The Barometer always loves it when organizations that have had a bad spat of publicity put together highfalutin task forces to solve their problems. Of course, whatever the highfaluters come up with is entirely voluntary. So it is with the NCAA Commission on College Basketball, headed by Condoleeza Rice. The NCAA will have to vote on the recommendations of the Commission. Good luck with that.
When will we realize and accept that there is money in college sports for educational institutions, coaches, and players and that level of money drives perverse behaviors? From UNC to Syracuse to Louisville, college basketball is the stuff of limitless imaginations put to use to come up with ways to win big. Whether by cheating, bribery, or point-shaving, schools cross lines. The NCAA is shocked, shocked, and they muster up some penalties, maybe, after years of investigation and debate. And on the cheating in school, the Commission only admonished the NCAA to “clarify its role in addressing academic fraud.” That will get the knees shaking in the ivory tower.
The Commission made it far more complicated than it needs to be. The Commission only punted (wrong sport, but you get the idea). Here’s the rule: You cheat, you will hurt. The first part is inevitable (human nature). The second one is doubtful – the chest-pounding and sanction are imposed and lifted. This root cause was not addressed by the Commission and is unlikely to arise sua sponte at the NCAA meeting on the report. Until it is addressed, basketball and all its facade of student-athletes marches on.