A fellow coach once suggested, “…the NCAA should be limited to 10 rules, and if they add one they have to eliminate one.”  In fact there is nothing simple about the rules, nor their enforcement.   Each year there are numerous attempts at control.  Some are major { like Title nine-equality for women, or Proposition 42-academic minimums, etc.).  None today rivals the $2000 “stipend” proposal that is currently pending.

James Michener observed that “America is the only country in the world that charges higher education with entertaining the public.”  The conflicts between money and idealism in education create a conundrum.   History tells us football and men’s basketball make the money.   The others want to play too.  Now what?

Only the big five conferences get tne NCAA stipend greenlight.  What happens to the borderline big timers not in those conferences?  How about the “mid majors” and small Division One schools?  NCAA D11?  JUCOS?  NAIA?

Each school will have some big decisions.  Nobody  seems to have any clear vision.  Is the paste out of the tube?  Is this a moment of opportunity, one that gives pause to higher education as a chance for reason?

My hope is that a code similar to the Doctor’s Hippocratic Oath ( “First, do no harm”) is at the top of the list.  Public school law says the teacher (coach) acts as the child’s parent (in loco parentis). 

Here are a few common sense suggestions if indeed reform is imminent:

1.  I  had 3 close friends who had big league potential as baseball pitchers.  All injured their arms due to overuse.  A coach should not ask a youngster to over pitch.   Pitch counts are a  rule that have saved some arms.

2.  College baseball plays too many games.  56 that balloons into 70.  Stop it.

3. Before football facemasks were required, 1 player is 3 suffered a dental injury.  After facemasks rule? 1 in 3800.  Good rule for eaters.

4.  Football has got to change the frequency of concussions.  Or lawyers will break anyone who charges to see the game.

5.  Women’s and girl’s soccer must create rules and training  that drastically reduce anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) knee injuries.

There needs to be a lot of review.  Sports in America are way too important to be prostituted.  There are serious flaws, but the good vastly outweighs the bad.  Arthur Ashe stood firmly for equal academic standards for collegiate athletic eligibility.  He contended the capable will “…rise to the standard required.”  There is so much education in the proper use of sports, but if we give to the “thugs”, they eliminate the capable kids who can improve themselves, their families, and our country.   It is not racial.  Bad blacks eliminate good blacks.  Keep the right youngsters in our uniforms.

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