Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Blast From The Past

You're Doin' Fine, Oklahoma

I would be remiss if I did not comment on today's news from NCAA Global World Headquarters. The University of Oklahoma football program was placed on two years' probation, resulting in the loss of two scholarships in each of the next two school years. The worst punishment, though, was the "vacation" of the 8 wins in the 2005 season. The probation was handed out due to the underemployment/overpayment of QB Rhett Bomar and OL J.D. Quinn at Big Red Sports and Imports in Norman.

As an OU fan, I can live without the two scholarships for the next two seasons. The Sooners penalized themselves by not granting the two scholarships last season after kicking Bomar and Quinn off the team. That's just two scholarships that won't be used for another two years.

Once university athletic officials became aware of the infraction, they kicked the offending players off the team and informed the NCAA. The NCAA investigated, and laid down the hammer. Where is the lenience for cooperation with the NCAA? The two scholarship penalty, in addition to self-imposed sanctions, were plenty. The NCAA did not need to vacate the 8 wins from the 2005 season.

If there was a season in which to "vacate" the wins, 2005 was the one. The 2005 Sooners were very ordinary. They lost to TCU, were pounded by UCLA and Texas, and lost to Texas Tech due to some questionable officiating. That team didn't sniff a conference championship, much less a national championship. Still, I don't like the idea of giving up the 8 wins. OU President David Boren is right to appeal the sanctions, and to take up for his coach's record.

It could have been worse. The NCAA no longer bans schools from TV, as conferences and opponents are also penalized. However, they could have lost more scholarships and been banned from post-season. A loss of 5-10 scholarships per year over the course of two or three years would be devastating.

I'm waiting with baited breath for the NCAA's punishment of USC regarding the Reggie Bush house imbroglio. For some reason, I don't expect anything huge to come down real soon on that front.

OU will be fine.

In a future post, I'll go off on the NCAA's selective enforcement procedures.