NCAA Sanctions Reform that Schools and Coaches will Fear

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NCAA sanctions reform that make schools play by the rules

Everybody talks about NCAA sanctions reform. But there is hardly a consensus about how to go about it.

And, yes, schools and coaches should fear violating NCAA policy.

I have a few ideas that might level the playing field fairly. I admit there aren’t any perfect solutions. But I will try to improve on the NCAA sanctions reform.

Let’s first look at some of the NCAA sanctions that are currently used.

Who NCAA sanctions reform should attack

The short answer is the coaches the schools, and the players. But more on this later.

It would be nice to string up sleazy boosters by their toenails in the town square. But the problem with the rules is that the boosters sit outside the jurisdiction of the NCAA. So you have to attack the boosters indirectly. More on this later, too.

How NCAA sanctions reform should attack

Iron Maiden Cage
Put an NCAA violator in here and watch the violations disappear

Hard. No mercy.

Bottom line, How do you stop people from parking illegally? Death penalty for parking tickets.

Harsh? Yes.

Oh, there might be a parking violation day one. But put the violator in an iron maiden, and violations will cease immediately.

Current application of NCAA sanctions

There are currently two general types of NCAA sanctions used against offending schools. The NCAA uses retro and future punishment.

Retro NCAA sanctions

Retro NCAA sanctions aren't that effective
Retro NCAA sanctions aren’t that effective

Most of you are familiar with the retro NCAA sanctions.

Southern State Tech will forfeit its 1947 chess championship and all its tournaments because Jake Netaceretachuvski was ineligible that year.

The problem with this method becomes obvious. Who the foxtrot cares?

How many of you knew that Notre Dame was ordered to vacate their wins from 2012 and 2013? I’d venture to guess less than 50%.

A title by forfeit

Notre Dame Fighting IrishNow, how many of you will care tomorrow that Notre Dame had to vacate their wins? I’d guess less than 10%. It isn’t like they are giving up a National Championship. And even if they did, National Championships are more about being in the moment, than being in the record books for many fans.

Imagine if a couple years from now the NCAA takes away Clemson’s 2017 national championship. How many Alabama fans will say, “I love watching the 2017 national championship game. Because, you know, in the end, we won by for forfeit.” A whole lot less than 10%.

Retro NCAA sanctions are rarely effective

I would love to have someone show me significant changes a school made this year because they had to forfeit their 1947 gymnastics championship.

All this said, I still think that retroactive punishment should be used. I just don’t think it has the bite necessary to make the offenders feel the pain.

Post violation sanctions by the NCAA

Jake Knowbodee was ineligible for State Tech University in 1947. So, the NCAA bans State Tech University from competing in the 2018 and 2019 National Championships.

I think that about covers the idiocy of post violation sanctions by the NCAA.

I admit the example is extreme, but why sanction a school if the current players and coaches weren’t involved with the violation?

A new look at NCAA sanctions reform

NCAA sanctions reform for Coaches

The argument against attacking coaches with NCAA sanctions is that the coach doesn’t know what is going on with every player at every moment.

This is a pathetic argument. Delta Airlines employs over 14,000 pilots. And yet planes aren’t crashing into the ground on a regular basis. There are only 85 players on scholarship on a D1 football team.

Don’t recruit a kid who will get you in trouble. If colleges start evaluating character a little harder, what’s the worst thing that could happen? High school players might start displaying more character? Oh, that would be horrible for the world.

And then when young kids start making these high character kids their idols, think of the tragic results. Who do you want your child to emulate? Tank Blockheed, All-SEC, 2 Arrests, possession and battery, first round draft choice. Or, Stan Dupguy, Dean’s list, All-Academic team, Habitat for Humanity volunteer.

Coaches have to be responsible for and accountable for the coaches they hire and the players their staff recruits.

How NCAA sanctions should attack coaches

Currently there are four levels of violations under the NCAA New Violation Strurcture.

Here we start in on the Death penalty for parking violations, portion.

The punishment for a major violation for an airline pilot ranges from loss of license and career to death.

It is hard to see a situation where someone dies from gross misconduct of a coach. But considering the Jerry Sandusky and Art Briles cases, they are gross misconduct.

Coaches punishment for level 1 NCAA violations

Coaches involved with gross misconduct must forfeit 100% of their pay for at least five years. With Jerry Sandusky and Art Briles cases, Joe Paterno, Jerry Sandusky, and Art Briles, as a minimum, would have to be unpaid coaches for five years if they wished to continue coaching.

The school, current or future, would have to pay the remaining salary, or the equivalent of the last year if the contract is up, to a fund that provides academic scholarships for athletes pursuing postgraduate degrees.

Coaches punishment for level 2 NCAA violations

The coaches would forfeit 50% for three years.

Coaches punishment for level 3 NCAA violations

25% for two years.

Coaches punishment for level 4 NCAA violations

10% for one year.

NCAA sanctions reform for schools

As I said before,coaches have to be responsible for and accountable for the coaches they hire and the players their staff recruits.

Similarly, Schools have to be responsible for and accountable for the coaches they hire and the players their staff recruits.

The basis of the NCAA sanctions for school parallels the coaches.

Separating Coaches and Schools, first things first

Sometimes the NCAA gets lost in who to sanction, the school, or the coach. The answer is to sanction both the coach and the school. Sanctions follow coaches to whatever school they coach for, not just the school they used to coach.

School punishment for level 1 NCAA violations

Schools must pay an extra 100% of the head coach’s salary, as a minimum, to the fund for five years.

If a head coach’s salary is $5 million, the school pays $5 million. And, if the entire staff is found in violation and the staff’s salary is $12 Million, the school pays $12 million for five years.

If the school fires the coach and hires a new coach, they can pay the new coach. But they have to pay the higher of the new coach’s contract, or the previous coach’s contract.

Who ever coaches the team will not get paid. Although it isn’t a death sentence, the program will suffer significantly when the head coach is an unpaid graduate assistant because no other coach will take the job.

This is where the boosters get punished

The school’s athletic coffers will be drained, and the boosters will have to refill them.

School punishment for level 2, 3 & 4 NCAA violations

The school’s punishment follows similarly to the coach’s punishment.

NCAA sanctions reform for players

Unfortunately, the NCAA can’t touch former players as was the case with USC running back, Reggie Bush. And investigations take time.

While it is easy to take away eligibilty from current players, it will always be difficult to reach the former player.

Because the NCAA cannot reach the former player the punishments for schools and coaches have to be that much tougher to frighten schools away from low character coaches and coaches from low character recruits.

Secondary effects of NCAA sanctions reform

Schools change hiring criteria

Schools will put more emphasis on researching a coach’s recruiting history and institutional control. Xs and Os still matter, but so will character.

Coaches recruit differently

Bench press and 40 times will still matter, but so will character. Some recruits might not get the chance to play college sports. But as a whole, the character of high school recruits should increase.

The Student-Athlete

The NCAA shouldn’t lament the low character five star recruit loss. The NCAA should promote the high character four star recruit.

A person’s background cannot be a crutch for lack of character. If that was the case, they will never be accountable for their own actions.

Right now there is a four star recruit doing his homework, that will be denied his dream school. While his dream school recruits the five star recruit that is doing something less productive than his homework.

The NCAA needs to return the Student to Student-Athlete.

NCAA needs to put the student back in student-athlete
NCAA needs to put the student back in student-athlete

A different NFL superstar

There are a number of NFL superstars that will protest that they would’ve never made it to the NFL under these rules.

But we also might not have as many NFL mugs shots either.

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