Underbelly of College Athletics is Looking Very Dirty

 

Not sure where to begin today except to say that the underbelly of college athletics is looking more and more dirty by the day. 

The big news locally is that Ducks QB and Heisman candidate Darron Thomas as the passenger in Cliff Harris' car when he was clocked going 118 in a 65 in June. Thomas has now made 3 very poor off the field decisions in the past 2 years. If he were an NFL player he would have already been cut for his indiscretions. If you or I had been speeding at 118 with the smell of pot in our car we would have been arrested. But because Harris and Thomas are prominent athletes, the rules are different for them.

Ducks head coach Chip Kelly calls Thomas one of the best leaders he's had, but that's because Thomas has produced wins on the field for the Ducks. Bottom line is that Kelly's players continue to have problems off the field, but because they produce wins on the field those problems are overlooked more so than they would be at a mediocre program.

The scandalous activities at the University of Miami uncovered by Yahoo! Sports show us just how dirty college athletics can be. Sex parties and prostitution. Cash payments and other gifts. Coaches who knew of violations. And former Hurricanes AD Paul Dee, who now works for the NCAA, had this happen on his watch. How the NCAA can continue to employ Dee when his participation in the Miami investigation would be a conflict and when he has lost all credibility is beyond me.

And finally convicted felon and former Hurricane booster Nevin Shapiro blew the whistle on all of the corruption that he orchestrated at Miami. Sitting in prison abandoned by the people he lavished money and gifts on, he felt betrayed. So he sang like a canary and provided documentation to back up his claims. Shapiro is a guy with an axe to grind and he's already sitting in prison so he has nothing more to lose. He's the most dangerous kind of guy - someone seeking revenge.

The NCAA had a Presidential retreat last week to discuss the state of college athletics. They had better get their house in order, ramp up their enforcement division and start laying down the hammer on programs like Miami if they want to have any chance to clean up the cesspool that major college athletics has become. I don't envy the job they have in front of them.

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