The NCAA has struck UCONN again. This time, it’s a player who was receiving improper benefits. Freshman point guard, Ryan Boatright, has been suspended for six games by the NCAA for just such an offense.
Supposedly, the violation took place while Boatright was playing AAU basketball (which is not college) and involved a plane ticket (again, while this kid was not in college.)
So, I’m confused. Let’s say that this kid was bought a plane ticket by a booster from UCONN (remember, I’m just talking here–I don’t know what actually happened.) Shouldn’t the booster be barred from donating money or helping the team or something like that?
I’ve got an idea. Maybe the NCAA needs to have a clearinghouse for all people who are dealing with money that is tied to athletics programs. Don’t the unions in professional sports have standards for agents? Don’t those guys handle money and deal with money? Yes they do.
So, why can’t the NCAA use some of the millions it is making off these players to somehow regulate adults who are taking advantage of kids or handing out cash at random. We keep assuming that teenagers and young adults are going to turn down freebies and know the ins and outs of every single rule. That is just not going to happen. Kids are going to take generosity (real or fake) and enjoy it because it feels good.
On some level, there needs to be some protection for the kids and colleges that says, “These people you can associate with and these you cannot.” It’s just that simple. Without those protections, you have the stories that we are talking about here. The NCAA talks about institutional control, but they need to help with that a little. Sometimes, the bad apples can only be stopped by the big dogs.