Football goes on. There’s no use whining or wringing our hands about what the NCAA might do or the media speculates about. They’ll predict gloom and engage in an orgy of conjecture, as if a question is the same thing as a conclusion. What did Oregon tell the NCAA? We don’t know. Did Chip Kelly participate in a cover-up? Look, the IRS sends you a notice, you’re going to comb your desk for receipts and call your accountant. It’s not a cover-up to look for supporting documents. And what they released to the media in June isn’t necessarily what they presented to the NCAA back in March, or how they presented it.
All the whispered and shrilly shouted-nonsense doesn’t amount to a hill of beans. This could very well result in penalties, but no amount of speculation will change them. Just yesterday Maryland got docked two and a half hours of practice time a week for having graduate assistants at workouts and sending some text messages at the wrong time. They try to keep football clean by picking scapegoats and pretending it doesn’t happen everywhere else. Massive reform is what’s needed, but they’re myopic.
This summer the NCAA has an historic opportunity to evaluate the state of college football and make changes in their enforcement, compliance and regulation that preserve the game. They could establish meaningful guidelines for scouting services, even a network of approved services, a combine-type informational service available equally to all member schools. Or they could continue to do the same random, creaky, slow-moving and arbitrary singling out of one program and then another, throwing teams and coaches under the bus for having success.
Here at the Duck Stops here, we’re getting back to football. While it’s impossible to ignore the flood of chortling and self-righteous twaddle this whole story has inspired, we’ll always be more interested in the hard work and dreams that culminate on twelve special Saturdays a year. Bureaucrats and crusading journalists will do what they do. I’m more interesting in watching Darron Thomas than George Schroeder.