What can NCAA institutions learn from the PGA?

“You might as well praise a man for not robbing a bank.” Bobby Jones

PGA players have a long history of honoring the rules  and policing themselves out of respect to the game and their fellow competitors. As example Jim Furyk recently  called a penalty on himself for having an illegal number of clubs in his golf bag during a tournament. He was assessed the two strokes for every hole that was completed with the illegal number of clubs and continued on with his tournament. It took a matter of minutes for this to get assessed and while it did cost Jim some sizable amount of cash ($131,250.00 in lost prize money to be exact) there was no appeal, no excuses, nor any blaming of the rule or the failure of others to monitor and prevent this (such as his caddie). It became nothing more than a seemingly benign and relatively unheadline worthy story from the sports world.  

Yet this was occurring at about the same time allegations were coming to light that Rich Rodriguez the Football coach at Michigan University was breaking a similarly  low-profile type of NCAA rule limiting the number of mandatory organized team activity hours in a week. This lead to press conferences, denials, rebuttals to denials, alibis, and the call for investigatory committee to look into it.  Maybe he did maybe he didn’t I don’t know. What is known is Rich Rodriguez knows whether he did or didn’t. Sadly we can’t trust his answer because football coaches and their coaching brethen in the other ‘money’ sport basketball do not have the same history of respecting the game and their fellow competitors by self-policing and reporting.  In fact it appears to be just the opposite; most operate under the assumption that everbody is  cheating until caught.  Lane Kiffen hadn’t even coached a game at Tennessee before he was accusing his counterpart at Florida for cheating in recruiting.

These facts combine to cause me to ask an overly simplistic questions. Why can’t higher educational institutions and their employees (head coaches with guaranteed six to seven figure contracts) be trusted to abide by the rules governing the conduction of their sport.; yet professional athletes participating in a sport that has no guarantee of pay (it is the proverbial eat what you kill model) have  no problem enforcing the rules on themselves? Where have we gone wrong in team sports? College sports?

Just in case you want to make the argument that the only reason Jim Furyk called this on himself is because he is established and that extra $100 grand doesn’t mean much to him check out this story on J.P. Hayes. Pro golfer Hayes penalizes himself out of a job – JSOnline

Life to the full!


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