Blog Entry

NCAA: The No Consistency Athletic Association

Posted on: January 7, 2011 8:24 pm
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Posted by MATT JONES

The NCAA on Friday reaffirmed its previous ruling that Enes Kanter will never step foot on a basketball court for Kentucky.  The decision was not particularly surprising, as the organization had three times previously ruled against Kanter and seemed for some time to be dead set on drawing an Enes line in the sand, with virtually all other NCAA athletes on one side and Kanter standing on the other.  A myriad of conspiracy theories can be trumped up for the decision, ranging from the NCAA's general dislike of Calipari to its President standing up for his former employer, the University of Washington, where Kanter was committed before flipping and heading to Kentucky. But the simple fact is that a conspiracy theory is not needed for the NCAA to act irrationally.  In fact at this point, a lack of coherent reasoning and consistency seems ingrained in the core fabric of the organization.

The facts of the Enes Kanter situation have always been conceded.  Kanter played in Turkey for two seasons and was paid a sum of money between the ages of 16-17 to be part of the professional club, Fenerbache.  For many national sportswriters and college coaches, for whom nuance and shades of grey are as rare as a dodo bird, that has settled the issue.  However, the NCAA has created a system in recent years to attempt to allow these so-called "professionals" the ability to play college basketball in America.  Up until this point, the NCAA has recognized that the European youth system is different than that of America, with the notion of popular amateur athletics on the University level virtually non-existent.  The best talent of Europe signs early with a professional club and is trained in the equivalent of a basketball academy, with money paid for their training and expenses.  The NCAA has allowed these players to come to the United States and even last year, repealed the antiquated rule that forced them to sit out an equal number of college games to the ones they played for the professional team.

In Kanter's case however, the NCAA deemed $33,000 of payment given to Enes's father to be above what was a "necessary and actual expense."  To the NCAA, that money represented a salary, given because Kanter was a professional.  But of course, that conclusion doesn't pass the smell test.  Does anyone honestly believe that a player would be deemed a professional, while playing for one of the richest clubs in Europe, in one of the most expensive cities in the world (Istanbul) and would only accept $16,500 a year in the process? If Kanter and his club truly considered him to be a professional, why would he have been paid such a small amount?  Kanter's father has insisted that over $20,000 of that money was used for educational expenses, which if true, means that a little over $10,000 over the course of two years made Kanter a professional in the eyes of him and his club.  

While that decision might seem a bit irrational, viewed in the abstract, it could at least be defended.  But of course, the NCAA does not operate in a vacuum, and over the course of the last three months has issued three high-profile decisions allowing three high-profile players to compete despite amateurism violations.  Each could be defended with some tenuous logic when released, but when viewed together with the Kanter decision, no consistent theme can be found.

Take Kansas Freshman Josh Selby. He was suspended for nine games and required to pay over $5700 to a charity of his choice due to his acceptance of that amount of improper benefits while in high school.  Under NCAA rules, Selby was no longer an amateur.  But the NCAA looked at the case and somehow determined that this violation could be redeemed if the money was simply paid back.  How is the excess $5700 in expenses different than Kanter's $33,000?  Is it just that the total is too large?  Maybe so, but there is nothing in the NCAA rule book that says the amount makes a difference.  Is the difference that the money was paid by a European club rather than a hustling street agent?  Maybe so, but there is nothing in the NCAA rulebook that says where the illegal money comes from should make a difference.  The difference is manufactured, but never explained by the NCAA.

Take Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton.  His father admittedly asked for $180,000 in improper benefits from Mississippi State, but the NCAA allowed Newton to play because it deemed that it could not be proven that his son knew about the money.  Ok fair enough.  In a vacuum that makes sense.  But Kanter also claims to not have known about the money taken by his father in excess of the "actual and necessary" expenses.  The NCAA claims that the fact money was taken is different than if money was simply asked for by the parent. However that difference is not based on any rule in the NCAA Rule book and the logic behind both cases (the son should not be punished for the sins of the father) applies to both equally.  So why is Newton, who one has to strain the laws of credibility to believe didn't know his father was on the take, playing and Kanter, who likely didn't do the expense budget and probably didn't know the amount his father took, ineligible?  Its hard to comprehend.

