Andy Staples on why Misery got hammered and UNC didn't

There is a certain twisted logic to it. And his closing point is absolutely valid: The NCAA is what its member schools say it is. So are the rules, and the way they are enforced. They won’t change until the schools vote them that way.

<LINK_TEXT text=“https://www.si.com/college-football/201 … basketball”>https://www.si.com/college-football/2019/01/31/missouri-postseason-ban-academic-fraud-unc-basketball</LINK_TEXT>

The academic cheating at North Carolina has been going on for like, 28 years, with that fake class. Everyone knows the NCAA could have hammered their butts, but they chose to find a way not to sanction them. Why does anybody play by the rules anymore because the rules are not enforced?

You are really penalized in college football and basketball if you don’t cheat. It is not a fair fight. If we are going to try to compete in the SEC in football and basketball, we are going to need to get in there with the cheaters and battle it out. We’ll need to get down and dirty with the rest of the schools that we have been told are cheating.

I assume we have not been cheating in those two sports. If we are, we are not very good at it.

I’m sorry. I’m not a win at all cost guy. In every profession there are those that cheat the system. And yes, often times those seem to get ahead, but I just don’t subscribe to that way of doing things. Winning itself just isn’t worth it.

Andy addressed the UNC thing as well. They got away with it because they accidentally set it up so that any student could benefit from the fake courses, not just jocks. So it couldn’t be deemed an extra benefit for athletes. Whereas the Misery tutor doing papers for their athletes was an extra benefit not available to non-athletes. The NCAA is not going to pass judgment on whether a course is a real course; that’s up to the accrediting agency for the entire school. The accrediting agency did put UNC – all of it – on probation for a year for the fake courses, but did not revoke or suspend accreditation, and that probation is now over.

I’m not naive enough to think nobody at Arkansas bends the rules. I know better. I knew someone (he’s deceased) who was involved in $100 handshakes and didn’t care if it was an NCAA violation or not; he knew the athlete from way back and he was going to give him a little spending money regardless, and I’m sure that still goes on. But if we’re doing any of what NASCAR fans would call “downright cheatin’,” such as using shoe company money to buy basketball players or cooking kids’ transcripts to get them into school, we’re not very good at it. And I don’t want us to get good at it. If Mike Anderson can’t get past the first weekend of the Dance because he doesn’t buy players, then so be it. I don’t want to be giving championship trophies back because we got caught later. John McDonnell had to give two of them back because of that assistant coach running amuck (ran himself right into a federal prison). Let’s not repeat that.

I don’t think MA does any of that “high profile” cheating with shoe companies or anyone else playing the money launderer for players. I don’t doubt that a booster or 2 has stepped out on their own occasionally, so be it. Has there been some borderline classroom help? Probably yes when you think about the athletes schedules during the season, again so be it.
Probably some other minor sketchy things under the radar. So be that too.

I don’t think it was luck or MA being that good at cheating that he or anyone on his staff wasn’t implicated in the latest FBI probe. The FBI were tippped and zeroed in on the tips, then stretched it from there to other high profile programs/coaches and onto the SEC especially.

I do find it interesting that some like Cal (longtime known cheater) escaped the wrath. However if you do something over and over for a very long period of time, one can become very clever at the game learning how to stay one step ahead & covering tracks.
Some just get complacent & sloppy with cheating until they crash & burn. (Pitino).

Thanks for the overview Jeff. I doubt there is a school out there that is 100% clean because no one can monitor $100 handshakes and free stuff for the kids. I’m friends with a former player for a small mid major and he recieved free shoes from a local sporting goods store and free food on occasion. All on the QT of coarse. I’ve heard enough from those that know about the dirt in college basketball to know it’s out there. But the amount of money the FBI uncovered blew me away.

I agree that I’d rather have a team that wins only one or two in the NCAA dance than a “dirty” program that takes it all the way. Integrity is (to me) more important than winning at all costs.

Could it be that UNC Is Too Big to Fail?

Where punishing Mizzou doesn’t hurt the sport really ?

Missouri (like Arkansas) big enough to hurt so the NCAA can make an example

Small enough it doesn’t hurt The Sport or it’s marketers

Maybe Mizzou didn’t have good enough lawyers