May 10th, 2011 11:57 AM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
║ Schools: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vanderbilt
Tags: Big Dance, Disney World, Enforcement Experience, NCAA
A few years ago, the NCAA had the good idea to allow media members to take part in a mock tournament selection exercise in order for fans to develop a better understanding of how hoops teams are picked for the annual Big Dance. That process has worked so well that the NCAA is now expanding the idea to cover its rules enforcement procedures.
More than 30 media members are in Indianapolis today to participate in “the Enforcement Experience.” While it sounds like an incredibly unpopular ride at Disney World, the NCAA describes the project as follows: “a day-long session that will provide a behind-the-scenes look at the complex task of holding institutions, administrators, coaches and student-athletes accountable for NCAA rules that are intended to promote education and fair play.”
It’s a wise move by the NCAA. The internet has provided an outlet for conspiracy theorists that is unmatched in the annals of human history. So the decision to try to fend off “the NCAA hates my school” type attacks is a sound one.
However, unlike the NCAA basketball tournament, enforcement cases are like criminal trials — no two are the same. In this case, a coach may be forthcoming. In that case, he may not. In this case, a booster might have acted on his own. In that case, the school might’ve done a better job of reining in its boosters.
For that reason, we expect this exercise to be somewhat less successful long-term than the March Madness sessions. While we applaud the NCAA’s attempt at transparency, there’s just no way that every possible scenario can be covered in a one-day session.
And moving forward, those who’ve gone through the process — as well as those who read the works of those who’ve one through the process — might be more confused when School A receives a real-life punishment stiffer than what School B received during this mock hearing.
The verdict: A good idea, but the results could be mixed.
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