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Bowlsby Speaks Of Bleak College Landscape, Says Enforcement System Is Broken
Published July 22, 2014
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NOT AN EVEN MATCHUP? In San Antonio, Tim Griffin notes the "lack of any teeth in the NCAA's punishment process and other problems" Bowlsby cited "make him expect a bleak future for the organization." Others in college sports have "similarly ripped the NCAA's recent enforcement efforts, most notably after the botched investigation" of the Univ. of Miami in '13. Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany last month said the NCAA's enforcement was "overmatched." Bowlsby said, "They're (NCAA enforcement) in the battle with a BB gun in their hands. They're fighting howitzers. We have to find a way to make progress on it. It undermines the confidence of the system" (SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 7/22). CBSSPORTS.com's Dennis Dodd noted Bowlsby "went as far to suggest the federal government may have to take over enforcement." He said that that would "allow investigators to issue subpoenas." The "lack of such is a key criticism of the NCAA process." Bowlsby: “I am really not very far of being of the mind that some form of federal statute is not a good idea. You could say it's against the law to influence where a student athlete would go to school, influence the outcome of a contest, to provide a benefit that is outside of the rules" (CBSSPORTS.com, 7/21).
CHANGE IS GONNA COME: Bowlsby said that the intent of his comments was to "sound an alarm on the consequences, intended and unintended, of those potential forced changes" to begin paying athletes. Bowlsby: "In the end, it's a somewhat zero-sum game. There's only so much money out there. I don't think that coaches and athletic directors are likely going to take pay cuts. I think that train's left the station. … I think over a period of time what we'll find is that instead of keeping a tennis program, they're going to do the things that it takes to keep the football and men's and women's basketball programs strong" (USA TODAY, 7/22).
DOOM & GLOOM: In West Virginia, Dave Hickman writes to "listen to Bowlsby, it might be as bad as it has been in quite a while, not because there are so many schools or coaches or athletes prone to cheat, but because without oversight the temptation looms so large." It is "hard to quantify what it is Bowlsby is talking about when he speaks of cheating because there are so few glaring examples at which to point." But that "probably has far more to do with the NCAA’s inability to catch cheaters than any lack of cheating" (CHARLESTON GAZETTE, 7/22). In Texas, Brice Cherry wrote some of this "doomsaying likely has a purpose," as Bowlsby was "intentional with his bell-clanging." He "knew he had a captive audience, with laptops at the ready," and "much of his purpose can be tied to the push for autonomy by the so-called Power 5 conferences." But that "doesn’t mean he isn’t right," as cheating "does pay" (WACOTRIB.com, 7/21).