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NCAA hammered Missouri with way different logic than it used to let North Carolina slide

Roy Williams (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

I have never covered Missouri football, basketball, baseball or any other sport. However, I have watched the NCAA for years and still can’t figure out the logic that seems to always be missing from that group.

The NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions on Thursday banned Missouri’s football, baseball and softball teams from competing in the postseason play this year and Missouri on probation for three years for academic fraud. The three teams lose some scholarships and official visits along with a seven-week ban on recruiting communications and off-campus recruiting evaluation days. The NCAA also fined Missouri $5,000, plus 1 percent of each of its budgets in football, baseball and softball.

The NCAA ruled that former Missouri tutor Yolanda Kumar violated NCAA ethical conduct, academic misconduct and academic extra benefits rules by completing academic work for 12 student-athletes. The NCAA alleged Kumar completed a course for a Missouri football player and also assisted two football players in completing Missouri’s math placement exam.

Obviously all that is a no-no.

Yet Missouri athletics director Jim Sterk quickly said the school will file an appeal. 

“The Committee on Infractions has abused its discretion in applying penalties in this case, and the University will immediately appeal this decision that has placed unfair penalties on our department and programs. It is hard to fathom that the University could be cited for exemplary cooperation throughout this case, and yet end up with these unprecedented penalties that could unfairly and adversely impact innocent current and future Mizzou student-athletes,” Sterk said in a release. “It is important to note that this was the action of one individual, who acted unilaterally and outside of the expectations that we have established for our staff members.”

But where the logic goes away is that when North Carolina had students taking deficient courses in the Department of African and Afro-American studies it got away with no punishment. The Committee on Infractions tried to distinguish the difference on Thursday.

“Among other differences, UNC stood by the courses and the grades it awarded student-athletes,” the NCAA report said. “In support of that position, UNC asserted that although courses were created and graded by an office secretary, student-athletes completed their own work. Here, by contrast, Missouri acknowledged that the tutor completed student-athletes’ work and, in most instances, this conduct violated its honor code.”

So the thought process was since student-athletes basically attended the fake classes and other students also had the option to take the fake class, North Carolina could not be punished no matter how many fake grades North Carolina athletes got.

If you understand that, then let me know.

9 comments

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  1. The NCAA picks and chooses who to punish.
    In the UNC case, they stated, and rightfully so, that academic issues dealing with classes the school offered and how they were handled were out of their purview.
    I guess they changed their mind and must have been running low on money.

  2. First I hate North Carolina! However, North Carolina out smarted the NCAA at their own game. First, they created a cheating system that was open to all students and not just athletes. Therefore the NCAA has no jurisdiction over academic issues of a school. The school also refused to admit guilt in this or any violation. Missouri admitted guilt and the advantage was only to sports involved students. Both clear NCAA violations.

    This case and the Louisville sanctions, prove that the best way to deal with the NCAA (if you are guilty) is to deny and refuse to cooperate. Mark Allen Emmert no longer takes into consideration a school helping or cooperating with the NCAA. The NCAA needs a complete overhaul, but it is up to the member schools to demand the change! That is a topic for another day.

  3. UNC created a cheating system that benefited all yes, but it was set up to help athletes more than regular students, and allowed athletes to remain eligible merely to play sports. They should have been punished for it big time, but UNC was lawyered up and spent millions defending their cheat policy that dated all the way back to the Dean Smith era. Missouri may be guilty, and should pay the price, but UNC got away with far more. It is a disgrace and a shame on the NCAA that will last an eternity.

    1. I agree with you totally. I was just stating what the NCAA used to justify their decision. The NCAA has grown into as corrupt of an institution as our federal government. The main problem is that change has to be instituted by the corrupt organization that is causing the problem. It needs to be simplified and investigations need to be for A or B schools and not identified until the investigation is complete. Decisions need to be totally blind to create fairness.

  4. The NCAA is as corrupt as it gets. College football and basketball have become an obscene cash cows and the NCAA leadership puts a big chunk in their pocket every year. CBS and ESPN created this mess and too many people are making too much money for anyone withing to clean it up. We need a new governing body headed up by 5 college presidents who serve for 4 years and then bring in a new group every 4 years. NCAA revenues should be audited every year Investigations should be quick and transparent. Credibility needs to be restored.

  5. My understanding was there was no classroom, no books, no professor, there was no work for them to do….scratching my head.

  6. Students at UNC completed their own coursework? They didn’t have any coursework and didn’t attend class.

  7. Every power five school should file a law suit against the NCAA for unfair treatment if UNC is allowed to do go unpunished for their complete disregard in playing by the rules. UK has paid dearly in the past for alleged football and basketball violations, but UNC skates? Any reasonable common sense and fair play approach clearly shows UNC broke the rules, and for decades. Louisville and Missouri should lead the charge.

    UNC denied the charges, and spent millions to defend their shady practice. The NCAA just didn’t want to fight it out in court looks like to me. This will be a black mark on the NCAA if this is allowed to stand. Don’t see how they can govern effectively going forward.

    1. AMEN, Larry.
      I agree with you 100%.

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