Dear NCAA: Please “Hypothetically” Clean Up College Sports

2 min read

This morning on the way to work, I was listening to Mikes Golic and Greenberg, hosts of ESPN Radio’s Mike and Mike Show, chatting with former NFL player and coach Herman Edwards about Miami Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder and the “stupid” thing he said on this radio show. Crowder said he “hypothetically” sold his game jerseys  while at college to “some Jacksonville businessmen that really hypothetically liked my play.”

Edwards was so flabbergasted he almost couldn’t speak; when he found the words, he practically called Crowder a traitor to his school. At one point, the phrase “two wrongs don’t make a right” dribbled out of this mouth. He told listeners about what he does when one of his kids claims the other is hitting her. “I tell her, ‘don’t be a tattletale,’” Edwards said. Golic piled on. Even Greenberg, who believes college athletes should be compensated for the work they do, was appalled.

Channing Crowder, tattletale.

Crowder’s remark raised the question of an NCAA investigation of Florida, since Crowder was there just five years ago. And the biggest travesty, according to our trio of chatterers, was that there were no consequences for Channing Crowder. His slip of the lip was going to punish a lot of kids who weren’t even there when he broke the rules.

Excuse me?

This is exactly the sort of crazy sports BS that drives me mad. The same guys who express shock and disgust at Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens for take steroids are outraged that a football player reveals he broke NCAA rules. Edward fumbled all over himself talking about how there were always going to be wealthy boosters who wanted to cheat–and that didn’t make it okay, but these guys did give their football programs lots of money, so, you know…wink, wink. For someone to come out and admit what everyone knows is going on in all these big-time college football programs is a betrayal of the brotherhood.

Exactly. That’s what it is. You go along. You shut up. Everybody knows it’s happening. Just don’t get caught, and everything will be fine. The good old boy network will take care of you. The rules don’t apply to Jock Culture.

Hogwash. It’s time for the NCAA to step up and do the right thing. Either stop looking the other way and police your sports, or do something different. Clean up the corruption and the wrongdoing and enforce your rules–or change them in a way that makes things more equitable for the indentured servants you call “student athletes.”

But don’t allow this perversion to persist. You can no longer claim to be a force for good and turn your head from the reality that the rules you swear by are being broken every day, all across the country. You know it. We all know it. You make liars and hypocrites of all of us who just want to enjoy college sports.