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Fixing the NCAA: Talking past each other

A couple of interesting items popped up yesterday that show me that the current problem that we are seeing in regards to pay for play and enforcement have a long way to go, if ever, to being resolved.

We are all aware of the HBO Real Sports special with regards to Auburn boosters allegedly paying players. This was not a surprise to anyone. We all know it happens, even if the four players didn't offer any solid evidence.

Without any solid evidence I am really not sure what the point was to their "coming clean".

Shortly after that special one of the players interviewed, Stanley McClover, was interviewed by the NCAA...

As was the case for HBO and again during an exclusive interview with the Sun Sentinel on Saturday afternoon, McClover refused to implicate any Auburn boosters by name in what has become a pay-for-play scandal.

"I told her I’m not doing it for that," McClover told the Sun Sentinel. "I didn’t give her anything. She wasn’t mad. I think she respected where I was coming from. I told her I don’t want to get all caught up in that. That’s another way to cover up the truth, to talk about this money. Let’s talk about what it’s doing to these kids. They don’t want to talk about that.

"I told her, ‘You and me need to be talking about how to change the NCAA system.’ I told her I’m trying to help her change. I’m an athlete. I went through it. Let’s work together and see how we can better the situation."


So McClover wants to be the White Knight in all of this to try and change the system but won't divulge the information that could start the process? If he was so concerned about this, his first step could have been to have never accepted the money. I hardly believe that before the first $20 was pressed into his hands that he hadn't heard about pay-for-play.

I'm sure he could have deduced the potential problems that awaited him.

I get it, that sort of temptation is hard to turn away from and that players are in a tough spot in these sort of situations. Current or former players don't want to harm the players on the squad, past or present. But if you are going to take the money don't come back later and say its wrong unless you are going to see it all the way through.

Open your mouth and spill the beans and you will blacklisted from the program forever, but if you keep quiet and let it keep happening you further perpetuate the problem. It's a difficult situation to overcome.

Society will protect its whistle blowers if the accusations are proven to be a detriment to the group that is being abused.

In fact the whistle blower will be championed!

But John Taylor from CFT has a more eloquent take...

Of course, at least a small part of the way to change the system, to ensure other similarly-skilled athletes aren’t put through the same set of horrors McClover endured would be to name names so those individuals could be exposed and kept away from the program. Most certainly those anonymous individuals who McClover accused of handing him thousands of dollars in cash are still lurking in the bushes of the Auburn football program; name them, and begin the process of a change you so crave. Apparently, however, that particular tack isn’t in line with whatever agenda prompted McClover to come forward and air his grievances nationally in the first place.

If your going to talk, why not talk? Don’t half-ass it; spill it all and lay everything out onto the table, especially with the people who may be able to most affect the change you supposedly desire. Going public with charges that may or may not be true is the easy part. If you’re so concerned about the future, so concerned about what happened to you not happening to someone else, take any and all steps necessary even as continuing down your chosen path may be more difficult the further you go.

Unless, of course, you were simply talking out of your backside in the first place.

Taylor is dead on.

History is littered with individuals who stood up situations that could have potentially ostracized them from the very group they were trying to protect or seek change for.

I have heard some former players and members of the press use the term indentured servitude in describing the NCAA and how they treat their players. Those are strong words but I don't necessarily disagree. But if a player is going to go down that road and demand...nee seek change, then they need to show some intestinal fortitude to see that change through.

Because he is now choosing to keep quiet Stanley McClover has not only ensured his "indentured servitude" by not going all the way but he has now lost all credibility by showing he had some axe to grind but couldn't go through with it.

Taylor is right, you can't half-ass it...better said you can't get a little bit pregnant.

That brings me to the other thing I saw this weekend.

I am no fan of Dan Wetzel.

He is an opportunist in his writing and you could even say that he went way over the journalistic ethical line in his trying to dig up information on Reggie Bush. But every once in a while he gets one right...

New NCAA president Mark Emmert has paid lip service to scrubbing up his sports. He’s thrown out some lines about the need to do better but there’s been no interest in any real path to improvement.

He isn’t going law and order and expanding the overworked and understaffed NCAA enforcement group. He isn’t thinking big picture and discussing the need more control over things by the central office. He isn’t being bold and plotting a course for real reform of the amateurism rules that are outdated, unfair and simply aren’t being followed.

And he’s certainly showed no willingness to address the growing gap between the millions that coaches and ADs bask in and the zero dollars the players are paid.

Just this week the Fiesta Bowl released a scathing and stunning report detailing illegal campaign donations, rampant graft and the doling out of gifts, cruises and golf to athletic directors and conference officials in an effort to curry favor. The behavior on all sides is indefensible.

Mark Emmert continues to amaze me in his ignorance to the whole mess, but these comments about the Fiesta Bowl mess are mind boggling...

Emmert was so troubled by it that he said he didn’t bother to actually read the entire report – "I didn’t have that much time." Ah, priorities.

Emmert pretty much said the same thing about how the USC case was handled while hardly reading the NCAA report. His constant foot in mouth road shows how Emmert is hardly qualified to run, let alone fix the ills of the NCAA.

In fact, I would call him an embarrassment.

Emmert shoring up enforcement is akin to giving the KGB more power in their hay day.

Emmert and McClover are both part of the problem in talking past what ills college football and basketball and when given the chance neither have the guts to address and actually fix the issues.

All they are doing is talking past each other while getting their 15 minutes in the spotlight.