cheating in college sports

Well, it IS everywhere.  On college campuses on and off the field… it’s taking place.

The Sports Illustrated article, “UNC case shows rewards still outweigh risk cheating,” starts with a confession of a sort…

(Lest this devolve into typical sports writer moralizing, let’s get one thing straight. Many of the NCAA’s rules are arbitrary and unnecessary. No one cares when a young person in one field of the entertainment industry cashes in on talent above and beyond the rank and file, but the NCAA cares a great deal when a young person in its particular field of the entertainment industry cashes in on talent above and beyond the rank and file. It doesn’t bother anyone when Miley Cyrus rakes in millions, but it bothers a lot of people when Marvin Austin gets bottle service on South Beach and an agent foots the bill. This is quite silly. But since the NCAA decided to make these rules and makes a big show of enforcing them, this is a topic that must be examined in the coverage of major college football.)

I like the point the writer, Andy Staples, is making here.  Whether you like the rules or not… rules are the rules.

Some of my students have actually cited “civil disobedience” as an encouragement to break the rules.  I’m fairly certain THIS is not what Dr. King or Gandhi (or Thoreau) had in mind when they called for civil disobedience.

I’m not a sports guru of any kind – I happen to catch this article because it involves cheating – but I’m happy to hear that there are consequences for breaking the rules:

For a case that involved academic fraud and players taking money and goodies from agents, North Carolina will lose 15 scholarships over three years and will be banned from postseason play for the 2012 season. Former assistant coach John Blake, who was accused of steering players to agent Gary Wichard in exchange for payment, was given a three-year show-cause order that bans him from recruiting. That essentially renders Blake unemployable at the college level.

I think the question of whether the rules are fair or sensible is a separate question.

It’s kind of like this.  Sometimes when students are called in for discipline-related issues into my office, often they start citing issues with the professor in question.  She’s disorganized. She’s mean. She is not prepared. She treats me unfairly.  I listen – I sometimes even take notes.  Then, I tell them that these are two different issues.  Even if it’s a fact that your professor is a TERRIBLE teacher, it does not mean then therefore you can be disruptive or break code of conduct.  Fine.  We’ll handle that as a separate issue – Here’s an academic complaint form if you really must have it.  But here and now, let’s deal with YOUR conduct.