Thursday, June 26, 2008

Victim of Circumstance

Well, it's finally over. The cleansing of Indiana University's men's basketball program is complete with the resignation of Athletic Director Rick Greenspan, which will become effective on January 1, 2009. This comes in light of a new charge from the NCAA Infractions Committee which falls under the "Failure to Monitor" banner, referring to the fact that Kelvin Sampson managed to break the rules while under previous sanction. Greenspan decided that, since this charge was leveled directly at the Athletic Department and that will direct the fan base's ire directly at him, it would be best for him to cut his losses and leave. I find all of this rather unfortunate, and I have two points that I'd like to make.

First of all, for those who actually like to look at things rationally, it is very obvious that Rick Greenspan was the victim of circumstance. Kelvin Sampson is a pathological liar, and any pathological liar can pathologically lie their way into anything. Since he is so good at lying, he was able to put on a straight face when he told Greenspan and the entire IU fan base that he wouldn't break the rules ever again. In the back of his mind, he was already planning how he would try to stretch the rules in order to bring in the big-name recruits.

If you are a good enough liar, you could go into any sort of job interview and, no matter what you might've done in the past, you can weasel your way out of any interrogation. Some of these people who immediately wanted Greenspan's head on a pike are owners of businesses who probably don't realize just how many liars they have hired in their time. I can guarantee you that every manager of every business in the world has had to deal with one, but they didn't know it because of how talented the liar was. Even Bob Kravitz, who obviously thinks himself the last bastion of commen sense in the world, despite spewing crap out of his pen for many years, probably has someone on the staff with him who has lied about something major.

My second point is that it seems awfully late for the NCAA to be coming up with new charges against IU. I know the NCAA is allowed to throw charges around whenever they want, but why would they wait until now to throw this one at IU? All of the evidence of "Failure to Monitor" was there before the IU delegation went to Seattle to defend the program. What possible evidence was there that might have come out in Seattle that would have suddenly made the NCAA throw more charges? It seems like the NCAA is going above and beyond to try and knock down the IU program for one reason or another.

Plus, why in the name of all that's good in the world is the NCAA concerned about this absurdly petty phone call scandal when there are some schools that have been accused of providing cash benefits to their recruits? Did I mention that the school in question has one of the most successful football programs ever? Or that this school also has an up-and-coming basketball program who has been knocking on the door at the tournament in recent years? No, the NCAA isn't worried about the idea of a program destroying the spirit of amatuerism. They're too busy making sure the phone bill doesn't run too high.

Honestly, I've tried to not hate Myles Brand, who is universally hated in Bloomington, but It's hard to keep defending him and his organization when they continuously try to throw Indiana under the bus. There is no reason to retroactively throw these charges at Indiana, and NCAA should re-evaluate how their infractions committee works.

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