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NCAA vs PGA - Who got it right?

Every organization must have rules and guidelines to exist and regulate their membership. Interpretation and enforcement of those rules is important for ensuring fairness to the members of the organization.

The Tiger Woods controversy at the Masters reminds me of the Derrick Rose situation. What we see when comparing the decisions by both organizations is a 180 degree apart approach to fairness.

The PGA has ruled that because the Tiger Woods improper drop of the ball was initially considered as legal by the officials on the course and within a time frame that Tiger could have corrected his scorecard to reflect additional penalty strokes, evidence that came to them afterwards warranted the stroke penalty but not complete disqualification. This was a very pragmatic approach to their rules and has now set a precedent that will carry forward from this day on. Those arguing against the ruling and in favor of disqualification say that Tiger knowingly broke the drop rule and gained an advantage. It was Tiger himself who gave his reason for dropping the ball behind the original spot so it does not appear that he was trying to get away with anything. He made a mistake and paid for it with two additional strokes.

In the Derrick Rose case, the NCAA Clearinghouse ruled twice that Rose was qualified to play college ball. Later, after additional allegations of wrongdoing, and without due process, the NCAA changed it's ruling and disqualified Rose and Memphis' entire season. The NCAA makes no bones about the fact that it never sets precedence with any of it's rulings.

One can argue all day over whether either of the organizations got the particulars right in the two cases but what I think is the bigger question is whether or not their organizational approach is fair to all members. My opinion is that the PGA has shown that they are professionals at what they do and the NCAA is constantly proving that they are not. While the world of amateur sports clearly must distance itself from professional sports influence, it's governing organization does not enjoy the same privilege. The NCAA must behave professionally in the promulgation of rules and the fair enforcement of them.

So, who got it right?

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