As expected the guys over at Roll Bama Roll did take note of Tony Barnhart's post on the anticipated reaction from Crimson Tide fans if the NCAA lets the Trogan skate away from their pile of scandals. Todd from RBR writes:
Barnhart referenced the sanctions in '02, which I don't think anyone here would argue were unjust. Fulmer's deal with the devil still rankles us, sure, but we did the crime, etc. But what does have us up in arms are the recent sanctions imposed over the textbook scandal. Sure, we didn't lose any scholarships and vacated wins are, effectively, a slap on the wrist, but the NCAA's lack of consistency and refusal to acknowledge it's own precedents in denying our appeal despite the fact that Alabama discovered and reported the violations on it's own and cooperated fully with the SEC and NCAA to investigate the violations is enough to earn the ire of a fanbase without throwing in USC's stonewalling and fingers in the ears attitude towards the NCAA.
Yet Todd along with his other RBR colleagues doesn't think Southern Cal will skate:
Now, do I believe that USC will skate? Probably not. As Pete noted not too long ago "if it took this long to decide, write, vet, and publish, this is a deliberate, cover-all-your-bases, upheld-on-appeal, old-school bludgeoning." Again, this thing has dragged on so long that common sense has to dictate the NCAA is locking this down airtight and only the most paranoid among us could honestly believe that the NCAA is dragging its heels because they are letting the Trojans off and aren't looking forward to the backlash. Of course, if that does turn out to be the case then Barnhart is right about the backlash from Alabama. See y'all in Beijing.
Yet Dave from Maize n Brew is not feeling confident about all of this (as he along with other Wolverine fans are keeping a very close eye on all of this given Michigan like a model institution is also getting ready self-impose sanctions in a legit manner unlike Mike Garrett's dog and pony show of throwing a joke hoops team under the bus):
The thing that concerns me is that Michigan's been in the position of cooperating with the NCAA before on an investigation. It didn't turn out too well. Now Michigan's in the position of being singled out for a countable hour issue that totaled less than a dozen total hours of practice that nearly every coach in the country admits their program would be in violation of too. Alabama self-reported, self-investigated, and self-sanctioned and still got hit for a universal text-book exchange program.
After years of being called incompetent for their protracted investigation of Reggie Bush, the Committee is finally ready to hand out sanctions. Let's just hope they get all that frustration out of their system before they start dishing out "justice" on us.
The conventional wisdom when it comes to dealing with rules with violations in college athletics had been that an institution can put itself in good position in getting consideration for less severe penalties if it took the initiative to self reporting scandals and dealing with them in a legit manner. Alabama did just that in recent years and didn't catch any break. Michigan is not feeling confident. So the question becomes again what would possibly the rational and believable explanation from the NCAA if it takes the easy route of least resistant and not issue severe penalties on Southern Cal? More after the jump.
As discussed in the comment threads yesterday not only Southern Cal is the prime candidate for the most severe NCAA penalties, they are the perfect example of when DP should be in play. Given the unprecedented trail of (alleged) corruption they have piled up over the years, I doubt there has been any other program in NCAA's history more deserving of death penalty than Southern Cal. Plus the DP should be in play if anyone does a straight forward technical interpretation of rules while applying them to serious allegations that are being discussed with regard to this program.
- Does Southern Cal fall into the category of programs that has not been as meticulous and prompt as Michigan and other programs when it comes to self-reporting (remember NCAA is supposed to come down hard on programs that don't do self-reporting too well)? CHECK
- Does Southern Cal (based on reports) fall into category of repeat offenders? CHECK
- Does Southern Cal fit the profile of arrogant and out of control program where (alleged) cheating permeates through more than just one program? CHECK.
- Does Southern Cal fit the profile of an out of control program with no sense of accountability or awareness of optics by replacing one scandal tainted coach with another one (albeit an incompetent one who has only won 12 games in his career)? CHECK.
Anyway you look at it death penalty should be on the table. That should be the starting point. It makes no sense to keep it off the table.
Of course, we get that in real world the NCAA doesn't have the testicular fortitude to do the right thing and actually enforce its rules (it only enforces rules over institutions that self report apparently). If they did they would start from the discussion of death penalty and settle on a punishment that would be proportionally greater to the kind of punishment that was leveled at Alabama.
So none of us are holding our breath right now for NCAA to do the right thing. However, that doesn't mean we should be easily accepting for their lack of courage to do the right thing. Perhaps it might help that there is overwhelming national interest - specifically from huge fanbases across the country - in what NCAA will specifically do with Southern Cal.
This is not going to be a matter of skating by bunch of slow, dimwitted, lazy reporters in Southern California's traditional media reporters who can be easily manipulated with leaks and nifty press releases. NCAA will essentially have to render its judgment on allegations coming from whole host of issues concerning how Mike Garrett allowed Pom Pom Petey and Timmeh Floyd to run outlaw programs and then bring in a sleazebag like Hello Kiffin to carry on that dirty show. The entire country will be watching and examining exactly what the NCAA does with a renegade athletic program with a pile of mess emanating from lot more than just one tarnished Heisman.