Oregon case shows NCAA playing with blinders

Oregon case shows NCAA playing with blinders

Credit: (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)

Head coach Chip Kelly of the Oregon Ducks looks out from the bench during the third quarter of the game against the Washington Huskies on October 6, 2012 at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon. Oregon won the game 52-21. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)

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wwltv.com

Posted on June 27, 2013 at 12:40 PM

OPINION

Bradley Handwerger / WWLTV.com Sports Reporter
Email: bhandwerger@wwltv.com | Twitter: @wwltvsports

The NCAA issued a basic slap on the wrist to Oregon on Wednesday in a case that showed, once again, the institution is making things up as it goes along.

From the way it handled the Miami case by improperly obtaining information to overreaching on Penn State to hitting Ohio State for what seems like small stuff, the NCAA is proving to be as inconsistent as anything you can think of.

The latest case mostly involved Oregon’s relationship with Willie Lyles, who owns a Texas-based recruiting service, and what the NCAA’s infractions committee found to be a questionable payment to him.

But at least the NCAA got one thing right in this case – it appears to have put the burden of the punishment on Chip Kelly, the former head coach who fled college for the NFL when it became apparent investigators were sniffing.

While the school received only one scholarship reduction per year and reduced paid visits for three years, Oregon will not get a bowl ban.

However, should Kelly go down in a quick ball of fire with the Philadelphia Eagles, any school trying to hire him will have to present him in front of the NCAA infractions committee in what is known as a show-cause procedure.

In other words, the NCAA isn’t completely punishing those still at Oregon for Kelly’s poor job in overseeing the program and the relationships it help during his stint.

Many times the NCAA seems to punish those innocent bystanders the hardest.

This time, while the school and players did receive something, it was Kelly who was hit the hardest.

The show-cause puts the burden of the infractions on him. It says he was responsible for the missteps, for not keeping both eyes on the program as the head coach should.

Still, if Ohio State was burdened with a postseason ban for players receiving free tattoos, among other things, then Oregon deserves to miss out, too.

The NCAA got the Oregon decision right. It messed up everywhere else. Hopefully this is showing a trend in the right direction.

Hernandez arrested, NFL owners shudder
Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was arrested Wednesday morning nearly a week after a Boston semi-pro football was found dead near the New England player’s house.

The Patriots released the tight end from his contract hours before he was formally charged with murder.

This comes on the heels of a rookie Cleveland Browns linebacker being arrested for attempted murder after allegedly punching a man outside a bar in New Jersey.

Which came about two weeks after Adam “Pacman” Jones was arrested and charged with assault after police said he hit a woman at a bar.

Here’s the point.

NFL owners must hate the offseason. There’s a reason coaches want it to last as little amount of time as possible. It’s when there’s no oversight and when there’s the biggest time for trouble.

Owners have millions of dollars tied up in these players. While the vast majority of players are playing by the rules of the law and not getting in trouble, it’s the few who are not who are bringing shame upon the league and their employers.

Like fans, owners must be thinking the last week of July can’t get here quickly enough.

Bring back Rosenblatt Stadium
UCLA earned its first NCAA baseball title Tuesday night when it finished off a sweep of Mississippi State in the College World Series.

And it did it without hitting a home run.

Of course, the Bruins weren’t alone. In 14 games, just three home runs were hit.

That’s one, two, three.

According to an Associated Press story, the problem isn’t TD Ameritrade Park as much as it is a confluence of other things.

The dimensions of the new stadium match those of Rosenblatt Stadium. But the bats have changed, deadened to take life out of the ball, and the field faces a different direction than it used to, changing the wind direction for batters.

There are simple changes that can be made that won’t cost what it would to rebuild Rosenblatt, which isn’t happening.

The bats can be livened back up a bit. The seams on the ball can change. Though expensive, the fences can be brought in some.

But one thing is for sure – pitchers are now rewarded for bad pitches instead of being punished.

That has to change.

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