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This is the archive for February 2007

The next stop on our campus tour is the free clinic!

This ESPN headline caption is gold: “Cincy probing reports of recruits lured by sex, alcohol.” Meanwhile, in southern Ohio, former soccer players are being given alcohol and are probed by 4 recruits and 4 current Bearcats at a party. In the spirit of sharing, Bearcat style, I’ll allow you to pick your own punch line.

1. “That’s the first time all year the Cincinnati Bearcats football squad played like a team”

2. “This girl was a hell of a juggler, given how well she could handle 16 balls at once.”

3. “Those recruiting budget cutbacks are a real pain in the ass (and mouth, and pussy), huh, Megan?”

4. “Anna Benson thinks this girl is an amateur.”

5. “This is clearly a violation of NCAA bylaws. Title IX clearly states that the athlete to whore ratio cannot exceed 3-1.”

6. “Our star recruiter has more pricks inside her than an inverted porcupine.”

7. “Just imagine how good she could be if she was allowed to use her hands!”

8. “At Cincinnati, our generous alumni are always giving back to the students. Our motto is spread the love, and we live by our creed.”

Something's rotten in L.A., and it's not the Clippers

Let’s toss up a hypothetical situation in which a star running back has relationships with agents, has been receiving improper gifts and benefits for himself and his family, and now said athlete is being used to recruit other jocks to the school in violation of NCAA rules. Wouldn’t you think that all this stuff happening right under the noses of the coaches is something akin to lack of institutional control? Reggie Bush might’ve been able to feign ignorance (though how the hell did his family afford that $750,000 home in LA again?) to the media, and Pete Carroll might disavow any knowledge of agents sniffing around his players, but like John L. Smith said, “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.”

In this case, the fire isn’t USC’s blatantly ignoring NCAA violations (although it is), the fire is the NCAA turning a blind eye to violations at the school that has turned college football in America’s second-largest media market from an afterthought to a full-on obsession. L.A., as the Clippers could tell you, only gives a damn about you when you’re winning, so it’s in the NCAA’s interest to keep USC winning by any means necessary. They like the attention a marquee program nets them.

Does anyone think that if these violations were happening at Eastern Carolina or Louisville that the NCAA wouldn’t have already dropped the hammer on them and stripped the school of its wins? Don’t you think Michigan would’ve gotten some sanctions? Don’t you think if this was an Alabama or Tulane that the NCAA would’ve let this lack of institutional control go on this long?

Kentucky had NCAA violations in its football program that were nowhere near as severe as these, and UK got sanctions. Same with Alabama in 1994; just check out how severe their sanctions were for lesser transgressions. Schools that aren’t USC get away with a lot less this, as history shows.

Gee, I wonder why that is. Money talks, I suppose. There's a lot of loose money around the USC campus these days, too. If the NCAA doesn't drop the banhammer on Pete's cash cow, then there shouldn't be any question in anyone's mind that the NCAA is deliberately covering USC's ass to save their golden goose.