The USC Trojans, as of Monday, have been stripped of their 2004 National Title by the BCS thanks to Reggie Bush who received extra benefits (roughly $300,000 worth) from a would-be sports marketer back in 2004. This is hardly unexpected news as the university has been in the NCAA cross hairs for the past four years.
This ruling, which basically invalidates USC's perfect 2004 season, comes as an additional punishment to what the NCAA dished out, which was the loss of 30 scholarships over 3 years and the loss of postseason play over the 2011-2012 seasons. This loss of a National Title, which brings the wrongdoings of USC back into the national spotlight, also brings back into plain view the hypocrisy of both the NCAA and the BCS.
The NCAA, as a governing body, is both full of themselves and have lost touch with a little thing I like to call reality. Their continued expectations that schools should be able to account for players actions 100% of the time is almost as laughable as their views that college players shouldn't receive any cash for playing while they rake in millions of dollars on the sweat and hard work of these players.
I understand that there is a line in the sand, ethics wise, that must be adhered to. Situations like the one that cost Ohio State one of the best coaches in the land in Jim Tressel is an example of where NCAA involvement is warranted. Coaches who outright lie about violations deserve to be punished and punished harshly, they are the facilitators of the placement of morals and ethics in these young men and when they prove themselves an unfit example, then an example must be made of them.
No, the problem I have is that the NCAA finds it necessary to poke their heads into areas that they really have no business being in. Again, I point out the recent Ohio State fiasco that shouldn't have been one. If the NCAA wasn't so harsh on players receiving benefits for placing their lives in danger on a weekly basis, in this case it was OSU players trading their possessions for tattoos and cash, then Tressel wouldn't have had to lie to try to cover it up.
It's crazy how much the organization of college sports wants to hoard every cent like a hungry man fighting for a scrap of bread. It's even crazier that they don't realize that they are cutting off their own leg in enforcing such antiquated and unreasonable rules. Organizations such as USC and Ohio State (who will go through a similar set of sanctions eventually) are the bread and butter of college sports. They are the money makers because of their popularity and keeping them from postseason play or a fair competitive balance thanks to a loss of scholarships is simply ludicrous.
And no, before you go there, I'm not saying that only the bigger schools shouldn't be scrutinized so closely. The craziness of these rules extends to everyone bug and small.
You see, the fact is that every school has players that violate NCAA policies. It's the truth. From the big boys all the way down to the littlest college, and it's only a matter of time before all of them comes within sight range of the NCAA's hand of justice. When that happens, can college football survive?
I think not.
The NCAA needs to step up to the plate themselves and reexamine exactly what direction they want this sport to go in because if they continue to hop on petty things like players getting a free meal or getting to drive a car for a while without paying, then their isn't going to be any college left to play.
Maybe I'm overreacting a bit, probably am, but it doesn't excuse the NCAA from accepting reality and it doesn't stop me from calling them out on it.
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