If you want some insight into how trivial some of the NCAA’s rules are, read through the report of Georgia’s latest internal investigation that uncovered a series of secondary violations by the Bulldogs.
That’s my first thought in hearing that Georgia coach Mark Richt was “guilty” of trying to help some of his former assistants and staff members with financial payments out of his own pocket that the school’s athletic association wasn’t willing to pay.
When I hear about nonsense like this, I can’t help but think back to SEC commissioner Mike Slive’s proposal aimed at getting rid of the ticky-tack NCAA rules and focusing more on bringing down the hammer on the egregious rule-breakers.
So what if Richt wanted to help out some of his longtime aides with money he felt they had coming to them?
It says something about Richt the man that he’d be willing to make such a gesture.
But then, Richt has always been more of a giver than a taker.
He shouldn’t be admonished, which was essentially the gist of his punishment. Rather, he should be celebrated.
College football needs more men like Richt, who endeavor to do more for others than they do for themselves.
I understand the rationale behind NCAA bylaw 18.104.22.168, which regulates supplemental pay for staff members.
But in this case, it was simply a head coach who makes $3 million per year trying to share the wealth with people who had worked so hard for him and people who weren't making wads of money.
One of the things that really sticks out in the report is Richt going into his own pocket and paying more than $15,000 to non-coach staff members for bowl bonuses when the school refused to include those employees in their bonus structure because of “difficult economic conditions.”
I guess, technically, Richt is a rule-breaker.
He’s also a breath of fresh air in a sport that morphed into big business a long time ago.