Overhaul or Demise: NCAA Chronicles
This is the final entry of our NCAA Chronicles (I’ll do my obligatory thanks at the end) and there is really only one thing left to take a look at, the demise or overhaul of the NCAA. Those two things aren’t necessarily exclusive from one another. The NCAA can actually be so completely revamped that it could be considered dead under its former format, while still being called the NCAA. It really doesn’t matter, as long as the way college sports is governed gets fixed in all the right ways.
Still, to put a bomb and blowup an organization like the NCAA might prove futile, as you’d actually be leaving universities in a martial-law like state. However, there is a completely real possibility that doesn’t get talked about to often, succession. Schools, especially money makers for the ole picture-box, could go out on their own and form some sort of new collegiate athletic commission. The problem with that would be getting enough schools to abandon the NCAA completely, and with smaller schools likely getting the short end of that stick, it’s close to improbable of happening.
Blow that building in Indianapolis up! Okay, really don’t, that would be some form of domestic terrorism. But the NCAA is in some troubled waters at the moment. Whenever an organization actually has to investigate itself, they even know they’re in a world of trouble. Depending on how the committees react to whatever is found in the external investigation of its internal self, this could be a game/set/match situation for the NCAA. Nobody likes biased, credibility lacking, money grubbing, non-profit, tax exempt, organizations that are supposed to be the complete opposite of what they are practicing.
However, the NCAA is in a situation where they can do some serious damage-control. As any alcoholic will tell you, the first step to solving a problem is admitting you have one. The NCAA’s problem is a set of complex, contradictory rules that are being overseen by parties that have a direct tie to the universities and student-athletes in which they are responsible for.
Demise is unlikely, as it would leave college athletics in a vulnerable state. You can’t leave the lunatics in charge of the nuthouse, although that’s kind of what’s already going on. But to completely abandon the NCAA seems like a step backwards rather than just trying to fix what is wrong.
The NCAA hasn’t passed the point of no return (they’re close). If the NCAA can take a cue from those alcoholics I mentioned before, over time there is no reason they can’t regain credibility while starting to function the way it should, as overseers of college sports are not a detriment to it. The problem, which I have repeatedly stated throughout the series, is that the NCAA is to directly tied to the institutions they govern.
A slow process of transitioning major personal could go a long way in revamping their image. Remove a majority of employees who work for both the NCAA as well as a university and replace them with people from outside of the academic landscape. Lawyers, (gulp) former politicians, media members with a deep understanding of college sports, former student-athletes, businessmen and women, or anyone that can be qualified to help better the way college sports are governed.
The problem with that system of overhaul is convincing the people who are in charge now (with a paycheck on the line) that this would not only benefit the college experience but enhance their legacies (They are egomaniacs, remember). Undoubtedly this would likely be the largest single task in the history of sports.
The NCAA isn’t going anywhere. While people would like it to completely disappear from the college landscape, it’s at least needed in some form or capacity (The succession of universities from it are far more likely, but equally as complicated). However, a vast revamping of the system is absolutely in order.
All that really matters is how and who are going to fix the way college sports are controlled. Will it continue to be people who work for universities in which they govern, can government interjection actually help fix what is obviously broken, or will an outside entity find a way to make its way through the doors in Indianapolis and start the process of healing. For me, it doesn’t really matter how it gets done as long as it does.
While the current investigation might seem like a huge deal, because it should, it won’t really matter unless enough people voice their concerns. The NCAA needs to be more transparent and hold themselves to the same standard they currently hold student-athletes. In no other walk of life would a person wait for a ruling as long as student-athletes do, only to be told of some complex, contradictory rule they MIGHT have broken.
I’m not a naive person. Out of all the people who cover and comment on the NCAA, my voice might be the smallest. There are far more media members who have a much larger audience to voice their displeasure. Also, there is far more people who can better articulate what is wrong with the NCAA than I.
My goal with the NCAA Chronicles was to try to give you a background of the NCAA, while hopefully educating on some things you might not have known about it. More than likely, my attempt to get people to care more about something as ludicrous as the NCAA has fallen on deaf ears. I just felt that this was something important enough (relevantly speaking) that something more than a Tweet from a famous guy was needed. Hopefully those with a larger platform than I (i.e. more talented) will keep fighting for some NCAA reform.
Real quickly, I’d like to thank my boss Paul Seaver, and Rant Sports management in general, for letting me do this series of articles. We are in a business where a posting about a bat attacking players (with video attached of course) is far more viable than something like this. While it may seem like my insights might be uneducated or just regurgitated nonsense you’ve read a million times, I spent a lot of hours doing research so this project could be as accurate as possible. Paul had no reason to let me do this while I could have been doing something more “hits” attractive, and for that I thank him and the entire Rant family.
If for some reason you missed any of the NCAA Chronicles, have no fear. Just click these bad boys: Part 1 The Birth of a Governing Body, Part II Structure and Sanctions, and Part III Modern Era and Controversies. Oh, you just read the final entry, so no need to link that!
Joe covers the Catholic Seven for Rant Sports. For the love of Sam Cassell, follow Joe on the Twitter Machine and make him feel semi-important @JosephNardone