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Men like Bowlsby part of problem
by Kevin J. Keller/My Thoughts on Paper
Aug 07, 2014 | 237 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby ripped the NCAA on July 21, saying that “cheating pays” and “enforcement is broken” during his state of the league address at Big 12 Media Day.

He’s right, cheating does pay and enforcement is broken.

However, he conveniently left out the fact that he, along with many of the other conference leaders, are just as much to blame for the sad state of college athletics.

Cheating pays because men like Bob Bowlsby look the other way when one of their teams breaks the rules.

Enforcement is broken because men like Bowlsby actively fight the NCAA’s Infractions Committee any time it tries to govern college athletics.

The NCAA model is broken, there’s no questioning that.

But it’s broken because the conferences have too much power.

Bowlsby can stand on his soapbox and preach as much as he wants, but you can’t ask the NCAA to police college athletics while simultaneously stripping it of its power to do so.

As much as you would like to, you can’t have it both ways, Mr. Bowlsby.

As great as football is, it is solely responsible for the slow and agonizing death of the NCAA.

NCAA football has become bigger than college athletics themselves.

It’s a multibillion dollar business built on the backs of student-athletes who Bowlsby routinely uses as a steppingstone to a bigger office and more exorbitant salary.

Fixing college athletics isn’t something that will happen overnight. It’s going to take years, maybe decades.

But it starts with the major football conferences and teams separating into their own organization.

Let’s call it the NFL Development League, since that’s essentially all it is anyway.

Let those conferences hash out the details of what athletes can and can’t do. Let them elect a commissioner and board of directors who will police the organization.

Once football is out of the way, it becomes much easier to police college athletics.

The NCAA can survive. It can thrive in fact.

But football, like a grown child, needs to move out on its own and find its own place to live.

Once football is finally out of the house, the forgotten children – track and field, swimming, golf, wrestling, etc. – can finally grow and prosper.

The NCAA in its current form is capable of handling the task of policing those sports.

Men’s basketball will have to follow football out the door, though.

But let’s focus on getting football’s bags packed for now.

It’s had plenty of time to raid the cupboards and bleed the NCAA dry; it doesn’t need any more.
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