NCAA Football: "Buying" In

Who's cheating now, Mr. Emmert? I think it's you. And you are cheating the fans. - Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

In the worst weekend of college football in recent memory, another ages old problem has surfaced. How did the NCAA deal with it? They just let it happen.

Here is a new rule for you NCAA. At every game, every contest held in every NCAA sport in every town, there needs to be an NCAA official with the authority to make game decisions. Not just weather or safety decisions, regulation decisions.

The decades old policy of "buying" game by the NCAA's premier division had a field day on Saturday. Some of the most lopsided finishes in recent memory occurred. Records were broken while players and teams padded stats like they were preparing for a 15 round fight with a young Mike Tyson and they were trying their best to cushion the blow.

What else occurred that was totally inexplicable, though, was the fact that in more than one contest yesterday, someone threw up a white flag. Competition for the sake of competition was abandoned (well, more so abandoned than it already was by the very idea of playing these ludicrous contests anyway) when in the Louisville game, coaches decided to circumvent the rule book and not stop the clock for the last 18 minutes of play.

That would have itself been bad enough, yet in another contest, between Miami and Savannah State, the coaches decided to call it quits early and go grab a beer or something, because the fourth quarter was ended in 12 minutes. Now, before you say, well, why punish those teams that were getting killed by continuing the game after it was no longer a game, I agree with you 100%. The problem was that the "game" should have never occurred at all.

Let's run the scoreboard, shall we? Starting with the #4 Ohio State Buckeyes. Ohio St. 76- Florida A&M 0. Ohio St. got a new TD passes in a game record out of this one. From their backup QB.

Our in-state rivals #7 Louisville? Louisville 72-Florida Intl 7. As I said earlier, the last 18 minutes of this contest were played with no clock stoppages for any reason. Not dropped passes, not running out of bounds, not timeouts, nothing.

Next we have #8 Florida State 54- Bethune-Cookman 6. This one was close enough that the coaches must have decided it was actually worth doing what they were supposed to do and play the game to the end.

Then we have the #16 Miami Hurricanes and their coach-shortened 12 minute fourth quarter. Miami 77-Savannah St.7. By the way, the betting line on this game? Miami by 60. Do you think that ever entered into anyone's mind when the decision was being made to only play 12 minutes of the 4th quarter?

What do all of these games have in common besides the fact that they all represent Top 25 teams in the NCAA FBS Division? They were all bought. Bought and paid for by the good old American greenback. Ohio St. dished out $900,000 for their victory. Miami got off cheap for theirs at only $375,000. So, in other words, if you want to win at the FBS level, it's gonna cost you. And you will pay through the nose. Why is this? And don't give me that nonsense about the schools needing the money. I know the schools need the money. But there has to be a better way to get it to them than to throw games. What, you think the term "throwing" games is too harsh? How so?

Everyone involved in these games knew exactly what was going to happen when they were scheduled. Both schools' Athletic Directors, Coaches, and players knew. NCAA officials knew. Unless, of course, they are all complete idiots. Every bettor in the United States and even most of the free world knew. Even the fans knew. So why play the game? It's a sham. A deception. A ruse dressed up as a contest. It is, for the lack of a better term, a fraud. A fraud committed by the NCAA, the schools' conferences, and the schools' coaches.

If these were professional games they would have been investigated, and rightfully so. Even NASCAR, with all of it's good ol' boy, slap on the wrist penalties, recognized fraud when they saw it a couple of weeks ago. And they acted. They knew that teams were essentially cheating the system and rules and they acted. It is time for the NCAA to do the same.

So what about the money? How are these schools in the lower tier going to get their operating capital? Simple. Give it to them. You are giving it to them anyway. Just give it to them. End the pretense. Stop the sham. Set up a funding vehicle from the NCAA $1B+ starting next year and end this ridiculous practice. Make every game count. Force these schools and their conferences into scheduling games that will be real games. Real games against real opponents. Make these schools earn their records. Stop the practice of "buying" victories. Make those NCAA Bowl games be something that these teams have to earn every week, all season long. We would be better off seeing a team play 10 games a season against meaningful competition than 15 games that are only played against 12 real opponents.

What about all the fans who paid their hard-earned money to see a college football game? Do they get a refund for the missing 3 minutes in that game? And what about the records that were not broken? If you are gonna let some go down, should the teams not be forced into playing the whole game so even more can be broken? You cannot have it both ways. They signed up for it, they knew what was going to happen. Make them live it. Make those players and coaches live through every embarrassing moment of those contests. They should have to. No way they should get to take a free pass and an early trip home.

Salvage what little positive image and respect there is out in the world for you Mr. Emmert. Unless you think that the joke is already so bad that there is no saving your reputation.The world of college athletics has enough problems without having fake games.

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