Or take the Ohio State five.  All five broke NCAA rules when they sold or exchanged NCAA memorabilia that was given to them for various team accomplishments.  All broke the rules and violated the amateurism standard.  But, the NCAA allowed them to miss only five games and even went further by delaying the punishment because the group was supposedly unaware of the rule they were breaking.  I am certain that 16 year-old Enes Kanter in Turkey had no clue what the NCAA rules were when he took the money from Fenerbache, so why doesn't the "I didnt know" apply to him?  Is it because he has no BCS Sugar Bowl upcoming?

The simplistic way to look at the Kanter situation is also the easiest.  He played for a professional team, so he was a "pro", end of story. But, when one looks beyond the surface level, those simplistic distinctions breakdown and are shown to be based on nothing in the NCAA rule book or from any logical consistency.  Josh Selby, Cam Newton, the Ohio State Five and Enes Kanter all broke NCAA rules.  All of them should have been ruled ineligible based upon a strict reading of the NCAA rules.  But in three of the cases, the NCAA decided that the rules needed bending and rendered punishments that allowed for "flexibility."  In the Kanter case, the rules were read strictly.  What explains the difference?  Well nothing in the NCAA rule book or any logical framework does, so all we are left with is one conclusion.  The only thing certain about the NCAA's decision making process is that it will be consistently inconsistent


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Comments

Since: Sep 22, 2007
Posted on: January 23, 2011 2:43 am
 

NCAA: The No Consistency Athletic Association

INTERESTING, THE STOTY ON KANTER .  I THINK KENTUCKY NEEDS TO  TAKE THIS DECISION TO COURT.  WHATS FAIR FOR THE GOOSE IS FAIR FOR THE ROOSTER.   HOW MANY EX DUKE GRADS ARE ON THE BOARD ,   JUST LIKE POLITICS ITS CROOKED AS HELL



Since: Jan 2, 2010
Posted on: January 15, 2011 11:03 pm
 

NCAA: The No Consistency Athletic Association

GO SEC 5 NATIONAL TITLES IN 5 YEARS! Where are the buckeyes from Canada? They kind of play like Canadian girls big mouth no punch   Sorry Woody Hayes had a pretty good punch. 



Since: Mar 15, 2010
Posted on: January 15, 2011 1:59 pm
 

NCAA: The No Consistency Athletic Association

Mauxdev: Dude, you just try your hardest to look at the situation, and use the craziest rationale to support it!  Yes, it is a big time case, or there would not be this many responses.  Its good that it is big-time because it shows the consistent inconsistency of the NCVAA, and highlights the fact that they themselves do not follow their rules without bias, and validate their reasoning with some fuzzy logic.  Please do not try and say Kobe Bryant could come to the NCAA for your comparison.  You are comparing a guy that signed a multi-million dollar NBA contract, who has played for sometime now, to a 14-16 yr old, Turkish kid, who did not sign a pro-contract, and who was compensated for a minor amount of time on the 1st teams bench, and passed on multi-million dollar contracts.   Was it his fault that his father accepted the money and could of had no-knowledge of the money?  Do you think his father knew all the NCAA rules regarding that money, even when using it for education?  He probably thought he was doing the right thing, and all of Kanter and his father's actions show that he had no intent to professionalize!  

The thing with the 3 other cases that the NCAA let pass, is that the NCAA gave leniency to 3 cases where they were all Americans, who should know those rules, especially with the way they have been profiled the last few years.  While on the other had you have a young kid in Turkey who probably does not now about the money, and probably does not know the NCAA rules to the best extent.  Im not saying that he did not break the rules, because according to the NCAA guidelines, he did.  Yet, like Matt iterated, the NCAA did not follow these rules to the T in the 3 other cases, like they enforce with Kanter.

