November 24, 2014

Down with the NCAA

By James Kuch
News Editor | news@arenacindependent.com
Posted 8/19/11

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It’s time to start over.

With national media outlets reporting that a former booster from the University of Miami has named 72 athletes to whom he gave out numerous impermissible benefits to, I think it’s time we shut the whole system down.

The NCAA has been having problems with players taking benefits, coaches hiding information and boosters getting their grubby paws on players for far too long.

I am fearful that if the system does not change, we may never have another National Champion in college football.

In the past few months, the University of Southern California has had to forfeit an national championship; a Heisman Trophy winner, Reggie Bush, has had to forfeit his trophy; a legendary coach has been fired from Ohio State University; the current national champion Auburn Tigers have had controversy surrounding their top player, Cam Newton; and now the Miami Hurricanes may have their program shut down for two seasons.

And you know what? I find it hard to blame anyone.

Let’s face it, we all know that every contending Division 1 football and basketball programs has something going on that is not exactly legal, and it has been going on for a long time.

Look at the University of Michigan. According to the NCAA, the school’s most celebrated basketball team in history, the Fab Five, actually never happened because Chris Webber took some money and drove cars that were given to him by a booster.

This is the same thing that happened to Terrell Pryor at Ohio State; only, in Pryor’s case, he traded gifts he was given by the school for free tattoos.

The direction NCAA sports are heading is not a good one for any of us who are fans. If things keep going the way they are, we will all be watching games that will have never happened.

My suggestion is to blow the whole system up and start from scratch.

I have always been against schools paying players to compete in college athletics. Many of us who went to college would have loved to be given full-ride scholarships for school and that is what these athletes are getting.

Not only that, but it seems that boosters for the schools are giving athletes a little extra and I have to admit, if I were put in the same position while in college, I might have accepted a new car if someone offered me one. Besides, most of the players who get busted are already professionals by the time they are caught. Do you think Reggie Bush handed over his Heisman Trophy and felt bad about costing USC a national title? Well if he did I’m sure he drove to the bank and looked at his account balance and felt a whole lot better.

It’s human nature to want more things and to want to have the best, and that is what these athletes are doing. With skuzzy boosters running around, it’s hard to think that any school is safe from the NCAA violations — that many of them could be guilty of.

The whole system needs to change and be redone. Until the NCAA does that, have fun watching games which, in 10 years will have never really happened.

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