I have an admission to make: I'm sick to death of Trogans and Trogan apologists making excuses for their crooked program. They consistently raise the following arguments:
1. Lloyd Lake and Lewis Johnson are criminals
2. The allegations against SUC concern sports agents not boosters
3. Reggie Bu$t's parents received the money, not Reggie himself
4. An agent works at counter purposes to the "university" by getting the player to leave for the pros early
As ridiculous as these "arguments" are, they are irrelevant when viewed in the larger context of the goals of higher education and college athletics.Let me start by citing an NCAA rule that is perhaps at the heart of this entire matter:
THE PRINCIPLE OF AMATEURISM
Student-athletes shall be amateurs in an intercollegiate sport, and their participation should be motivated primarily by education and by the physical, mental and social benefits to be derived. Student participation in intercollegiate athletics is an avocation, and student-athletes should be protected from exploitation by professional and commercial enterprises.
Maybe the sucsters forgot this high-minded purpose but there are plenty of rules that demand a systematic program of compliance from the "university" to ensure this very ideal. This is why SUC lacks institutional control: They are charged with protecting their "student-athletes" from predation by agents and have failed to do so time and time again. This is by their own admission. They would rather advance the idea that an agent is different than a booster and that an agent's intent is not always the same as the "university." I have never agreed with this and have time and time again suggested that this "rule" could be easily end run around. But the entire gist of my argument is that whether booster or agent, it is the institution that should be looking out for the welfare of the "student-athlete" and failure to do so on such a consistent basis is the very definition of "lack of institutional control."
The distinction between agent and booster, parent and player doesn't matter in the face of this stark reality. If any institution lacked control, it is SUC. If the NCAA expects an institution to self-police, which is precisely what they do expect, then how can compliance be had when the "university" establishes it's own regime of compliance or lack thereof? If the NCAA expects compliance, it must enforce some standard to ensure that "schools" such as SUC don't make their own lax set of rules and then never violate them.
Bruins, our arguments will fall on deaf ears. We know this. SUC is going to skate away like nothing ever happened. We have the right to complain because they are our rivals and we bear the brunt of any advantage they take by dubious methods. However, this will make UCLA stronger. We do not have to constantly strain the bounds of logic to convince ourselves that we are not a sham. Let's leave that to the Trogans. Finally, take comfort in the fact that the monopoly in football might never come to an end but the monopoly on integrity never left Westwood.