These are dark times for the
As an organization in charge of monitoring all things college athletics, the NCAA has prided itself with creating a certain brand of integrity. That integrity, however, has taken a big hit as of late.
From the way it handled the case against
Inspector Clouseau has a better chance of finding wrongdoing in college athletics than some of the investigators involved in these cases.
However, some aren't so quick to criticize.
"It's easy to be a critic, but it's quite another thing to get in there and play the game," said Gene Marsh.
Marsh should know.
He served as chairman of the NCAA's Committee on Infractions from 2004-06 and currently works with Lightfoot, Frankin & White LLC, which specializes in NCAA compliance and collegiate-sports law.
"People on the enforcement staff have one of the most difficult jobs in the universe," Marsh said.
That may be true, but they certainly aren't helping their cause when you consider some of their recent blunders.
Like when an investigator was reportedly fired after her boyfriend was overheard talking about the details of an infraction case on an flight. Or in the most recent case, when an investigator hired an attorney representing former University of Miami booster
It's not all the NCAA's fault, mind you.
The small investigative unit is at a major disadvantage against well-funded athletic programs.
Billions upon billions of dollars are being generated by the
It's only a matter of time before someone resurrects the idea of those power leagues breaking away from the NCAA to form their own monitoring organization dictated by the will of those conferences presidents and chancellors.
So if the NCAA has any hope of competing in an ever-changing college landscape, it needs to make changes or it's in danger of being left behind.
"I think they are in a crisis period, but I know of no other organization that does a better imitation of a cat with nine lives," Marsh said.
The NCAA took a step in the right direction when it announced it was paring down its 400-plus page rulebook. Although, more needs to be done, especially in the area of enforcement. Investigators need more training and transparency is needed when it comes to the process.
While the NCAA appears headed for a future of tough times, Marsh said all of this is part of the circle of life for the organization.
"There tends to be, cyclically, a crisis or questions about fairness, then an outside examination and then, lo and behold, some very, very modest changes," Marsh said.
Winning back-to-back national championships sure hasn't hurt Alabama's chances on the recruiting trail. A few days before National Signing Day Wednesday, the Crimson Tide appear to have a strong hold on the top spot among the national recruiting sites.
Busy time for the
We're only 34 days into the New Year, but the Big 12 has already garnered some early attention after conference commissioner Bob Bowlsby admitted to reporters the group is exploring the idea of a possible alliance with the
ACC names Legends
Pac-12 inducts into Ring of Honor
Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Nate Robinson and Keith Van Horn highlight a group of former players and coaches that will be inducted into the Pac-12 Men's Basketball Hall of Honor. Joining Abdur-Rahim (Cal), Van Horn (
On the web