And I’m back…and Tennessee basketball is back in the news as well. And it’s clear they just don’t get it…and neither does the NCAA is they let them get away with this.
Tennessee has self-imposed what they refer to as “penalties” against their men’s basketball and football programs, although I think comparing what they’ve done to any kind of punishment is laughable. These self-imposed annoyances are their newest solution to keeping the NCAA off their back, since it’s pretty clear that every solution they’ve come up with before this wouldn’t prove enough. The list of “punishments” from govolsxtra.com:
Two years of probation, which will require UT to send annual compliance reports to the NCAA and the SEC.
The men’s basketball staff is not permitted to provide occasional off-campus meals during the 2011-12 academic year.
On Nov. 1, the first day of the November 2011 contact period, only 50 percent of the football staff can make recruiting telephone calls to prospective student athletes.
During the Spring 2011 evaluation period, the football staff had its permissible recruiting days reduced from 168 to 162.
So, no free off-campus food for basketball players, only one day of half-staffed calling, and a loss of 6 of 168 possible recruiting days (3.5%). I’m confused…isn’t this the school that is accused of a full dozen major NCAA violations? But it’s one thing to impose weak penalties against one’s self. But when you believe those penalties “adequately address the violations that occurred,” you’ve got a problem.
Sure, neither of the coaches or the AD are employed there anymore. That doesn’t mean you don’t have to be penalized for what occurred while they were your employees.
I’d love to say you can rest easy, that the NCAA will fix this when the Committee on Infractions weighs in, but there’s little reason to believe they will.
Part 2 of my series on cheating in college basketball is coming later this week. Clearly something has to be done. Especially if the NCAA allows Tennessee to get off with these minor inconveniences disguised as penalties.