NCAA penalties of college athletes: sports over morality

The NCAA is an organization that regulates thousands of institutions as well as the individuals involved.

Creating various laws and polices for those within a university, the NCAA is required to uphold the implemented laws and policies when one of them has been broken.

Once laws and policies are in place, individuals must follow by what is stated in the fine print or otherwise face the consequence. Yet the NCAA seems to have an interesting history of handling—more so mishandling—violations committed within their athletic umbrella, or at least cases that do not involve fraud and money.
Morality is what is in question here, and how the NCAA can more accurately account for the laws and policies in which universities must follow.

I first learned about the NCAA’s power as an organization to destroy a school’s athletic program when I saw ESPN’s 30 for 30 documentary, “Pony Express.” The film chronicles the NCAA dishing out what is known as its “Death Penalty” to Southern Methodist University’s football program. Schools in the past have since been considered to experience the same fate, but SMU is the only school to have officially received it.

Around 1986, SMU was facing allegations of players being paid large amounts of money. They were considered one of the best football powerhouses across the nation.
The NCAA found out, and eventually the team was terminated from playing a game for two seasons, not permitted to perform off-campus recruiting, had scholarships stripped, and a few other limitations to the football program that basically made them non-existent for a quarter century.

More recently, there is the University of Baylor. I was a little disappointed in myself since I was unaware in finding out about what has been happening. Since about 2011 though, according to ESPN’s sport’s journalist, Stephen A. Smith, there have been 125 reports of sexual assault or harassment at Baylor from 2011 to 2015 and 19 football players have reportedly assaulted 17 women since 2011.

Upper officials within the University were accused of ignoring victims’ emails and phone calls, as well as bribing police to stay quiet about the incidences.

It baffles me how the NCAA issues a punishment like the Death Penalty to a football program for illegally paying their athletes, yet there is a football program at Baylor with evidence of multiple women being gang raped and abused by their players and the NCAA won’t do anything.

The NCAA doesn’t have rules against those interfering with moral issues such as rape. They seem to punish schools with allegations involving money and cheating on-field versus off-field. There needs to be a heightened awareness from the NCAA to revise the policies they have in place and how to become stricter in how their universities are punished for violations.

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