Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Dick Vitale [Print without images]

Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Updated: November 2, 4:38 PM ET
NCAA rule punishing coaches

By Dick Vitale
ESPN.com

Recently, the NCAA came up with a plan which will hold coaches accountable and responsible for indiscretions leading to violations.

The new rule enhances head coach responsibility and accountability and potential consequences for head coaches who fail to direct their staffs and student-athletes to uphold NCAA bylaws. Penalties include imposed suspensions that can range from 10 percent of the season to an entire season.

I think about what has happened so many times over the years. Assistant coaches had major problems and the head coach was let off easily.

When you are the boss, you run the show. You have to be accountable for the actions of your people. The head coach must make sure they dot the I's and cross the T's, because it is a reflection of them. The head coach had a hand in hiring the assistant, making them a member of the staff. If you made the choice to bring the individual on board, you are responsible for their work.

I think this is a very good rule for college athletics. The head coach should be accountable and know exactly what is happening within his program.

I remember years ago when Kentucky assistant Dwane Casey was made the scapegoat and head coach Eddie Sutton was not punished the same way. The head coach has to be responsible for the actions of his staff. He has to know what is going on.

The NCAA has been criticized by many over the years, including yours truly. I would like to see them change some of the rules. I wish they would expedite rulings on eligibility of players, like Shabazz Muhammad right now. Kyle Anderson finally found out that he is eligible. I understand their plan which was recently adopted overhauled the enforcement structure and created creates additional levels of infractions, hastens the investigation process and ratchets up penalties for the most egregious violations.

For now, the Muhammad situation is an injustice because we are still waiting for an answer. Why is it taking so long to come up with a solid solution?

A decision to determine their status should have been announced already.

I also believe that the transfer rules should be changed. If player X wants to leave and a school grants a waiver to let him go, why punish that student-athlete and make him sit for one season? If the school does not agree to let that player go, then that is another story and he should sit a season out as a transfer.

Sometimes we have to realize we are in the business of helping youngsters instead of hurting them.

I feel the new rule is solid and long overdue.

It will play a vital role in assuring that coaches are on top of what is going on in their respective programs.