Off the Beaten Path

A week from today there will be literally hundreds of stories hitting the web from Southestern Conference Media days, but until then, here is a look at a couple of the more interesting stories of the day - a little off the beaten path.

This story gave me a flashback to last year, when attorneys for the NCAA and Tom Culpepper were blathering on to a jury about how serious a secondary violation was, and how that was the reason Ronnie Cottrell was blacklisted from coaching at that level. I seem to recall that the jury didn't by it.

The story is about a Kentucky prospect with a page, and what some wacky Wildcats posted for public display (as if that will be the deal breaker in his college choice).

The postings try to entice Patterson to come to UK by including a photo of three UK Dance Team members with the comment, "This is what I hear MVP's of NBA camps are getting nowadays when they get on the same time."

UK compliance director Sandy Bell is asking UK fans not to do this because of damage it could cause the basketball program. Bell says part of her job is monitoring the internet and message boards.

Kentucky's compliance wing apparently pled guilty to a secondary violation and gave itself one demerit.

Two thoughts cross my mind simultaneously here: First, it's really quite disturbing that random fans would tacitly imply the promise of sex with a dance team member to a 17 or 18 year old because said fans would like to watch him shoot hoops at Rupp Arena for a few years.

Secondly, as deplorable as the behavior is, it strikes me as illogical to try to control. Practically, this is no different than if someone approached Patterson at a grocery store and said the exact same thing. NCAA compliance has largely morphed into a parody of itself thanks to the unpredictable nature of NCAA enforcement. Institutions of higher learning, especially those with public funding, should adhere to the first amendment of the U.S. Constitution first, and the NCAA second.

Other "Screwy" Summer Rulings
Wendell Barnhouse, of the Star-Telegram, documents some of the other more oddball quirks of the NCAA today, with a priceless lede:

Theodore Roosevelt, if you believe the legend that's become history, bullied college sports to invent the NCAA 100 years ago.

Franklin Roosevelt, though, spoke these words that are particularly applicable to college sports and the NCAA: "Rules are not necessarily sacred, principles are."

Barnhouse also notes a comment made by carnival barker Lee Corso, of ESPN fame (and college coaching futility):

Corso said. "I'm proud to say I was one of 79 people who voted for Young for the Heisman Trophy. I thought he was the best player on the best team all season, and that's the way it turned out."

Good for Corso, and I don't have a problem with Vince Young getting Heisman votes, but anyone who saw or listened to the USC-Fresno State game (as I did on the drive home from Auburn) wasn't surprised at Vince Young trouncing through USC's paper-thin defense.

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