Posted on: June 3, 2009 11:50 am

College Athletics Ethics 101

This was originally posted as a reply in a thread where several people were arguing about which school's athletes or coaches had done the worst things:

Isn't it somewhat silly to be arguing about whose guy(s) that did something bad was worse than the other guy? LOL

Coaches are adults and certainly know better, whether its personal conduct or breaking NCAA rules. In my opinion (and to brag a bit I suggested this in casual settings long before I saw other people suggest it on the air or in writing), NCAA sanctions should travel with the coach, as well as stay with the offending institution. The have been a couple of recent examples of concrete movement in that direction, and when it happens officially, it will stop a LOT of cheating. On the personal level, coaches (and their staffs) have to learn and learn quickly that their behavior WILL be held to a higer standard. Is that fair? Of course it is. Many of these guys make big time salaries, including the assistants. If they want to go out and get drunk, there are plenty of lower profile careers they could find where that won't be as much of a problem. If they want the high profile job and the monster salary, they better realize that behaving themselves goes with the territory.

As for student-athletes, I'm sick of people saying, "Well, they're just kids." Sure they are still young, but by 18 they are young adults. They can vote, drive, marry without permission, enter into contracts on their own, and in many places drink alcohol legally ... and they want to in the places that are still 21 to drink.

Many "kids" that go to college support themselves through school, working and studying hard. Regular college kids that try to drink and party their way through school wash out with low grades. Athletes are propped up by every contrivance possible to keep them in and on their scholarship, even at the 'clean' schools.

People, most especailly fans casual to serious, forget that college sports started out as, and still should be, friendly competitions between STUDENT athletes. The rush to prop up guys who couldn't be bothered to study anywhere in K-12 needs to stop. If it did, then you'd better believe that the ones who want to play would study and make their grades. And let's not get confused about that, they all CAN make the grades if its important to them.

Schools can't always control boosters, but when they find out about a booster taking things outside the rules, his connections to the school should be immediately revoked, and any kids he tainted immediately kicked out. Fairness doesn't start with the NCAA. Fairness starts with a commitment to unimpeachable ethics by each athletic program. If a program is clean at the top, and scrupulously self-policed at all levels, you don't have to worry about bias.

I'm a lifelong Bama fan, and every year I badly want them to win ALL their games. That makes me part of the problem.
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