The NCAA Answers to No One

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is beginning to
resemble something like a secret police agency in the way it handles
the eligibility of student-athletes. The NCAA operates a review system
with no transparency, no accountability, and no explanations.

Ryan Boatright, a freshman basketball player at the University of
Connecticut (UConn), has had to sit out nine of his team’s twenty
games this season. Before the season began, the NCAA announced that it
was looking into Boatright’s eligibility as the organization got wind
that he received impermissible benefits while he was playing
basketball in high school. UConn itself was not involved in the
investigation but was forced to hold Boatright out of its first six
games after the NCAA concluded that six games was a fair punishment.
Boatright joined the team after six games and believed the questions
were behind him and the team.

Unfortunately, even the NCAA apparently does not respect its own
conclusions, because the case was reopened after new “developments.”
UConn, Boatright, and his mother, as part of the investigation
process, are not allowed to say anything about the case. However, a
member of Boatright’s extended family told a reporter that the
provider of the information was a jealous ex-boyfriend of Boatright’s
mother. Naturally, the NCAA neither confirmed nor denied this
allegation when it cleared Boatright to play for the second time just
last week (nor did the NCAA explain anything adequately). Perhaps not
so coincidentally, the second clearance followed on the heels of two
scathing op-eds in the New York Times:

and .

In the interest of full disclosure, I am a UConn basketball fan. But
the problem does not only exist at UConn. In another current example,
a graduate student, Todd O’Brien, has been unable to play basketball
at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) after graduating from
St. Joseph’s University with one year of athletic eligibility
remaining. The NCAA has special rules for graduate students that
transfer because their original school does not offer the degree
program in which they are interested (UAB offers a Public
Administration degree that St. Joe’s does not). Unlike undergraduate
transfer students who must sit out a year at the new school, graduate
transfer students are usually eligible to play immediately. However,
St. Joe’s refused to sign a waiver to allow him to play, without
providing any reason. Since the initial refusal by St. Joe’s, the NCAA
has denied O’Brien’s appeal and neither the NCAA nor St. Joe’s has
given any explanation for why his old school is refusing to allow
O’Brien to play at UAB.

These are just two of the many examples of such abuses of power by the
NCAA. The organization generates millions of dollars on the hard work
of its student-athletes. But it continues to decide who can and cannot
play through a system that would never be confused for a fair and
balanced system.

– Patrick Blaney

2 Responses to “The NCAA Answers to No One”

  1. Subsequently, after spending a lot of hours on the internet at last We’ve uncovered an individual that definitely does know what they are discussing many thanks a excellent deal wonderful post

  2. What? The NCAA is the only thing keeping college sports solemn. There are going to be mistakes, but NCAA is fighting cultures and institutions. Yes, they can be sued. See the O’Bannon suit. Fans by definition–fanatics– make bad blog posts.


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