14 March 2008

NCAA Sanctions BYU: A Travishamockery

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On Wednesday the NCAA announced the results of its 18 month long investigation into the BYU Men's Volleyball team. We don't like the NCAA. They and many of their member institutions (read: BCS schools) profit from student athletes. Their haphazard application of rules and sanctions is more often a political tool than it is a good faith attempt to maintain discipline. Their sanctioning of BYU smacks of the former.

Per the Salt Lake Tribune Blog:
Both the NCAA and BYU agreed early on that no unethical conduct was displayed by Peterson (former BYU Men's V-Ball coach) — there were no violations of an intentional nature and nothing that gave BYU an unfair recruiting advantage. The violations were technical in nature.

"All of the allegations that the NCAA chose to pursue stemmed from humanitarian concern for others, and the actions were inadvertent. No one was trying to circumvent rules, and none of the violations gave BYU an unfair recruiting advantage," states Peterson.
The Deseret News link will take you to the statement by Dr. Tom Peterson. We also recommend you take a look at the following articles:

BYU Volleyball Team Hit By NCAA Sanctions
BYU Men's Volleyball On 3-Year Probation
Men's College Volleyball: BYU On Probation NCAA Violations
NCAA Announces Penalties Against BYU

These events recall a 2004 Presidential election beer advertisement: it's a travesty and a sham and a mockery. It's a travishamockery.

Like the UN, the NCAA pulls in tons-o-cash and no one really knows where it goes. Oversight is clearly lacking and they rely on imposition of draconian rules to justify their existence. And speaking of justifying their existence, the NCAA rules team spent 18 months reviewing BYU Men's Volleyball, and this was the best they could come up with?
Other than his accepting a loan of two bicycles to be used by a team member and Cala, neither BYU as an institution nor any of its officials or employees — including Peterson — were found to have taken improper recruiting actions.
Where is the sanity? General opinion (salute) seems to be that BYU was fortunate to get off as easy as they did. And BYU officials are predictably parroting the company line. All of this because they are afraid of running afoul of the Stazi arm of the NCAA. Anything short of a "death sentence" is deemed to be getting off easy.

This means no one associated with BYU can do what we can do: call the whole thing a friggin' joke.

One friend of this blog, a former BYU athlete, informs us that the NCAA and BYU are conspiring to do what every institution does in similar situations: throw a retiree under the bus. The aptly named Jim Kimmel, faithful BYU employee, seems to be taking heat from all sides because he didn't stop people unaffiliated with the university from helping pay for humanitarian legal fees. Because, well, the rules aren't explicit in the first place.

This is what Jim Kimmel gets for helping a couple poor kids defect from Communist Cuba.

The NCAA is a corrupt and corrupting institution that gets away with it all because many of us (including the OL&L "us") love college sports. The best book we've read on the topic (though we add the caveat that we don't agree with all of his conclusions, is Murray Sperber's Beer and Circus. Sperber turns his considerable analytical ability on higher education's prostitution of principle to athletics. Read it.

If you have tips, questions, comments, suggestions, or requests for subscription only articles, email us at lybberty@gmail.com.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You can read Former Coach Peterson's statement on the situation here at: www.volleyballfanz.blogspot.com.

It is quite detailed.

Per Peterson, when BYU abruptly forced his resignation, they offered to give him a few months severance if he would agree to not discuss the case with anyone. Thus, he was unable to tell his side of the story until now.

Little did Peterson know at the time he agreed to the severance package (which he understandably needed to continue to support his family) that BYU was setting him up: They were gong to make their case that he was to blame for any and all violations in a hope to prevent any tarnish on the school. However, because he agreed to the severance package, he could not speak out to defend himself--otherwise, he'd loose his home, car, and all else that follows.

BYU also limited his access to legal counsel and to the NCAA investigation records, even though assistant coaches who, in some ways were more culpable for the oversights, were saying on-record, untruths about the Coach to cover their own butts. BYU was so fearful of the NCAA that they undertook really slimy means to protect themselves, including turning on a coach who had been involved with making BYU volleyball what it is since day 1 when he coached the club team in the 80's.

Such is the outcome when organizations with no accountability (the NCAA and BYU) seek to cooperate. Good individuals will be sacrificed to make sure the legitimacy of the organizations are maintained.