NCAA right to make coaches more accountable
Posted: Wednesday, November 14, 2012 7:00 pm
By THE COMMERCIAL APPEAL
For too long, college head coaches have been able to operate largely beyond the law — that is to say, the NCAA’s enforcement arm. A coach whose school was caught up in recruiting or academic allegations could merely say he had no knowledge of the wrongdoing. Absent direct proof, the coach could carry on — and sometimes, move on, to another school — with no personal sanctions.
It was plausible deniability. Except that, really now, how plausible was it that head coaches, controlling by nature, were unaware of such significant actions occurring within their programs?
But thanks to legislation approved recently, the NCAA is making head coaches more accountable. If any member of a head coach’s staff commits a serious infraction, the boss will have the burden of proving he was unaware of the violation. If he fails to do so, he faces a suspension ranging from 10 percent of the season to a full season.
At least one NCAA watchdog is skeptical about whether the NCAA is willing to take on a high-profile coach — and, we would add, a team of attorneys ready to take aim on the prove-your-innocence rule.
But head coaches have been able to skate above the messiness of allegations for too long. This new legislation puts some pressure on them — and the burden they face, we believe, is a fair one. Published in The WCP 11.13.12