Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Albatross Rule

Birds of a Feather - The Civil Wars (mp3)
One for the Mockingbird - Cutting Crew (mp3)

I can fix NCAA football.

It has a sickness that only seems to make it stronger, like that virus that turns people into lightning-fast zombies with razor-sharp teeth. It probably doesn't want to be healed, but I can fix it.

The problems we’ve read about at Miami, Ohio State, UNC, Tennessee, Southern Cal, and approximately 56 other NCAA FBS teams in the past half-decade, can be all but solved with one teensy new rule (or maybe 1.5).

The Albatross Rule is simple. Any coach of any FBS team cited with even the slightest bit of knowledge or shoulda-oughtta-known ignorance must carry the same penalty as the school to any job for the duration of said penalty.

The Albatross Rule would have serious shark teeth if a coach’s contract could be rendered null and void if the NCAA judged that coach guilty or negligent. Because I’ll never understand why a school should have to buy out a dirty contract, and why future players at a university suffer more than the scuzzbag who got busted in the first place.

I doubt the Albatross Rule is legal. That would be too easy.

A coach should not be able to dodge his culpability by snaking away from a school. Nor should a school dodge culpability by firing a coach. Both school and coach should take their medicine no matter how long said medicine sits on the shelf, waiting to be gulped down.

What kind of “punishment” is it that allows a coach to have several years of his contract bought out for six or seven figures, and the coach takes maybe a season off before getting hired for another absurd sum by some other school?

What kind of “punishment” is it for a school to hire a dirty coach almost specifically because they want the win-loss record that came with the dirt? If you as a school want to stick your hand down the toilet bowl to pull out a dirty coach, then you gotta live with the poop that comes back up the pipeline with him.

If the coach’s contract is bought out (probably for some absurd amount), and the coach flies off to Tahiti for six years, if he’s hired in that seventh year, the team that hires him must still serve the entirety of his punishment.

If there was an Albatross Rule, I suspect you’d have longer tenures for coaches. The coaching carousel would slow down, because the coaches busted for rules violations would become like lepers, leaving the well of available coaches less deep.

I get that policing something as ginormous as a football team is almost impossible. But it’s not like they’re earning min wage. If NBA players can afford an accountant, then an NCAA FBS coach can afford to hire someone to help them babysit, and they would if their ass were on the line. They could think of these folks as bodyguards. Or bank guards.

Nick Saban could hire a small town of assistants on his own dime and still pull down some $4M each year in salary and benefits for himself. Even Derek Dooley could invest a few hundred grand for personal assistants and still pull down a cool 1.5 mil. DEREK FRIGGIN’ DOOLEY! The man hasn’t even DONE anything except get born to some dude named Vince, and he’s pulling down $1.8M a year!

All I know is, those guys would have to be a lot more careful with that cash if their contracts risked going null with an NCAA violation, and if the punishment stayed with them like bacon strips in their underwear.

Don’t fix the children; fix the parents.
Don’t fix the teachers; fix the administration.
Don’t fix the players or the pissant assistants; fix the head coach.

The poop rolls downhill, but the burden is supposed to stay at the top.

1 comment:

goofytakemyhand said...

The Albatross Rule should also extend to Athletic Adminstration who either knew or were complicit in various transgressions (most notably, the U).... though I might add it this point it's still alleged.

Granted there would need to be a burden of proof, but it seems patently obvious that some administrators, compliance directors, etc. from the U should also have to serve timeout. Same for any program who receives the "Lack of Institutional Control" penalty from the NCAA.