Thursday, August 20, 2009


Generally speaking if you're going to have a penalty for a certain sort of bad behavior it should serve to discourage the behavior. That is sort of the point. Punish the perpetrator, discourage others from following suit, and if you're really progressive try to put the guilty in a position to learn from their mistakes so they wont do it again. Unfortunately - that approach may well be applied to individuals, esp poor ones without good lawyers (as opposed to asshole kids who torture cats on youtube, who are sons of powerful oil barons with connections to the DA) - but it sure isnt used for large and powerful institutions.

Today it's Memphis basketball.
When SMU was found guilty of paying it's players they got the death penalty. It killed SMU football in a way that, well, honestly has never recovered. I think it's that truth - that applying a drastic penalty can destroy a program for decades - that explains why the NCAA never does anythign substantive to schools found to be cheating. So instead of punishing a school for violating the rules - they simply tell them 'you didnt win those games' - which accomplishes exactly what? Pointless. If Edwin Simmons can get paid 10k a year to turn off the lights at Memorial Stadium - and it's legal - then obviously people are already skirting the edge of the broken system. Lacking any sort of actual effective penalty for this sort of behavior just means they wont bother.

Teams must be punished for this crap. That means shutting programs down. Period. And that means they'd better take a good look at SMU football because that's what should be happening out there.


Karmadrome said...

This is kind of a tangent I suppose, but I think this is one of the things that the NCAA gets right. In professional sports, the punishment would rest entirely on the player, not the team. This actually encourages cheating, as the team is able to reap the benefits of the transgression while the player assumes 100% of the risk. The fact that the NCAA lowers the hammer on the teams that play cheaters speaks well of the institution.

And yes, I was an SMU fan. And yes, I completely support the death penalty for SMU.

Now, can we talk about players who are being paid by gamblers to throw games?

robyncz said...

We didn't have a basketball program at Tulane until I was a senior because of a point shaving scandal in 1984-1985.

GreatGoblin said...

What I'm saying here is that vacating wins is NOT a penalty. If you vacated the Horns national championship season I dont think any of our tailgate nutter friends would give a crap - because they would happily remember the victory regardless. However - if you made the penalty current - say a year of BCS ineligibility - that would have them pissed as hell. Vacating victories doesnt change the behavior.