Ohio State aftermath. There didn’t appear to be anything new today in the case involving the Ohio State football program and coach Jim Tressel, but that didn’t mean that media analysis stopped.
First, there was a piece from Wall Street Journal reporter Darren Everson, who postulated that keeping hanky-panky secret in college football might be an exercise in futility.
The sport that can’t keep a secret (Wall Street Journal)
Everson cited the number of participants, their visibility and the ubiquity of mass media as factors that contribute to transparency.
He also noted that the NCAA appears to be getting better at ferreting out information.
“The deluge of scandals over the past year is, in large part, the result of increasing enforcement by the NCAA,” Everson wrote. “Despite massive criticism for how it has (or hasn’t) meted out punishment in several high-profile cases recently − including the controversy surrounding Auburn quarterback Cam Newton − the NCAA has publicly committed to steeping up its efforts. ‘We’re not shying away from it,’ said Rachel Newman Baker, the NCAA’s director of agent, gambling and amateurism activities.
“Beyond enforcement, however, there’s a growing consensus throughout college football that the NCAA is simply doing a better job of collecting information. ‘In the past, the NCAA was often criticized for not knowing what’s going on in the real world,’ Baker said. ‘I think we’ve got a pretty good idea. Coaches and players are starting to realize that as well.’ ”
Ivan Maisel of ESPN also weighed in.
Tressel penalty a test case for NCAA (Ivan Maisel, ESPN)
“It’s hard to see the logic in the NCAA sitting the Ohio State players five games for their actions and giving their coach only two games for not being truthful about the case,” wrote Maisel. “At the very least, the NCAA has got to move the suspensions to conference games.
“So we wait. We wait to see if the NCAA really has learned to love the coaching suspension. We wait to see if the NCAA increases not only the suspension but the $250,000 fine that Ohio State assessed Tressel…
“Ohio State did no favors for Tressel with its penalties. By not coming down hard enough, the university ignited a public debate that will last until the NCAA announces whether it agrees with the penalties. Ohio State did no favors for the NCAA, either. Tressel has become a public test for the NCAA’s enforcement process, a test that the public believes the NCAA failed in the Cam Newton case.
“The NCAA has the opportunity to put some teeth in a simple tenet. If you don’t live by the rules, you sit on the bench. It’s a message that all coaches and players understand.”
Keeping track. Division I track coaches turned introspective this week, examining what might be done to improve their indoor national championship.
Track coaches envy attention for NCAA tournament (Associated Press)
The gist is that conference meets are great, high-energy affairs but that the national meet has become something of an anticlimax.
They’ve got their eyes on approaches that would enhance team competition and make the event better for television.
One of the more aggressive thoughts comes from Arkansas coach Chris Buckman, who believes that classification needs to be part of the discussion.
“I think football has the right model,” Bucknam said. “They have a BCS, a I-A and a I-AA (championship). I think that’s something that needs to be thought about because we so reflect football in a lot of different ways. One of them is the strength of our conferences, and you just can’t try to put 300-plus teams into one shoe. It’s not working for us. That’s a concept that needs to be considered.”
Well, not exactly … A Denver Post story Friday discussed the financial ramifications of Northern Colorado’s first trip to the Division I Men’s Basketball Championship.
Newfound NCAA status has more value in future (Denver Post)
Northern Colorado officials make the case that even though the tournament will not be a financial bonanza, the championships experience is important for the institution and its supporters.
That’s fine, but the story does contain one paragraph that needs clarification. (This isn’t to quibble with the writer’s otherwise good article but rather to clarify widespread misunderstandings about how NCAA money applies.)
“UNC will earn $100,000,” the story said, “not close to what it will likely spend on travel for its team, support staff, band and cheerleaders to go to a far-off site. If the Bears pull an upset, however, they’ll get another $100,000 for their second game.”
First, the NCAA pays travel and per diem expenses for team travel to championships, so the university would not be responsible for that expense. Second, teams do not receive round-by-round financial rewards for winning in the NCAA tournament.
Those interested in how NCAA revenue applies can learn more from an NCAA Champion magazine article last spring. The particular numbers have changed since the article appeared, but the principles are the same.