Well it looks like the NCAA really flexed their muscles on Alabama today and laid the smack down on them. I don't know if the football program there will ever recover from the games they are going to have to forfeit from 2-3 years ago. I'm sure every recruit in the country that was at one time considering Alabama is now second guessing their choice and ready to change their minds. I am sure the current players are going to be seeking transfer's at any minute. Nick Saban is probably looking at the employment link on the NCAA's homepage because he knows his job will never be the same.
Seriously though, the NCAA has shown once again just how worthless they are. This will be Alabama's third time on probation in the last 16 years and as repeat offenders you would figure that something a little bit tougher would have been in order this time. Instead they have to forfeit some games from 3 years ago as the punishment. Now I would venture to guess that every successful team in college football is doing some kind of cheating whether it be paying players, giving gifts, giving jobs that pay a lot for doing a little and that kind of thing. After all if you aren't cheating you aren't trying is the philosophy of just about anyone who participates in a sport. Every athelete is looking for that competitive edge and every University is looking for a competitive edge also whether it be in recruiting, games, or the classrooms. It would be impossible for the NCAA to catch every school doing everything that is against their rules. If you are going to punish a school though at least make it a punishment that is going to deter future behavior not enbolden them to commit further infractions that nothing is going to be done about.
Obviously they didn't deserve to be SMU'd or anything like that since these violations didn't give anyone a competitive edge. Hell, Alabama probably was encouraging the behavior because then at least they knew some of their student atheletes knew where the bookstore was. Maybe the fact that Nick Saban's punishment he gave the players involved was enough of a punishment for the NCAA and if that is the case then fine because Saban acted swiftly when he found out about the crimes. Here is the problem though if that was some kid that was on an academic scholorship he would have been thrown out of school pretty quickly since he or she isn't making the school any money. I guess the University and NCAA figured hell those players weren't going to use the books anyway why give them anything more than a slap on the wrist.
Had the same infraction occurred at some smaller division 1 school would the punishment have been the same? Had the punishment happened at a smaller school with the same history as a repeat offender would the punishment have been different? I think it would have been. It's all about the benjamin's for the NCAA and Alabama football brings in the benjamin's by the truckload just like USC, Notre Dame, Florida St, and others which is why USC will only get a slap on the wrist for the whole Reggie Bush and Tim Floyd infractions and FSU will win their appeal and Bowder won't lose any of the wins off of his record. Had schools like Miami (OH) or Bowling Green or some other school of that stature done the same thing would justice have been dealt equally? My opinion is no it would not what do you guys think?