Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Same As The Old Boss

"If you find yourself in a situation where the athletic culture is taking precedence over the academic culture than a variety of bad things can occur." 
                                                                              NCAA President Mark Emmert

OK.  Penn State had it comin'.  I think most folks can agree to that.  At least most folks not in State College, Pennsylvania where there are still those trapped in the mystical tug of Nittany Lion football.  But as we gaze over the smoking rubble that is Penn State football in the wake of the bomb that the NCAA dropped on it yesterday, it is only fitting that we consider the larger implications of the sanctions for Division I athletics. 

And the immediate conclusion is "not much."

The NCAA's Executive Committee clearly intended these sanctions to be a shot across the bow.  As Oregon State's Ed Ray said at yesterday's press conference concerning the Penn State sanctions, " The message is the presidents and the chancellors are in charge."


Don't look now gentlemen, but down heah in the SEC football is driving the culture everywhere but Vanderbilt and Kentucky.  Has been for years.  And the Commodores, after an unexpected brush with competence last season, are getting itchy.  And things aren't that much different on some campuses in the Big 10, Big 12 and PAC whatever the hell it is now.

Frank Zappa once said something along the lines of "World War III will never start in Los Angeles.  There's too much real estate involved." 

Same here with DI football.  If they think what they did to Penn State is going to change the culture of big time football, they're on crack.  There's too much real estate involved.  The dreaded "lack of institutional control" is going on at more "member institutions" than they even know or want to know.  Now, to be sure such lack of institutional control is not covering up horrific criminal behavior as was the case at Penn State.  Penn State was the problem from hell.  And still there are those in State College who disbelieve the Freeh report, who still defend Joe Paterno. 

The tail has wagged the dog far too long at some places.  And now they are going to a playoff system.  Why?  Money.  Pure and simple. 

The presidents and chancellors are in charge?  Yeah right.

I can think of one probable effect of this whole stinking mess. 

Betcha nobody erects another statue to honor a living football coach anytime soon.  Depending on the scale of the piece, it can be a bitch to find a place to store the damn thing if you have to tear it down.