NCAA Continues to Reel from a PR Black Eye Thanks to No Bite

Jonathan PilleyContributor IIJune 8, 2011

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 04:  (M) Quarterback Terrelle Pryor #2 of the Ohio State Buckeyes is helped off the field by a member of the Buckeyes support team after the Buckeyes 31-26 victory against the Arkansas Razorbacks during the Allstate Sugar Bowl at the Louisiana Superdome on January 4, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

A snake has more backbone than the NCAA.

In what is rapidly becoming an ongoing joke, the NCAA is getting battered and bruised in the media.  And it's their own fault.

The Tostito's Fiesta Bowl was fined $1 million, but allowed to stay in the BCS. This despite reports of nearly $45,000 in employee reimbursements for political donations; not to mention a $33,000 birthday bash for then CEO John Junker and a $1,200 strip club tab.

Jim Tressel resigned from Ohio State amidst a player scandal where they traded memorabilia for tattoos. Now Terrell Pryor is reportedly done at Ohio States amidst rumors that he received upwards of $40,000 last year for signing memorabilia. And apparently, he never learned to stop at a red light before turning right.

Mike Hamilton resigned as the AD at Tennessee. His rap sheet?  Firing Philip Fulmer for Lane Kiffin (of the bolt after one season of violations fame) and Bruce Pearl, fired for lying to NCAA investigators. He chose to resign instead of continuing to be a lightning rod of negative publicity for the school.

And then there's USC. The BCS has stripped USC of their 2004 championship, the seemingly otherworldly routing of Oklahoma, an event that apparently never happened. This was after the NCAA came down hard on the school, banning them from postseason play for two years and rescinding 30 scholarships over three seasons.

Notice a common theme in all those situations?  Someone else took the initiative for punishment. 

Why did the NCAA allow the Fiesta Bowl to stay in the BCS rotation, despite the complete and utter lack of regard for spending rules?

Why did the NCAA only ban Pryor five games for what is supposedly such a grievous offense?

Why did NCAA refuse to ask for Hamilton to step down, despite his tenure overseeing violations under Kiffin and Pearl's lies?

And why did NCAA only ban USC from postseason play for two years?

The answer is money, and because a newborn has more teeth than the NCAA.

The NCAA is a farce of epic proportions. If the collective group had any inkling of justice and moral fortitude they would have required that Tressell and Hamilton step down immediately, that Pryor sit an entire season, that the Fiesta Bowl lose its right to host the BCS championship for eight years, giving the Cotton Bowl and Jerryworld a chance to step up and that USC lose both the BCS and AP titles.

The NCAA has a Jekyll and Hyde mentality. On the Hyde side, student athletes should learn morality. They shouldn't be able to trade their status on the field for benefits off. On the Jekyll side though, they want them to do that.

It means more money for them, more illicit deals with car dealerships, more free tattoos, clothes, houses. You name it and the student athletes get it.

Instead, they'd rather tell student athletes that someone paying them for THEIR autograph violates a code of conduct where the NCAA incorrectly assumes they own the athlete. Yet at the same time, the organization does everything in its power to ensure the stars that violate the code still play in the important games. Have to keep that revenue flowing.

The NCAA is supposed to be about bettering you men and women through sports. By taking most of that profit and pushing it back into the institutions, allowing for more scholarships and giving some kids a chance when they might not have had one. 

Apparently, they're more content spending their profits made on the backs of those kids they're supposed be helping by making it rain in strip clubs.

It's pretty apparent at this point that a puppy is fiercer than the NCAA. And that's not something they should be striving for.