First, let me apologize for the absence of Coach Holtz on TNNDN Network’s “Ask Oscar” radio show last night. The good news is that Coach has promised to do another show soon and we will more than make up for the time. Work on polishing up those questions and be prepared to fire at will!
That said there was a point raised on last night’s show about the NCAA, universities and where their responsibilities lie with the athletes who are “Violating Team Rules.” I candidly said the NCAA should impose some sort of monetary fine system that would, in fact, hold not only the student-athlete responsible, but the institution of the student-athlete more accountable.
Again, I’m not condoning the behavior of student-athletes who in fact break team rules. Yes, there is free will involved… free will on both parts – student-athlete and institution. Policy is policy. If you break the laws there are consequences. Simple right? However, where is the institutions responsibility for the athletes they employ? All employees offer “benefits” to those who work for them (at least if the employees are legal to work here in the United States).
Are we so naïve to believe that the institutions who benefit greatly from what these student-athletes accomplish in their respective fields of competition are “giving” the student-athlete something for free? Do you really think the “free” education isn’t paid for every day?
Photo by: Kevin C. Cox
The issue is that institutions want to win so terribly bad they will afford a high risk student-athlete an “opportunity” knowing full on well what the highest probable outcome will be. When said student-athlete “fails” to “live up to his or her potential” the institution walks away with no penance to immediately find another commodity with which to fill the vacated spot. I’m sorry, but where is the fairness in that? Have we reduced our young people to nothing more than money-generating entities to be tossed back at the first sign of ugly? So you’re telling me the coaches and administrators don’t know about the issues these kids have in advance?
Call me a bleeding-heart liberal if you’d like, but I have a sneaking suspicion that if the NCAA imposed a monetary fine system for the institutions regarding the violation of its substance abuse policy of say $150K for the first offense, $500K for the second offense and loss of ALL scholarships in the program for a year on the third offense I’d wager some changes to who, what and how the recruiting process might change. Not to mention a proactive stance by the institutions to get their “commodities” the help they need. Help extending far beyond just what they (student-athletes) can do for the institutions, but rather for themselves. Look, coaching is supposed to develop young people. How can we say we’re developing them when in essence we’re using them… and when they’re no longer usable we turn our backs on them and replace them using a seemingly infinite “lead” source?
Damn… my head hurts. Maybe I've concussed myself from banging my head on the proverbial "it ain't gonna change" wall.