Last week, our own Adam Collyer took a look at the NCAA's recent rules violation charges against Ohio State and the absence of the dreaded "lack of institutional control" charge among them. In case you missed that post, do check it out, especially if you're not familiar with what "lack of institutional control" is supposed to mean, because we'll be investigating the topic again today.
On Monday, the NCAA charged Boise State with "lack of institutional control" following minor, self-reported violations across several sports, including football, followed by a major violation in which a women's tennis player was permitted to compete prior to enrollment. Boise State's response to the major violation?
Boise State removed those coaches in November. As a result of the new violation, the NCAA decided that the case would now be sent to the Committee on Infractions rather than the agreed upon summary disposition for less severe cases.In football, the NCAA determined that total dollar value over five years was $4,934 for all of the housing, transportation and meals provided to 63 incoming student-athletes. All services ranged from $2.34 to a maximum of $417.55 and have been reimbursed by the student-athletes. In tennis and track and field, the NCAA determined that 16 student-athletes had received extra benefits over the five years equaling a $718 value. Other small dollar excess benefits are also alleged in the notice. All these funds were reimbursed as well and all were donated to charity.
The majority of allegations involve impermissible housing, transportation or meals, where an incoming student-athlete was provided a place to sleep (often on a couch or floor), a car ride or was provided free food by an existing student-athlete.
So let's get this straight. Boise State self-reports minor violations, then self-reports a major violation in which an ineligible women's tennis player was allowed to compete. It fired the coaches responsible for allowing said ineligible women's tennis player to compete, and it ended up getting charged with "lack of institutional control."
Ohio State knew nothing of five football players accepting thousands of dollars in improper benefits more than all of Boise State's minor violators combined. Its coach not only allowed those football players to compete while ineligible, he lied about it. When the truth came out, Tressel was not fired, nor was Ohio State charged with "lack of institutional control."
Ohio State's self-imposed penalties were suspending Jim Tressel for two games (he later asked for five) and a $250,000 fine for the coach.
The Boise State University football team will have at least three fewer preseason practices as it prepares for this year’s season opener against Georgia in Atlanta.
The Broncos also will award three fewer scholarships over the course of the next two seasons and be allowed three fewer preseason practices before next year’s opener at Michigan State.
All that, and the Bronco football team wasn't even connected to major violations like Ohio State's.
Obviously, the NCAA is standing behind a brazen double standard here. That in and of itself isn't really surprising. If you've followed the organization for any length of time, you know it basically makes up the rules for doling out justice as it goes along. What is kind of shocking, though, is the apparent total lack of institutional self-respect. Ohio State's self-imposed sanctions were a joke, and Boise's self-imposed sanctions really hammer that home, yet the NCAA let the Buckeyes off the hook anyway. Gordon Gee and Gene Smith back in Columbus basically laughed in the committee's face and dared it to throw the book and it folded.
Maybe it's the NCAA with a lack of institutional control.