Strong words from Scott on Dee, Miami & reform

August, 18, 2011
8/18/11
11:48
AM ET
The Los Angeles Times' Gary Klein tracked down Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott to see if he had any reaction to the Miami scandal and that the Hurricanes athletic director at the time, Paul Dee, was the man who sat in stern judgment of USC.

And Scott didn't beat around the (Reggie) Bush when asked "whether he agreed with national college football columnists who had described Dee as hypocritical."

"If the allegations prove true," Scott told the Times, "the words irony and hypocrisy don't seem to go far enough."

Zing!

This also was interesting from Scott. Is it possible that the NCAA is too impotent to police itself?

From the Times:
An advocate for change, [Scott] noted: "I like considering bold, new ideas in terms of reform. If I worry about anything, it's that the reform effort moves too slowly and does not go far enough."

Scott emphasized he was not advocating for the NCAA to move the enforcement and penalty process outside the organization. But he endorses considering it.

"I think we need to step back and consider bold new ideas, including the possibility of bringing in outside resources," he said.

This makes sense to me: Enforcement from an objective, unaffiliated body that reviews evidence and makes decisions without a proverbial horse in the race.

One of my takeaways from USC's session with Dee's Infractions Committee was an off-the-record comment from an individual who sat in the room. He noted that one individual on the committee was so antagonistic to USC that this individual misstated facts of the case a number of times.

Remember this widely mocked comment from then-USC athletic director Mike Garrett shortly after the NCAA hammered the Trojans?
"As I read the decision by the NCAA," he told the group, "… I read between the lines and there was nothing but a lot of envy. They wish they all were Trojans."

It was a stupid things to say for political reasons. But understand: Garrett isn't a stupid man. He was expressing an impression -- poorly, yes -- that many in the room had in front of Dee's Infractions Committee: The NCAA was going to get USC, no matter what the facts of the case were.

In its appeal, USC tried to point this out: Yes, you got us. You hammered us. But we both know this punishment doesn't fit the crime. And no matter how you try to downplay precedent when judging cases, it will come back to haunt you when far worse sets of violations come around the bend.

And so we have North Carolina, Ohio State and, with a thunderclap, Miami.

None of this will help USC. The NCAA isn't going to come back and say it's sorry.

But it might lead to major reforms, which I think we all can agree need to happen as soon as possible.

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