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On the inherent unfairness of sanctions.

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Who paid for the sins of Reggie Bush and Pete Carroll?  Fourth rounder, Matt Barkley.

Guest post today from an Oregon Duck fan we met on through our friends at FishDuck, Don Gilman.  He approaches the NCAA question from a different angle:  rather than debate the future of mega-conferences and the corrupting influences of TV and sponsor money, he just looks at the problems of how sanctions are administered, whether the right people are punished, whether the current system serves as a deterrent.

With respect to Johnny Manziel:  we (seem to) have a high celebrity profile college athlete who wants not for money and who is cognizant of the current rules and who knows the damage he can cause to his school, friends, teammates.  And he pissed on all of them.  The righteousness of the rules themselves is a separate issue.  Manziel (seems to have) willfully broke(n) NCAA rules, rules all other athletes must abide by, and on a large scale.

The point Gilman makes here is that the probable recipients of his punishment will be his current teammates and isn't that unfair?

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Don’t expect Chip Kelly to lose sleep over Oregon sanctions.

Sanctions.  You either love them or hate them.  We love them when the teams we hate get leveled by them, and hate them when teams we love get the same treatment.  Ironic, isn’t it?  But there is something inherently unfair about the way sanctions are carried out, no matter what team we are rooting for.

I began thinking of this a few years ago when USC was still in the midst of a bowl ban, and thought of it some more last year while watching Matt Barkley and the Trojans in their downward spiral.  Now, a lot of why they were losing had to do with poor coaching and a seemingly lackluster attitude about playing a full four quarters, but there was also no doubt in my mind:  the lack of scholarship players was also taking its toll, especially in the latter portion of the year when injuries and fatigue were wearing players down.

Last year while watching Barkley play (yes, I am admitting I felt badly for a Trojan), I was struck by the unfairness of the punishments the NCAA seems fond of dishing out.  Just like Marcus Mariota and De’Anthony Thomas, Barkley was and is a class-act, a good guy, an honest guy, someone who really didn’t deserve to be punished by the bad behavior of someone else.  But it was Barkley — and not Reggie Bush or Pete Carroll — who was paying the price for their mistakes.  Just like Mariota and Thomas, not to mention all the other Ducks players, would have paid the price for the mistakes of Chip Kelly and Willie Lyles had Oregon gotten whacked harder.

Will Lyles, recipient of $25,000 in ‘scouting fees’ from the U of O with LaMichael James in 2009.

Think Chip Kelly is going to lose sleep over the now minor sanctions leveled against U of O?  Think again.  I can’t imagine the ol’ Chipper is going to do more than shrug his shoulders and move on with his life.  While Lyles’ reputation has certainly been torn apart, there is nothing of direct consequence that is going to happen to him, and he certainly won’t be losing any sleep either.  So, just like USC and Matt Barkley, the brunt of the punishments will fall on honorable young men who have done nothing to deserve it.

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How/whom to punish? (more…)

ESPN incites NCAA mob.

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Here is possibly the worst article presented as a news item since Gutenberg.  But as of 4:00 PM yesterday, it rated as an ESPN headline.  As of this morning it had over 2300 comments.

I can’t believe I’m going to try to get to the bottom of what they’re trying to report because — really — I know this is troll bait.  But I’ll dig in because:

  1. It introduces an NCAA conversation I’ve wanted to have, and;
  2. It’s just so bad.

Here’s the text of the article:

A member of a women’s golf team at a West Coast Conference school has been sanctioned by the NCAA for washing her car on campus, according to University of Portland basketball coach Eric Reveno.

Reveno tweeted about the violation Wednesday after he learned of it during conference meetings, culminating his message with the hashtag #stopinsanity.

“Just heard about two NCAA violations in WCC. 1) athlete using Univ. water to wash car, 2) coach text recruit ‘who is this?'” Reveno wrote.

The WCC school in question self-reported the extra benefits violation to the NCAA, Yahoo Sports! reported. Yahoo also reported the NCAA asked the golfer to pay the school $20, which they said was the value of the water and hose.

I’m no Scripps J-School alumnus and even I can see some problems here.  What is the golfer’s name?  Which WCC school does she play for?  How did event come to be found a violation in need of sanction?  Was there an NCAA g-man staking out a car wash?  For $20 was there the interior vacuumed?  Did she tip the towel guys?  Where’s the link to the Yahoo Sports* story?  Has Yahoo! changed the placement of their trademarked exclamation point?  Where’s the link to the Reveno tweet?  Is #stopinsanity a thing?

And the main question ESPN:  when a basketball coach uses a #stopinsanity hashtag to tweet about a different school’s self-reporting of a golfer for a trivial NCAA violation… aren’t you being manipulated for a specifically anti-NCAA agenda?

Or is it your anti-NCAA agenda?

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Also: 18-45 in past two years.

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Meet Eric Reveno.

Meet Eric Reveno, self-promoting college basketball coach.  When your twitter home page doubles as a resume you’ve crossed some sort of line and wandered beyond ‘savvy use of social media.’  Hey bro, that online seminar you attended about improving your brand?  They really were talking about sprucing up your LinkedIn profile.

[UPDATE:  I am informed by friends closer to the University of Portland program that Reveno is a decent guy.

Reveno is good guy.  Like “so good that he’s going to get swallowed by his profession and eventually fired because he can’t compete with snake-oil salemen like Calipari” good.  He’s an entertaining interview if you watch their games because he’s such an engineer (I think one of his degrees is in engineering, if I’m not mistaken) that he actually tries to answer those sideline reporter questions sincerely, and ends up answering before he fully forms his response.  It’s tremendous to watch.

But he’s also definitely the opposite of self-promoting coach or one who would use those circumstances to promote his program.  He seems like a guy who is actually wildly uncomfortable with all the non-coaching aspects of being a coach, so if he comes across as self-promoting, it’s just as likely because he’s awkward.

So I stand corrected there.  Will leave original snarky post intact for consistency’s sake.]

In seven years at Portland he’s 96-126.  No NCAA Tourney appearances.  His teams have finished like this in conference:

  • 2007:  7th /of 8
  • 2008:  7th;
  • 2009: 3rd;
  • 2010:  3rd;
  • 2011:  5th;
  • 2012:  8th;
  • 2013:  7th.

So the guy is probably feeling some pressure.

This isn’t too hard to figure out:  would you rather spout meaningless hashtags to an eager mob or talk about that 18-45 win-lose record over the last two years.

Thus we find this bizarrely random, remarkably info-less tweet about someone else’s player at someone else’s school in someone else’s sport:

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Huh?

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