NFL is an extremely violent contact sport.

The wiring it takes to not only play this game, but to coach it at this level requires a little bit of a screw loose. The ones who orchestrates this on Sundays have insatiable thirst to demolish the opponent, whether they wear a headset or they have a mic in their helmet on game day. This mentality is what got them there, and they aren’t going to abandon it now.

For those who play this game, they play with a bounty system in their heads. If they knock out player X, and player X is really good, the chances of the team winning the game have become better. I find it laughable that the NFL thinks that a fine of a few thousand bucks to a group of guys who make well into the mid-six figures would even find it motivational. When you get to that level, chances are you want to hurt your opponent.

The line that has to be seen and crossed is if this had led to rules of the game being broken, and “dirty play” increased during those seasons in which it is said that this was to be going on.

Were measures that were against the rules of the NFL (as it regards to playing a game on Sunday) as they stood during those years being broken and lead to more injuries? Would the players that people would expect to have a bounty on their head, has their frequency of being injured increased?

My bounty bet? The game looks exactly the same. It always will.

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