Where have we heard this before?
For the last few years, but in the last two in particular, we have been hearing, and seeing the NCAA trying to make some much needed progress in the area of getting reforms that were due decades ago out for public review and implementation. Some of these have actually been put into play, so to speak. The expense allowance of $2K per annum is a prime example. The next possible reform which is to bring back the multi-year scholarship is now working it's way slowly through the processes, but it is suffering from a definite lack of internal support from member schools. This has not, however, prevented the Coalition On Intercollegiate Athletics from trying to add in it's two cents worth.
The COIA is a group of college professors who represent their member institutions that get together and brainstorm to try and address the NCAA's problems, either perceived or real. This year's group, as the above mentioned link shows, has looked at almost everything you can look at from football playoffs to the scandals and abuses which have hit hard on the NCAA landscape in past months.
These people are not policy makers, they do nothing more than meet and make recommendations not only to the NCAA, but to the schools they represent, in an attempt to put the NCAA back on track when it comes to dealing with their problems.The question is, does the COIA have any real answers, or is this just more jockeying for position by the NCAA to maintain image and help keep the peace?
If you look at the stipend issue, there are questions a-plenty about what it represents and how it should best be presented. At one time it was considered a done deal, and moving it's way to being made the law of the land in the NCAA. However, like many other things, people have to dot every I and cross every T, and in this case that has brought a much needed help for the everyday student-athlete to a grinding halt. Add in the fact that the multi-year scholarship reform, which seemed ready to become the next reform has also hit road blocks at every turn, and the cries of a better, more in tune with the world today, NCAA being touted by Mark Emmert, seem to fall on deaf ears.
I don't know whether to be surprised by this, or ashamed. Why should good ideas go by the wayside, simply because some folks in positions of power in the NCAA simply refuse to face the reality that it is no longer 1957? The COIA, while powerless, makes some excellent points on topics that the fans certainly are not going to let go of, and good coaches and university presidents won't either. Watching the NCAA drag their feet on this is like watching the congress drag it's feet on funding the government. No matter which side of the issue you sit on, the painful fact is that there is work to be done, and it needs doing now, and not later. Making speeches won't get it done, and neither will ignoring the problem.