Sometimes, Rules Make No Sense At All…Ease Up, NCAA

Bull City, Football — By on November 28, 2011 at 2:05 am


The NCAA has a ton of responsibility and protecting the integrity of the game is one of the things that they must consider. Chances are that if you are a college athlete, you are going to encounter a professional athlete at some point during your college career. If that is the case, then there is an even better chance that when those guys come back, they are going to want to hang out with the people that stood by them when they didn’t have anything and help them enjoy it. Why wouldn’t you want to take a trip or go out with a person that you shared a room with for two-to-three years in college?

Looking at the big picture, I can see why you cannot have NFL players paying for trips. Hindsight is 20/20.  But imagine for a moment that you are a 22-year-old college student from Back Woods, NC, who has just struck it rich.  You are in California and are on the phone with two of your closest friends; almost like brothers, because you are so close.

During some casual conversation, you describe the workout facility that helped get you the big payday, and your friends say, “Wow, I wish I could see it.”  You’re rich, you’ve got money to burn, and your friends are all across the country.  “Come out, stay with me, and I’ll show you around.” Of course they reply, “Man, we don’t have that kind of money.”  You say, “Well I do.  Come out and I’ll pay.  I got millions. I remember when I didn’t have a dime and you bought me Taco Bell everyday. It’s the least I can do for you.”

Why not?  It has nothing to do about agents, recruiting, or anything about athletics. It’s just a case of friends being friends; kids being kids.  Do you think it’s possible?  How about probable?

This happens all across the country and even though there are kids who have been educated on the wrongful effects of the rule, it happens anyway. This is unfortunate and results in the remaining players on the team carrying the burden even though they are guilty of no wrongdoing.

It’s not that the players had bad intentions; the problem is that they broke rules that were crystal-clear.  This is not on the agents and it is not on the NCAA.  This one is on the players.

The problem I have with these rulings is where the NCAA should draw the line.  In my honest opinion, no one has the right to legislate friendship, not even the NCAA.  Can the NCAA tell someone whom they may date or marry? What if a female agent met an athlete, they fell in love, and the agent paid for the wedding and the honeymoon. Is that a violation?  No governing body can prohibit something done strictly out of love or friendship, regardless of the occupation of the friend.  That is why this is so tricky.

The NCAA tries to distinguish between friendship between individuals and friendship that arises and is primarily in conjunction with the fact that one of the people is an athlete.  One is personal, and the other is more professional, but there is plenty of grey area.  Being aware of the rules, accepting a trip may be less than savvy, and I doubt anyone else in the college football family will be this naive again.

In the NCAA rulebook, there is a by-law that is nicknamed the “Preferential Treatment By-law.”  The rule states that the act of giving gifts is considered preferential treatment if the relationship of the two parties did not exist prior to college football being a factor. These players all know each other, because they played college football together.  Coaches constantly drill these kinds of things into the players’ heads that accepting these kinds of things are an NCAA violation.

So I guess a rule is a rule, but it doesn’t make the rule right all the time.

Stay Breezy ~ I’m Out!

Joe Simmons

Editor in Chief of Bull City Inc. NCCU Color Commentator for Football and Basketball. Educator by day, Sports enthusiast by night.

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    8 Comments

  • Jeremy says:

    The NCAA worries about all of the wrong things. They should be worried about the recent incidents of child molestation and the low graduation rates of some of these schools. Instead they are worrying about gifts. Somehow this system is all messed up.

  • Kevin says:

    If they dig deep enough, they would find this rule being broken at about every institution. The whole idea of prior knowledge is a joke. Tiger Woods has a niece at Wake Forest. She is benefiting from his wealth and success. Is that fair? The line needs to be drawn somewhere, but the NCAA has it all wrong.

  • India says:

    We were discussing this the other day. It seems that some people can and some people can’t receive gifts due to prior knowledge. How do they even determine that? The NCAA has to wake up and realize that their current structure is extremely limited and that it cannot hold water unless players tell the absolute truth about circumstances. They are lucky kids are cooperating or this could get even more expensive. Reminds me of Blue Chips. Nice post.

    • That’s what the true comedy is for the NCAA, its not like they have an investigative team cracking down on these things. The NCAA must wait for schools to snitch on themselves, or for someone else (Yahoo! Sports, ESPN) to do the dirty work for them more often than not. Its a joke.

  • I cant help but agree… while I am against flat out paying collegiate athletes, I do find it crazy that close friends cant “help” you out financially… we all know the difference between your boy helping you out and a sleezy agent trying to get the jump.

    The NCAA doesnt balk if you have family members who are athletes or financially able to do things and for a lot of these guys their friends/boys are more family than their blood. If anything allow them to receive a certain amount of money/benefits from a friend (up to 1-2k a semester) make them submit an itimized bill at the end of each semester and if there are things dont match up revoke the benefits for a year.

    say you are Denard Robinson and because you played HS football with Ace Hood yall are close and he wants to fly you down for a weekend of fun and sun in Miami during spring break, why not… thats part of being a college student. Its not denard fault that his boy just happens to be a big time rapper, now if he was a dope boy from the hood doing it would they care???

  • Joe Simmons says:

    I think everyone feels what I was trying to send out. It seems like the space between the rock and the hard place is a tough call. I am with all of you on this one. Q summed it all up well. Your boy is your boy. Much rather him hang out with a celeb than a dope boy. IMHO..

  • Tobin Vance says:

    I think the whole thing is hugely hypocritical issue. Schools deal with millions of dollars a year in TV contracts, not to mention ticket sales. It’s wrong to dangle those carrots in front of young players and expect them to always make the right choice. It’s unrealistic.
    I’ve gotten some Outback Bowl tickets for this December, and it irritates me when I feel guilty about wanting to see a game.

  • but how is it hypocritical; Look at corporate america, you have companies that make BILLIONS of dollars, the presidents/CEOs/COOs get paid hundreds of thousands of dollars but the people who do the real work get paid the least and are the most expendable… its the American Way!!!

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