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The Big Blue Daily Mail -- Are NCAA Secondary Violations Mostly Deliberate?

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Seth Emerson of the South Carolina's The State has an article today reprinted in the Lexington Herald-Leader which essentially asks this question:  Are secondary NCAA violations really accidental, or are the deliberate acts that are worth the small penalty?

I actually think this is a good question, given the profligacy of Tennessee, Auburn and South Carolina recently in racking up NCAA secondary violations, and Georgia reported eight, which is an improvement from the 15 last year at this time.  The article notes that UK has not reported any secondary violations in the last six months, but according to South Carolina's compliance director:

But if schools don’t report any secondary violations, then coaches and compliance directors "probably aren’t doing their jobs," Stiles said.

As somebody who knows a thing or two about compliance, I know that the goal of compliance is not to commit violations, as opposed to just catching and reporting them them all.  Further, Stiles' comment looks like a backhanded shot at schools who do work hard to make sure that they don't have any violations to report.  If Mr. Stiles' theory of compliance is what is passing for the commitment of these schools to comply with the rules, it is obvious that it's little more than a nod and wink at all but the most egregious wrongs, which are pretty darn easy to avoid if you want to.  The secondary ones are trickier, but UK is proving, at least in football, that it's doable.

There have recently been suggestions that coaches are ignoring the rules that result in secondary violations deliberately, because the advantages gained by the violation are worth the price schools wind up having to pay.  That is an altogether cynical viewpoint, and if that is going on, something clearly needs to be done.  Rich Brooks thinks so, too.

My opinion is that the penalty should increase for multiple violations within a given time frame, just like penalties increase for multiple violations of many laws during a set time frame.  The actual tolling period could be pretty arbitrary, I suppose, but something needs to be done, and the idea that the benefit gained by a violation might be worth the price is an invitation for unethical and unsportsmanlike behavior, which some say is happening as a matter of course.  I hope the NCAA will take a look at this and take some kind of action to stem the tide.

Now, for the news:

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