It has long been my contention that the NCAA and the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) is a joke. If you get into a discussion with the right people on the subject of the NCAA, you will hear comments on how the committee will suddenly decide to pass sanctions on a school and sit around and pat each other on the backs in congratulations over doing their jobs. Their favorite activity is the “investigation.”

The latest school to suffer the guillotine of the NCAA is University of Southern California. It seems that USC has been able to put together too many championship programs so there must be some wrongdoings.

USC has been able to recruit some top studs for their program, so the NCAA investigators have had a few stays at the Hilton and some lobster dinners on the expense account while they investigate. I’m thinking the weather, the palm trees and the girls may be a factor in a young man’s decision to spend four years in California.

If you take a close look, Florida has also been able to come up with some winning programs through recruitment. Again, I’m thinking the setting may have something to do with the choice. A recruiter has a hell of a pitch when he can say, “Come on down, young man, enjoy a little time on the beaches, play a little football and wait for the NFL scouts to show up.”

In these cases, earthquakes and hurricanes take a back seat after a kid has peeped at a snapshot of a couple of dream boats with tans, sporting bikinis.

Some of the investigators may be a little leery of the alligators in Florida, but Southern California is ripe for the pickings. Recently the focus has been on Reggie Bush. A few years ago there were allegations that the house that Bush’s parents lived in was a perk. However, the investigation seemed to stall, and I thought the whole subject had been dropped.

While the investigators were working on their tans for the past few years, Bush managed to pick up an NCAA Championship Ring, a Heisman Trophy and on the next level a Super Bowl Ring.

The NCAA investigators have come forward again, and at the moment they remind me of some of my playmates when I was 8 years old. There was always one kid who would open his yap and cry, “Johnny is cheating and I can prove it.” So what? In the case of the teams in the NCAA, cheating is a fact of life.

I am a fan of Dan Jenkins, who authored some of the best books on sports you can read anywhere. He treats his subject matter with tongue-in-cheek hilarity and if you don’t take yourself too seriously, you will enjoy every word. In short, Jenkins’ work is fiction mimicking life.

One of his characters, coach, T.J. Lambert, on the subject of recruiting says, “If a coach goes out and recruits a fast stud, you had better damn go out and recruit one who can catch him.”

Anybody who isn’t masquerading as a dunce knows that payola and under the table perks are the heartbeat of college sports. An athlete on scholarship isn’t able to hold a job, so unless he is the nephew of Donald Trump, the alumni step in and drop a Porsche or Rolex on his doorstep just to keep him motivated.

Alumni are like politicians, they will go to any lengths to keep their school among the elite. I hope you don’t think those new libraries and sports complexes are being built with collections from the people in the neighborhood.

The sad part of this whole USC business is the fact that coach, Pete Carroll is caught up in the “crapola.” Some wonder if this will tarnish Carroll’s legacy, and my answer is no. Carroll is one of the best college coaches to ever walk the sidelines, and unfortunately under this latest inquisition, he is the fall guy.


Tim Lacy

Special to the AFRO