Trouble in Paradise: The effects of the NCAA crack down on athletic departments

September 23, 2011
by Justin

When I see a 6’6″ quarterback who can throw a receiver open and escape any type of blitz thrown at him, I can’t help but hope that he will wear a Raiders uniform one sweet day. Terrelle Pryor made my dream a reality when Al Davis chose him in the supplemental draft. The situation that caused this occurrence is clouded, by all means. It was no less than a year ago, that Pryor was Thee Ohio State’s favorite son. Coach Tressel, who had the fiery personality and the almighty scarlet sweater vest, ran the Buckeye operation. This soap opera story has become all too common in this era’s college athletic scene; a school’s rise to stardom seems only to be the prequel to their eventual demise.

Miami, Ohio State, USC, Florida State, Boise State and North Carolina all have something in common. Academic scandals, NCAA rule violations, street agents and illegal compensation schemes have become commonplace in a sport that’s one of America’s favorite. Florida State had an academic cheating scandal that tarnished the last days of Bobby Bowden’s Hall of Fame career. Bowden actually lost wins at the time where he was the all time leader in the category. Reggie Bush was rumored to have a staff of people making sure he had everything from his homework assignments to his laundry done.

This season the U (University of Miami) was found to be connected to booster Nevin Shapiro, who eventually was convicted of a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme. Shapiro was so deep the program that an athletic lounge was named after him. It wasn’t out of the ordinary to see him draped in his favorite player’s official hurricane jersey and slapping fives on the sidelines with famous alums. West Virginia, Boise State and North Carolina also were disciplined by the NCAA this year for being involved in scandals not as intricate but noteworthy nonetheless.

So who’s to blame? I blame the Coaches, Athletic Directors, School Presidents and the Compliance Officers. Coaches are the people that parents trust their sons to. The compliance staff are the gate keepers who hold the coaches and student athletes accountable. The Athletic Directors seem to be more interested in wins than corruption and the President is the CEO of the entire outfit that holds everyone to the schools’ given standard of acquiescence to the NCAA. I can’t blame a kid who is fresh from his parent’s home, who has never had any real grown up responsibility. It wasn’t but 10 years ago that I was living at home and I knew then that good parenting and accountability kept me out of trouble. In truth, like these student athletes of this generation, I only did things I could get away with.

Yorick Hempstead is an ex-college athlete who is a sports blogger for He is always talking sports on twitter @HempsteadHuddle. 

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