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The NCAA has been criticized by many for the way it handles college sports and student athletes. Schools constantly must be on their toes to ward off NCAA investigations. They must be careful to follow every dumb and mundane rule to the T.
There are so many things wrong with the NCAA, and its legal existence is a phenomenon. The organization is a monopoly, and a surprisingly successful one. There is no other organization that oversees college athletics, and not a hint of competition.
It is also a dictatorship. Conferences should be allowed more power and freedoms to make their own decisions, making things quicker and more efficient, but also providing a check to their power. Whatever these big wigs say goes, and that’s another problem with them. Their rulings are often inconsistent, and they lack punishment guidelines, just making them up as they go.
In the Cameron Newton controversy this past year, the NCAA decided that Newton was eligible, even after several allegations were made that his father was asking universities for money in exchange for Cam to play for their school. Previously the NCAA had ruled that parents were part of the student, resulting in sanctions for USC and stripping Reggie Bush of his Heisman Trophy.
Several other major institutions have been in the news recently for brush-ups with the NCAA. The University of Connecticut, Tennessee, Michigan, and recently Ohio State have received disciplinary actions for somewhat trivial ordeals.
Another problem is the profiteering off of student athletes. The NCAA has video games, jerseys, bobble heads, etc in the likeness of players, and these players don’t see a dime of this money. Yes, the players do have scholarships and are receiving a free education which is of amazing worth, but it pales in comparison to the profits that the NCAA and schools are making off of students. They should get a cut of these profits in the form of a stipend, or receive a portion of money after graduation to help them financially with their futures.
The NCAA is so worried about themselves that they forget about the student athlete’s who make the college engine run. They suspend kids over golf-cart rides, or if someone buys them a pizza, while the NCAA smugly enjoys their royalties. If these students make a mistake, the NCAA has no problem wiping their names from the record books so it’s as if they never existed at all.
If a coach messes up at a university it is the college that is punished, not the coaches. They can leave for another job while the institution suffers through penalties caused by a departing coach. It can take years to turn a program back around, especially if it is suffering from a lack of scholarships, or a post-season ban.
Now there must be rules of course, or else every team would be pulling an SMU, but the rules must create a level playing field, should be less trivial, and should be more consistent. Maybe the conferences should just govern themselves, and the NCAA could take a back seat to the athletes that make them all of this money.