Blog Entry

Van Gundy's NCAA plan: Eliminate the rules

Posted on: August 29, 2011 3:06 pm
By Gary Parrish

My colleague Matt Moore has an interesting post in our NBA blog about some interesting comments from Stan Van Gundy in relation to the scandal at Miami that has some believing the football program should get the so-called death penalty. Basically, the Orlando Magic coach blamed the NCAA's system for the problems that plague college athletics, then suggested the only way to fix the system is to eliminate the entire rule book.
“[We should] let the schools decide whom they enroll and how — no entrance or eligibility requirements, how much the boosters want to pay them and whether or not they go to class. There are two rules. You play only four seasons, and the upper age limit is 25. No other rules. Players who are paid must declare their income and pay taxes on it. If they don’t and get caught, then they have to deal with the IRS and instead of giving back the Heisman they risk going to jail. This drops the myth about amateurism and education. It allows players to get paid but puts it out in the open. Now people can stop hiding behind their idealism about the purity of college athletics and let you know what the school and alumni truly value. NCAA enforcement is the drug war. We’ve lost. Let’s find a different, more realistic approach.”
The reason I love that quote is because it touches on something I've spent a lot of time talking to coaches about recently -- that the only way to really "clean up" college athletics is to eliminate the rules because amateurism as defined by the NCAA has never worked and will never work. There's just no reason to believe we will ever stop agents and boosters and coaches and shoe companies from buying prospects for schools. Van Gundy's solution to this problem is to strip away all the BS and make college athletics a legalized free-for-all, and that's an idea I could get behind because it would bring everything above board.

Even better?

It probably wouldn't change much in regards to which teams win and which teams lose.

I genuinely believe that if we told all football programs and all basketball programs that they could, for the next 15 years, do whatever they want to do to field whatever kind of team they want to field, that our next 15 national champions in both sports would look a lot like our last 15 national champions in both sports. They'd be the same lists, give or take a school or two, because the schools that care the most and spend the most would win the most, and that's pretty much the way it is right now anyway. The only difference would be that nobody would call that system "hypocritical," and nobody would whisper about cheating when a school wins a title because everybody would know exactly what everybody did to get everybody on campus.

No more lies.

No more secrets.

Is it a far-fetched idea?

Of course.

But it's much more honest than the system we've got now.
Category: NCAAB

Since: Dec 22, 2008
Posted on: September 1, 2011 9:02 am

Van Gundy's NCAA plan: Eliminate the rules

You know, minor leagues might weaken the talent pool - but as a fan of NCAA baseball, I have to say there is no lack of excitement at the college world series, and it seems that is increasing year after year.  What it does is force an emphasis on team work and it means coaches actually have to coach rather than relying on their recruiting to win games for them.  To me there is only a minor downside and if it ends some of the corruption, it can only help.

Since: Sep 7, 2006
Posted on: August 31, 2011 3:14 pm

Van Gundy's NCAA plan: Eliminate the rules

Great point about minor league basketball and or football.  The reality is the true corruption preventer, although it would dilute the talent pool immensely.

But again, that is a decision for the NBA and the NFL to make and not the NCAA.  The NCAA is really a hostage to those league bodies at least in this situation.

Since: Dec 22, 2008
Posted on: August 31, 2011 12:28 pm

Van Gundy's NCAA plan: Eliminate the rules

Sounds like a good idea to me.  It certainly would free up some of my time, as I wouldn't care to watch.  How stupid and ignorant can you be?  One of the reasons I enjoy college athletics is that they have some standards (that should be better enforced) that promote fairness in competition.  One of the reasons I have given up major league baseball is I can't stand the Yankees and the fact that they try to buy success rather than compete for it.

If the NBA wants this and they want their thugs to be able to be paid, why don't they just form a minor league like baseball has.  Let the NCAA keep playing and enforce the rules strictly for those athletes that actually want to be student athletes.  I would watch that and hope that kids would want to as well so they could still have some positive role models to follow in sports.  I am sick and tired of the lowering ethical standards that we keep seeing in our society and the idea that you could promote a continued spiral to the bottom is somewhat sad.

Since: Sep 11, 2006
Posted on: August 31, 2011 7:14 am

A better plan: Eliminate the NBA

It comes as no surprise that those sucking at the teat of the money goddess think that the professionalization of amateur athletics ought to be welcomed.

Since: Nov 8, 2007
Posted on: August 30, 2011 12:00 pm

Van Gundy's NCAA plan: Eliminate the rules

So with the same argument we could argue that the steroid use issue in football and baseball should be solved by doing away with the anti-doping rules in those sports. Let the cyclist use all the EPO they want! Why not? So you are basically saying that the problem isn't that college kids get paid (and all the problems that go along wth that), the problem is the rules prohibiting it, so just get rid of the rules.

