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NCAA Sports: The More Things Change, The More I Loathe The State Of North Carolina

Now most of you who know me would be expecting some incredible tirade about now, starting with the fall of the Roman Empire and ending with 100K worth of jewelry. And all of it being the fault of the NCAA. Sorry to disappoint, but that's not what this is about. Well, not exactly anyway.

The latest sports headlines have gotten me to thinking about what goes on in collegiate sports, as well as what has happened in the past. We can't go more than a day or two anymore without hearing that someone is under some kind of an NCAA investigation because someone said this about that, or someone heard this, or whatever. With the NCAA's new stance on clamping down on rule-breakers (I know, it's laughable), and them pointing Penn State's way everytime someone gives them a dirty look, no one knows what's going to happen next. All they really do know is that now, no matter what their intent, the NCAA has become a wildcard.



Wildcards are intended to throw a monkey wrench into the works when they are not expected. And the NCAA has become the very definition of that. One minute they are judge, jury, and executioner all rolled into one, the next they have become the Pontius Pilate of college sports, and claiming they can find no fault because it's outside their jurisdiction. At present, North Carolina, Duke, Miss. St., Texas Tech, Maryland, UCLA, N.C. State, and Kentucky are all involved in some type of an NCAA investigation, ranging from UNC's complete fiasco where they are fighting off everything from grades, to former player's mothers in high paying jobs; to individual issues comcerning recruits like you have at UK, and a lot of those other schools. Now most of this will amount to less than nothing. Especially if the NCAA decides that they don't have any jurisdiction in the state of North Carolina for whatever reason, but there are some serious issues here that are basically going to just go away, because no one wants to talk about them, i.e. Duke.

My question here is, what makes this any different than at any time in the past? We have recruits supposedly being given cash payments, a la Mississippi State, which will bring flashbacks of old Emery Air Freight signs to anyone in the Commonwealth. We have academic cheating at HARVARD of all places. We have the Vice Chancellor of UNC resigning amid allegations he and Tyler Hansborough's mom were flying all over the country and charging it to the school ( I am betting this is going to be one of those non-jurisdictional issues), and a host of other problems. And now she has resigned as well. Where does it all end? The NCAA's inaction in the past has led us here, and in their defense they claim that in the past they were not equipped or staffed to handle the volume of cases that were out there, and that many investigations, while being taken seriously, were just not done very thoroughly. We are no better off than we were 30 years ago. In fact, the ways to beat the system have only increased in number, not decreased, simply because there are more ways to hide violations.

Coming from a UK fan, this is going to sound hypocritical, but this cluster-whatever they have going on right now at UNC is just mind boggling to me. We have players who benefitted from ficticious classes in what may very well be determined in the end to be a ficticious major, to a star player's mother now working as a "major gifts" fundraiser, for the UNC School of Dentistry, which, by the way, has no basketball fans in it, because Tami Hansborough claims she got the job with no one knowing about the connection between her and her son. Oh please. It just simply boggles the mind that this can continue in this way in a day and age where the NCAA claims to be working harder to stop schools from gaining unfair advantages. If Tami Hansborough gets a job at Duke's School of Dentistry while her son plays for UNC, THAT I could believe no one knew about her beforehand.

Accountability and the NCAA seem to have become strange bedfellows. But this goes much deeper than that. There has to be a desire by those in power to want to get control of all of these situations. More importantly, there has to be some

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