It’s hard for me to effectively put into words how much I dislike the NCAA.
It’s an organization run by hypocritical do-nothings who get high off of controlling the lives of vulnerable 18 to 22-year-old athletes and serve no actual purpose other than filling their own pockets with cash.
And frankly, that’s putting it far too lightly.
The NCAA is evil and should be dismantled. I’ve said this for a very long time but I’m not sure I’ve ever felt stronger than I have in the past twelve months
Late last year, the University of Tennessee apparently welcomed the NCAA in with open arms in order to investigate rules violations and that led to the termination of then-head football coach Jeremy Pruitt.
And I can’t blame UT administrators for ditching Pruitt, regardless of any rule-breaking. The guy was such a clown that I’m surprised he doesn’t work at the NCAA. But on the other hand, I will happily criticize UT’s administration for cooperating so fully with the clownish NCAA.
During a now somewhat infamous press conference in January 2021, UT chancellor Donde Plowman said to a room full of reporters that there was a “disturbing” number of violations and even indicated that some of the violations may be level 1 (the worst type of offenses possible).
I appreciate the honesty but good lord, it’s okay to keep some details to yourself.
Since those fateful days, it’s just been a waiting game. Oh, and a paying game. UT reportedly spent almost one million dollars in legal and associated expenses to investigate themselves with the help of the NCAA.
You could probably surmise this from my earlier comments, but I think cooperating with the NCAA at all is a foolish thing to do. It almost never ends in anything but your school getting arbitrarily and retroactively punished for the sins of people who typically aren’t even there anymore. Also, not cooperating has historically worked pretty well. Just look at Will Wade still somehow being employed by LSU.
And if Tennessee does ultimately get its hands slapped in this situation, it will be nothing new. Sure, they fired everybody that was so much as tangentially involved in the breaking of rules and even got a new athletics director, but I have little doubt that the NCAA will eventually hand down some dumb punishment that does nothing but hurt the people currently involved with the program and will do even less to stop future rule-breaking.
Not to mention, name/image/likeness rules were changed since the Pruitt violations occurred and a lot of what he probably did is essentially legal now. It’s all extremely stupid and Tennessee basically asked for whatever they get.
BUT… with that said, I now have to give credit where it’s due.
A postseason ban is easily the most common punishment that schools give out to themselves to stave off further retribution from the NCAA and I’m so glad that UT decided not to go down that terrible route. A postseason ban is crushing for current players and coaches who had no hand in the violations. Just look at current Oklahoma State basketball coach Mike Boynton get brought to tears while discussing a postseason ban that his team was given this week for petty NCAA violations that were carried out not by him but by his predecessor…
Oklahoma State basketball coach Mike Boynton going scorched earth on the NCAA (and basically encouraging other programs to not cooperate with an NCAA investigation like they did) pic.twitter.com/WBEkSMyhPs— zach ragan (@zachTNT) November 4, 2021
It’s truly awful stuff. Being denied postseason games basically takes away the entire point of playing. Why give all that effort if there’s no real reward at the end? It’s an idiotic punishment that’s handed out with no regard for the ramifications and I loathe the NCAA for making it such a regular occurrence.
So, when I saw that Tennessee refused a postseason ban, I had to give them kudos. Don’t punish the great kids that you have right now for the sins of some bald idiot that never should have been hired in the first place.
The Volquest report also indicated that UT may impose some self-punishment like “a reduction in scholarships.” And while I definitely don’t like that either and I think Tennessee’s administration should tell the NCAA to kick a bag of rocks, at least if Josh Heupel completes his already impressive season and makes it to a bowl game, his team will have the awesome opportunity to be rewarded with extra football.
Featured image via Calvin Mattheis/News Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK