The NCAA and Texas A&M have agreed to penalties for violating multiple NCAA rules between 2020 and the end of this previous season. As a result, the college has been fined $5,000 and will be on probation for two years. However, the bigger story is that Aggies head coach Buzz Williams will be suspended for the first two games of the 2021-22 season due to the penalty.
The reasoning for the punishment has been due to “impermissible contact” with a men’s college basketball recruit while in the evaluation period. This seems like a slap on the wrist, right? But this is just showing that most men’s college basketball coaches are untouchable.
This is not the first time that Williams has been suspended by the NCAA as he was suspended for a single game in 2012 when he was the coach at Marquette, and he was caught giving a recruit improper benefits. Being suspended for multiple games is not something that is going to stop these head coaches from engaging in illegal contact. If it was successful, then he wouldn’t have had a second suspension.
What Can Be Done to Stop This?
There need to be stiffer punishments in place if the NCAA wants to pretend to care about fairness and things like that inside of the world of collegiate sports. This is not going to be a hit piece on Buzz Williams, but he is just the most recent entry on a long list of people who cheat the system and do not need to worry about the consequences.
If the major forces inside of men’s collegiate basketball want to really make sure this does not happen for competitive balance purposes, make the rule something along the lines of a handful of years that their teams cannot compete for a spot inside of the NCAA Tournament and suspend the coach for an entire season for the first offense, a second offense would result in a two-year suspension, and a third ban is a permanent removal from the collegiate coaching ranks.
Okay, What’s the Solution?
Major League Baseball has a somewhat similar discipline system in terms of steroid use, but it seems to work as only a handful of people have been banned from the sport. With the world of college sports transitioning to have players being able to use their name and likeliness to their financial benefit, it means this type of shady business moves in the collegiate ranks will continue to happen.
Discipline for actions that are condemning the misbehavior of people that are supposed to help mold the men they are coaching should be critical as sports are meant to help people learn things in their everyday life. If I chose to plagiarize this article, does my boss let me off with a warning, no? Instead, I would be trying to find another outlet to write for. That’s why there are rules in place, and unless the NCAA wants another Pony Express on their watch, they need to make sure that these powerful coaches are going to be treated as people and not gods that cannot be punished for their negligence/ignorance of things going on.