This is one of the few articles of Matt Jones' where I completely agree with him.  He nailed it on the head!

 

Go Cats!!




Since: Mar 15, 2010
Posted on: January 15, 2011 1:54 pm
 

NCAA: The No Consistency Athletic Association

Mauxdev: Dude, you just try your hardest to look at the situation, and use the craziest rationale to support it!  Yes, it is a big time case, or there would not be this many responses.  Please do not try and say Kobe Bryant could come to the NCAA for your comparison.  You are comparing a guy that signed a multi-million dollar NBA contract who has played for sometime now, to a 14-16 yr old, Turkish kid, who did not sign a pro-contract, and who was compensated for a minor amount of time on the 1st teams bench, and passed on multi-million dollar contracts.   Was it his fault that his father accepted the money and could of had no-knowledge of the money.  Do you think his father knew all the NCAA rules regarding that money, even when using it for education.  

The thing with the 3 other cases that the NCAA let pass, is that the NCAA gave leniency to 3 cases where they were all Americans, who should know those rules, especially with the way they have been profiled the last few years.  While on the other had you have a young kid in Turkey who probably does not now about the money, and probably does not know the NCAA rules to the best extent.  Im not saying that he did not break the rules, because according to the NCAA guidelines, he did.  Yet, like Matt iterated, the NCAA did not follow these rules to the T in the 3 other cases, like they enforce with Kanter.

This is one of the few articles of Matt Jones where I completely agree with him.  He nailed it on the head.

 

Go Cats!!




Since: Jan 10, 2011
Posted on: January 13, 2011 6:43 pm
 

NCAA: The No Consistency Athletic Association

How do you one a basketball game?



Since: Jan 4, 2009
Posted on: January 13, 2011 4:35 pm
 

NCAA: The No Consistency Athletic Association

If louisville was healthy, if louisville was not shorthanded, blah blah. If Kentucky had kanter then what would have the turn out been at the BUM CENTER.They both played with what they had and the better team one...GO CATS!!!!!



Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: January 12, 2011 6:20 am
 

NCAA: The No Consistency Athletic Association

No, I didn't read the entire article. I stop reading whenever a writer commenter displays his lack of writing acumen.




Since: Dec 27, 2010
Posted on: January 10, 2011 11:30 pm
 

NCAA: The No Consistency Athletic Association

Very well written post.  Very poor year from the NCAA, they cannot get anything right, or at least consistent.

Not
Consistent
At
All




Since: Jan 10, 2011
Posted on: January 10, 2011 3:41 pm
 

NCAA: The No Consistency Athletic Association

I can answer that one sir/Ma'am,

First of all with having Coach Cal we only get top recruits,  you said, "an average Turkish player at Montana State"  I do have a feeling that if Kanter stayed with Washington he would be playing right now. And if you question that, then you haven't done enough research on who made the decision that Kanter can't play for Kentucky.




Since: Dec 30, 2010
Posted on: January 10, 2011 3:08 pm
 

NCAA: The No Consistency Athletic Association

Thank you DaGreekGuy as you are my hero. Finally along with the totally moronic ULoserfans and OH Buckhead fans comes a neutral opinion which is very intelligent. You are at least understanding enough to know what is right. I, unlike a lot of fans can see the rules in front of me. Enes got money, against the rules and is ineligable. I can exept that if that infact was what the NCAA ruled EVERY TIME not just when they felt like it or when money in their pocket was no involved. If that was the case every one of the athletes you wrote about would have suffered the same fate, nothing wrong with that. Only the haters see how UK should always get hit and could care less about a young man who gave up a share of millions to try and go to college. All I can hope is that Enes gets the last laugh and one day I can come back here to laugh at the crying buffoons when they get shot in the foot by the same NCAA idiots with a ruling like this one.

Now as for your comments on Calipari, I don't agree with you since I see no evidence showing he has done anything wrong but I have no problem. Your opinion is yours and I can disagree but accept it as you seem to be unbiased.


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