A new round of Division I conference realignment conjecture has moved everybody to Defcon 2, and the allegations against the Miami (Florida) football program are troubling, to say the least.
The commentary has been white hot, with almost every principal getting lit up in one place or another. The unfortunate proximity to last week’s presidential retreat, with all of its promise, has been noted.
So it was good, in the midst of all this, to find a calm, reasonable assessment of the current state of affairs.
Duke professor Charles Clotfelter, please take a bow.
“Rule-breaking in college sports is often viewed strictly in moral terms, as a reflection of defective character,” Clotfelter wrote in Tuesday’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “But it would be a mistake to ignore the powerful influence of the universities themselves and the incentives they create by attaching such importance to athletic success.
“Cheating won’t be solved just by tighter rules and better enforcement. A century of big-time college sports tells us that much.
“Real change won’t happen until university trustees, not just presidents, show they value the academic mission more than winning games.”