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Dale Brown: NCAA needs to do more to “cleanse the system”

Dale Brown, center, thinks the NCAA needs to make more changes to cleanse the system.

Vaught’s note: Former LSU coach Dale Brown had plenty of confrontations with the NCAA during his time at LSU over what he felt were unfair rules the NCAA had. Today he still has strong feelings about what the NCAA is doing and not doing.


I do not accept the theory that everyone cheats in college athletics, so why shouldn’t we ? Yes, there are some big-time cheaters that appear to be immune from any NCAA sanctions. However, most coaches I have ever known are honorable men and do not cheat but are saddled by a system that makes it difficult for them to function with the archaic rules, which gives the dishonest coach a huge advantage.

Today, college athletics is a multi-billion dollar entertainment industry replete with the loathsome trappings of everyone making money except the players. This results in unscrupulous characters being involved. What is wrong with collegiate athletics is not that complex, it is called greed. It is just that simple and that sad. The NCAA can be put into the category of cheaters, because of the billions they make and the players are limited by the ridiculous title of amateurism. Not much amateurism in a billion dollar industry where everyone profits except the players. Jay Bilas spoke the truth when he said, “ When you are profiting off someone else while restricting them from earning a profit, that’s exploitation.”

Walter Byers after 36 years as Executive Director of the NCAA said, “ Time and circumstances have passed the entire system of intercollegiate athletics by. The management structure has become bureaucratic and irresponsible. I believe educators no longer have the right to run a big time national entertainment business. Reform will not come from within. The beneficiaries of the current monopoly will not give up a good thing.”

This is not something new. In 1983 I initiated a letter writing campaign, targeting the NCAA’’s 1,200 college presidents, chancellors, athletic directors, faculty representatives, head football coaches, head  basketball coaches, and conference commissioners, and president of the NCAA, suggesting massive reform of the NCAA. The NCAA has now enacted 32 of my original 43 recommendations.

However, two major suggestions have not been addressed yet and it is imperative they be implemented to keep the parasites away from the athletes. First a screening panel at every college should be formed to select. reputable agents that can represent the players with NBA potential. That agent can now provide the families with their financial needs. This now would eliminate the unethical agent or middle man that is creating chaos in college athletics.

Second very important change that should occur is regarding high school all-star games. All-star games should totally be controlled by the state high school associations, national high school associations, and the National Association of Basketball Coaches. Now, this would eliminate the shoe companies and others profiting from these games.  

The NCAA has made some significant changes but it still is not enough to cleanse the system and be fair to the athletes and the honorable coaches.


  1. It is time to move on to a system that does NOT include the NCAA in any form in the operation of college football or men’s basketball.

    1) Uniform, transparent enforcement of the rules,
    2) Professional, fully salaried, full time referees for the entire sport, not conference based.
    3) Referees for every game must be accountable to the public just as coaches and players are expected to appear before the press and respond to questions following each game.
    4) The managing body should have a commissioner selected by and responsible to a 7 man board of directors consisting of at least 3 former players ( at least 1 football and 1 basketball) of distinguished accomplishment in sport and life, and at least 3 former coaches (at least1 football and 1 basketball) of distinguished accomplishment in sport and life selected by a committee consisting of the athletic directors of a rotating list member institutions. The Board selection committee should have rotating terms, as should participation on the Board.

    1. AMEN>>>I couldn’t agree with you more.

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