The real problem is that these kids do not get a solid footing in reality as it is, now you want to make it worse. I quit watching NBA basketball after Latrell Sprewell, after turning down a $21million contract from the Timberwolves, said "I have a family to feed ... If Glen) Taylor wants to see my family fed, he better cough up some money. Otherwise, you're going to see these kids in one of those Sally Struthers commercials soon." The funny thing is that Latrell is now completely broke after making something like $96 million in the NBA.

The egos these kids in college have now is similar, and their sense of entitlement will continue to grow. Them getting paid and going to the highest bidder will only make things worse. What they need is a good education to center themselves and so they know how protect that money they will make in the NBA. The list of players that have made tens-of-millions of dollars in the NBA and are now broke is staggering (Latrell Sprewell, Scottie Pippin, Kenny Anderson, etc...). Look at the amount of drug use, domestic violence, gun use, etc. for college athletes these days. The kids think they are so entitled that there are no consequences to anything.

They are already getting a free education, the problem is that they and their "handlers" don't see this as important because they only see the possibility of big $$ in the NBA. The student athletes are the ones getting hurt all around. They are not taking advantage of the free scholarships provided them and the agents and boosters don't give them any incentive to care about their education and simply want them to get to the NBA as quickly as possible. These kids are not being prepared for life. That is the real tragedy here.

I'm not saying I know how to solve the problem. I know some of these kids come from some bad situations and they are just trying to do what is best for them and their families. I don't blame the kids; I blame the boosters and agents who don't really have the kids’ best interests in mind. So doing away with the rules will only make things worse. Getting rid of the rules will solve the problem, it’s just that we will have stopped caring about the student athletes altogether.

Since: Mar 30, 2010
Posted on: August 30, 2011 10:36 am

Van Gundy's NCAA plan: Eliminate the rules

A truly Modest Proposal.

Since: Sep 7, 2006
Posted on: August 30, 2011 12:40 am

Van Gundy's NCAA plan: Eliminate the rules

My evidence that legalized prostitution and drugs would lead to corruption and chaos? Well first of all, I like how you ignored the fact that I said it might work in "isolated circumstances," although that's debatable as a host of literature shows it creates even more underground activity and new problems.  And yes, I can cite scholarly literature if you really really want me to.

It's the same thing with this idea.  All this is, is a theory that making money transferring transparent, that "underground activity" will cease.  I think you're living off the assumption that this plan "eliminates rules." It doesn't.  They would make new rules about disclosure and new violations would start to surface in a few years and we'd be right back to square one, except now we've lost all control of the system and the moral fiber of college athletics is flipped over completely.

Collegiate athletes would essentially be controlled by boosters who would then own the coach and thus the University.  It'd be like having pimps control college athletics...and what kind of trickledown affect does this have for real student athletes?  It's just so far beyond reality it's stupid.

Since: Mar 22, 2011
Posted on: August 30, 2011 12:10 am

Van Gundy's NCAA plan: Eliminate the rules

And your evidence for 'generally speaking it would not work and lead to more corruption and chaos', is ... ? This proposal is called change, finding a better way to do things. The current system is seriously corrupt, with a need for radical reform. Legalize drugs or prostitution? Ever been to Amsterdam?

Since: Mar 18, 2009
Posted on: August 29, 2011 5:46 pm

Van Gundy's NCAA plan: Eliminate the rules

Anarchy has long been a plan that works in the minds of the surly, deadbeat n'er-do-wells.  Our embarassingly lazy, "dine and dash" culture gets worse by the day, but better with its justifications for approaching zero, personal accountability.  Whatever happened to assigning a value to a meaningful college (or even High School) education?  We are the jokes of the planet.  All the advantages and very little results.

But, why not be honest about it, and have all "players" who can affect ticket sales directly or indirectly, share in the profits.  Make them employees.  Do not call them students and in doing so, belittling the rest of the student body at any level.  Not enough of us care any more as all we want is entertainment and some form of gratification every 3 seconds.  We are enlightened.  We are the world.  We are the peopuh!

Since: Sep 7, 2006
Posted on: August 29, 2011 5:23 pm

Legalizing Drugs or etc

This is the exact same argument as legalizing drugs or prostitution.  While the idea might work to reduce crime in isolated circumstances, generally speaking it would not work and eventually lead to more corruption and chaos.

I get the idea and he was probably just tweeting random nonsense, but it's not really worth discussing if it doesn't have realistic application.

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