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I love college sports, especially college football, but there are times when the NCAA just drives me nuts. As a USC fan I’m very disappointed that even though the Trojans have admitted wrongdoing and done everything they could to appease the NCAA, they are still being made an example of. And they are not alone. Other schools like Ohio State will likely be crushed by penalties as well for lack of compliance with NCAA regulations.
The problem that I have with these sanctions is that the NCAA is not punishing the athletes who actually committed these bone-headed violations. In most cases, those players have moved on so they obviously cannot be punished. Instead they punish the new players coming in who were not involved. In cases like USC and likely Ohio State, they will be punishing not only the new players, but the new coaching staff and Athletic Directors who came on to right the ship. In my eyes, something is really wrong with that.
You can strip teams of their championships, take away scholarships and ban them from post-season play, but the real way to punish a team would be to go after the money that the schools earned while they operated in violation of these regulations. USC has been stripped of its BCS Championship, but they hold on to the money they earned from that season. Instead they punish a kid and the staff members who were never involved in these violations. That is like the U.S. dropping bombs on Australia to get Saddam Hussein to comply in Iraq. How does that make sense?
Go after the money instead of the players and you will likely see schools much more “compliant” about the way they handle their athletic departments. What do you think? Does the punishment really fit the crime?