Sprints Would Like Someone to Tell It Why We Can't Have a New NCAA // 12.30.10

Sometimes, it's best to just step back and let other people do the talking. So we'll give you two statements about the decision by the NCAA and Ohio State to suspend some of the Buckeyes for the first five games of next season, but not for the bowl game, and let you decide what they say about each other.

The NCAA:

Money is not a motivator or factor as to why one school would get a particular decision versus another. Any insinuation that revenue from bowl games in particular would influence NCAA decisions is absurd, because schools and conferences receive that revenue, not the NCAA.

The Columbus Dispatch:

OSU officials, along with Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany, successfully lobbied the NCAA to reinstate the players for the Sugar Bowl. ...

[Sugar Bowl CEO Paul Hoolahan] said athletic director Gene Smith said to him that OSU was trying to push the suspensions back to the 2011 season, and Hoolahan then told Smith how strongly he felt about the players participating in the Sugar Bowl.

"I made the point that anything that could be done to preserve the integrity of this year's game, we would greatly appreciate it," Hoolahan said. "That appeal did not fall on deaf ears, and I'm extremely excited about it, that the Buckeyes are coming in at full strength and with no dilution."

That's not all that the Association said in a whiny statement issued Wednesday about how many people are picking on them. Why the NCAA felt the need to respond to the criticism, or any criticism, is beyond me -- but once they decided to do so, they decided to do so with guns blazing.

Also in the statement: Everyone's favorite smiling father and his son, Cecil and Cam Newton. By name.

As for the broader issue of a student escaping penalties based on their lack of knowledge, there also have been reports in the media that the recent ruling related to Cam Newton's eligibility will encourage parents or third-parties to solicit benefits or money during the recruiting process while keeping the student in the dark as to their activities.

Again, this strays from the truth.

Any resemblance the first sentence has to WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED in the Cam Newton case is purely coincidental. I often say this flippantly, but this time I mean it literally: Those two paragraphs might be the dumbest thing I've ever read. The NCAA is actually saying, and expecting you to believe, that the NCAA's ruling that something happening will lead to a player's reinstatement without having missed a game will not lead to the same thing happening again.

Oh, but they're not done. They then drop the bombshell.

Put simply, had Cam Newton's father or a third party actually received money or benefits for his recruitment, Cam Newton would have been declared ineligible regardless of his lack of knowledge.

First of all, Cam Newton was declared ineligible but then reinstated a day later. I know because the NCAA said so.

But this also gets to the heart of one of the problems that comes with this loophole: We don't know for a fact that Cecil Newton didn't receive money. We know that the NCAA doesn't have any evidence that Cecil Newton didn't get paid. But the NCAA can be tricked by someone with half a brain, and its findings of fact would inspire more confidence if it had proven in the past to be more Sherlock Holmes and less Inspector Clouseau.

Listen, if the NCAA wants to say that there is no conspiracy charge in its rulebook, it's probably right. If it wants to admit that the rules need to change to address that, I'll be there to support the amendments. But to ask us to all accept this thin-skinned rant at face value isn't just ridiculous; it's insulting.

Fix things, shut up, or get out of the way and let someone who might actually have a spine deal with this. Until then, I'll put more credence in a politician's pre-election promises than anything penned by Mark Emmert.

But wait -- there's more, courtesy of the L.A. Times.

Casey Martinez had a deal with Nebraska nearly a year before his football-playing son, Taylor, did.

The father of Nebraska's starting quarterback owns the sports apparel company Corn Fed, and he entered into a licensing agreement with the university's athletic program about a year before his son committed to play football for the Cornhuskers. ...

The NCAA said the business partnership does not violate college rules, but spokesman Erik Christianson acknowledged such deals "could raise concerns" about recruiting inducements.

Brilliant powers of deduction there, Mr. Christianson. Now please excuse me while I go vomit.

The newest entry in the Cam Newton catchphrase glossary: Santa beans
Also, watch as Cam Newton manages to refer to Cam Newton in the third person twice in the same sentence.

SEC BOWLNANZA 2010

At least he didn't say he wasn't going to be the football coach at Michigan State
Nick Saban apparently is not feeling at home in Tuscaloosa -- or at least not the same way he did while at Michigan State.

I spent 10 years there. Terry (his wife) and I have a lot of great relationships and know a lot of good people. It probably feels as much like home as any place we’ve ever been because of the 10 years we spent there, and the great relationships we have.

There are no signs that Mark Dantonio is going to go all Urban Meyer on everyone and decide his heart can't take it any more, so it appears that there is no reason to worry here. (Kidding, of course.) Just kind of odd to see a head coach come close to saying he felt as much or more at home at an earlier job than he does in his current location.

Spurrier's respect for Florida State does know some bounds
It seems to end when it comes to the iconic Tomahawk Chop.

"I guess when they start playing that song, that Indian chant," Spurrier said, humming the tune, "then I'll say, 'Oh, I've got to hear that all night again.'"

Feel the love.

Teryl Austin expected to coach in Outback Bowl
When was the last time a digestive issue led a Florida coach to shirk his duties? Don't answer that.

OTHER NEWS

Will Muschamp is hiring his coaches, or so we're being told
No word on who might actually be hired. Apparently, there will be no last-ditch effort to try to convince Steve Addazio to stay in Gainesville.

Some Florida fans' jaws probably hit the floor when they read this
Mike Pouncey has some thoughts on which Florida players might leave for the NFL Draft.

"Janoris Jenkins will probably leave. He’s obviously one of the guys that’s going to leave," said Pouncey. "Probably Will Hill."

That would be same Will Hill that's been called inconsistent and had various problems in Gainesville this year. But all you need is one crazy NFL general manager.

Wait -- again?
West Virginia quarterback Barry Brunetti is looking to transfer closer to home, and guess which SEC school is in the running for his services?

"I haven't really picked Ole Miss, but I would say they're right now the team to beat," Brunetti said.

I bet you he's also interested in the fine Parks and Recreation program in Oxford. And as for that whole "sitting out a year" thing?

After transferring, Brunetti won't be eligible to play until next December -- unless he qualifies for a hardship waiver from the NCAA.

Does anyone honestly think he didn't get that idea from Houston Nutt? (HT: Veazey)

UNC finds a replacement for Tennessee
And they got a real team for both years -- in this case it would be Louisville, which is still better than Buffalo.

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