Aug 16th, 2021 |
50: The Unbearable Lightness of NCAA “Responsibilities”
On August 11th, 2021, the NCAA Committee on Infractions issued its non-decision in the Baylor case. The COI concluded the central allegations relating to an out-of-control, corrupt football program and culture were beyond the reach of existing NCAA enforcement jurisdiction. The COI reached the correct conclusion legally, but it begs the question of why the NCAA yet again finds itself defending non-action in a case that screams for prompt, aggressive reprisals. The answer lies in the fundamental disconnect between the NCAA’s claimed values expressed in the NCAA constitution and its persistent refusal to honor them. This tension is the basis for the NCAA’s newfound emphasis on “aligning its responsibilities with its authorities.” This tagline is the NCAA’s new propagandist coup and forms the justification for a constitutional convention tasked to redraw NCAA principles and governance. In fact, the NCAA has very little responsibility and significant, unchecked authority. This episode focuses on how the NCAA has built a legal firewall from any meaningful responsibility and accountability for the lofty principles found in Article 2 of its constitution. The NCAA has cynically commodified and sold these empty promises that have enormous market value to the highest bidder.