Reasons why NCAA’s presence is necessary
by David Climer, USA TODAY Sports
The NCAA is corrupt
The NCAA is inefficient.
The NCAA is out of touch.
Now that we’ve gotten past that, here’s another point:
The NCAA is absolutely necessary.
As flawed as it may be — and the NCAA’s enforcement staff and leadership have taken on plenty of water in the last few months — the major governing body of intercollegiate athletics still plays a role that cannot be filled by anyone else.
For one thing, it often goes overlooked but the NCAA is much, much more than the author of a cumbersome rulebook, the overlord of an archaic enforcement system and the administrator of March Madness. The NCAA conducts 89 championships in various sports — men, women and coed — across three divisions.
Exactly who is going to take care of that little detail if the NCAA goes away?
Maybe you think the top football-playing schools should consolidate into four super conferences totaling, say, 64 members and go about their business. They could work out scheduling, negotiate TV contracts and stage their own eight-, 16- or 32-team playoff. What a wonderful world it would be, right?
Wrong. It would still be every conference for itself. Do you think the SEC would agree to sharing equal billing and equal TV revenue with the Big Whatever? Bigger still is the question about establishing a rulebook and enforcing it. Who handles that?
Look, somebody has to be in charge of writing and policing the rules. Otherwise, intercollegiate athletics disintegrates into the Wild West. It’s better to have a bad sheriff than no sheriff at all.
That’s lost on all those critics that want to disband the NCAA and establish some other form of governance for college sports. The genie is out of the bottle. You can’t start all over. Instead, you try to fix what is wrong with the NCAA.
Granted, the NCAA is having a bad year, maybe a bad decade.
Word recently surfaced that the enforcement wing of the NCAA wrote checks totaling $19,000 to the attorney of convicted felon Nevin Shapiro in its attempt to nail Miami. Lawyer Maria Elena Perez produced evidence obtained illegally and the NCAA used it against … [For more on Reasons why the NCAA's heavily-scrutinized presence is necessary, click here.]