Staples writes in a very interesting column:
"This case," committee members wrote, "should serve as a cautionary tale to all institutions to vigilantly monitor the activities of those student-athletes who possess the potential to be top professional prospects."
That's not quite correct. The North Carolina case actually provided more of a road map.
And Staples touches on the controversial issue of what cooperating with the NCAA gets you, a hard learned lesson by Georgia Tech.
A program can spit all over the NCAA rule book in an effort to reach or remain at the highest echelon of college football, and as long as that program cooperates with the NCAA during the investigation of its alleged "crimes," the Committee on Infractions will respond with a suite of penalties that contain far more bark than bite.
I have a real problem when cooperating with authorities is more important than the actual crimes, but the UNC, Ohio State, USC, and Georgia Tech cases show this blatantly. If I am Miami or Oregon right now it is "Yes, sir" to everything the NCAA asks me whether I agree with it or not.
And of course the NCAA doesn't have subpoena power, but they don't have to actually prove anything either like you would in a court of law...
Did Blake steer North Carolina players to Wichard? Maybe. Maybe not. One thing is certain. The NCAA didn't prove its case, and the committee found Blake guilty anyway.
Somehow Butch Davis comes out of this unscathed and $2+ million richer. Not bad for a guy who was the best coach in the league Sunday through Friday.
Staples: UNC case shows how reward still outweighs risk for cheating