opinion: louisville would be lucky to win their appeal
By Mike Gilpatrick
January 25th, 2018
January 25th, 2018
Disclaimer: This article is pure opinion, and highly speculative. I have nothing solid to base this on, nor will anyone from the NCAA confirm my claim. This is not news, nor is it intended to be taken as such.
It feels like the prostitution scandal is coming to a close, and I don’t believe it will be for the better.
If you’ve followed the Louisville Cardinals at all, you’ve probably heard the rumor that the Cards have lost their appeal. It was reported by Dan Dakich, an Indianapolis radio host, and refuted by the University. A UofL spokesman stated the report was pure speculation, and the university had not been contacted by the NCAA.
While this may have been a rumor, it raises the question on whether the university can win its appeal. In my honest opinion, I don’t believe so. The reason: the NCAA is wildly inconsistent, and seemingly favors certain programs above others. The reason: Money. Certain programs bring in a lot more than others. And thus, from a business perspective, certain programs must be allowed to continue to play.
Louisville, in my mind, is a regional power with national notoriety. There’s a huge following in the commonwealth of Kentucky, and southern Indiana, which dissipates the farther you get from the city. There’s a few fans in most cities, enough to have alumni chapters, and some fan clubs. But for the most part, you won’t find an “Old English L” on sale in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, or any other big city more than 100 miles outside of West-Central Kentucky.
You will find, however, UNC basketball jerseys, Ohio State football shirts, Duke basketball hats, Alabama football apparel, and Kentucky Men’s basketball merchandise. Those are national brands. They’re the schools people from across the country claim to be fans of, with the reasoning of “they win”.
As much as I dislike bandwagon teams, they do rack in the dollars. If they make the final four, or whatever equivalent, there will be more tickets sold, and more revenue going into the hands of the NCAA.
Here’s where I put my tin-foil hat on:
Those schools, among others, are too big to fail. They’re the NCAA’s poster-child. They make the conference more money than any other school in the “impartial” association. And, because of such, the association will look the other way in certain circumstances and give slaps on the wrist in others.
The situation that comes to mind is North Carolina. The Tar Heels have been cheating for 18 years, creating “paper classes” to help student-athletes remain eligible. By rule, that should have made those athletes that had taken part in the classes ineligible, and forced UNC to vacate wins, potentially including the 1993, 2005, and 2009 national championships.
The NCAA “could not conclude that the University of North Carolina violated NCAA academic rules,” and therefore did not levy any penalties, citing that the courses were created for the entire student body, a massive loophole.
A similar situation happened with Baylor’s football team. Baylor football players committed 52 acts of rape, according to a lawsuit filed January of 2017. University officials failed to act regarding the highly illegal activities. The NCAA didn’t act, despite throwing the book at Penn State for a similar circumstance.
So, why won’t Louisville get off as easily? Their infractions are horrible, but not as horrible as Baylor’s. UofL, and former men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino were only charged with failure to monitor. Why did UofL get shelled?
The reason is because they’re the perfect size to make an example of. The NCAA doesn’t want every school committing these kinds of violations and get away with it. Louisville is nationally recognized, but won’t affect revenue nearly as much as if UNC, Duke, or Alabama Football committed them.
If those programs did, they more than likely wouldn’t get punished as harshly. A one-year postseason ban may be enough to quench the association’s thirst. No national championships would be vacated, no significant amount of scholarships would be forfeited.
It’s a horrible to say a governing body would put revenue above rules. The NCAA should be impartial, no matter the situation, or school. They should hand out punishments consistently, and fairly. But, at the end of the day, they do what they view is best for their organization. If they punished everyone, they'd lose out on a lot of money.
That’s my honest opinion. I can’t base it off anything other than what the NCAA has done in the past. The NCAA won’t confirm my claims now, or ever. I'm honestly probably wrong with how the NCAA handles things.
There’s still a chance that UofL will win their appeal. But no matter what happens, everyone remembers what happened in Atlanta during February of 2013. The title may get vacated, but the memories won’t.