Thursday, February 16, 2012

This NCAA/Carolina nonsense is garbage.

I am going to put words to what most Gamecock fans are thinking about this NCAA witch hunt in Columbia.  Outside of the “Al Gores” in our fan base who rush to be the first to the microphone to declare what has happened as wrong, most Gamecock fans are tired of being the outlet the NCAA uses to prove it can be tough. 

To borrow and alter a famous quote about the NCAA’s long history of randomly enforcing its own rules, “The NCAA is so mad at Ohio State they may put South Carolina on ten years of probation.”  That about captures it for me.  They are a joke of an organization that ignores major violations at some schools while just punishing the hades out of other schools for nothing but piddly-ante petty stuff. 

First it was the iron hammer they brought down on Lou Holtz.  Oh I remember how everyone who hated Carolina was just wringing their hands with pleasure and anticipation over what nasty deeds were going to be uncovered.  The Nuremberg Trials weren’t as exhaustive and thorough as the proctology exam Holtz and USC went through at the time. 

What were the results?  The NCAA had successfully uncovered (gasp) massive tutoring going on for athletes!!  And in one case, (again, gasp) someone had gotten a ride to the tutoring sessions.  Much like John Cleese in “Life of Brian” when the Roman soldiers destroyed the old man’s house and only found a wooden spoon, the NCAA had to act like they were after the tutoring the whole time.  You can just hear the conversation.  “Well done, NCAA, well done.  These efforts to help the student-athletes better themselves academically must be stopped.” 

Now we have a situation where a hotel was in its down time and gave a special rate to Gamecock students to fill some empty rooms.  Most of the students who benefited weren’t athletes, a detail which gets lost in the narrative as you would expect.  After applying peak rates and doing everything it can to paint this picture as some ugly sordid tale of corruption, the highest number that can be attached to it is $55,000.   And because of the silliness we went through over the tutoring episode, we technically fall under the “repeat offender” language.  You can’t make this up! 

The other piece of this is that the SAM foundation had one participant end up at Carolina from all the student-athletes they helped, and the head of the foundation had some ties in the past to Carolina.  I’m not kidding about this one either.  The pretzels folks had to twist themselves into to make this one look sinister were really impressive. 

Meanwhile, other schools that will remain nameless are actually out there shredding the rules in major ways in total blatant defiance of the NCAA.  In some cases, they are money-making national names that the NCAA needs to promote itself and pull in cash or in other cases are needed to be used like viagra to prop up wilting and failing conferences to give them a dose of credibility. 

Until all of this changes, schools like Carolina will continue to be crucified over nothing while other schools will get a pass over the big stuff.  What a joke the NCAA was, is and apparently will be.  I know we’re going to get a bowl full of the company line about this over the next month and that’s fine.  Spurrier, the Vanilla Tarheel and President Pastides are handling things right and I am glad. 

I just wanted there to be one place where the actual thoughts and feelings of most of the USC fans would be expressed.  When they are done just punishing the wee-wee out of the Gamecocks for nothing, they can then go back to ignoring major violations in other locales.  So consider this our collective dropping of the pants and giving the NCAA a “Carolina Moon” in response.  J

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