In case you are living under a rock, which may not be a bad thing given this Hellish heat, you may have missed the chaos of cheating, strippers and great non-NCAA fun at Miami. This Yahoo Sports report really opens the ball on this.
Basically, here is the story: A jock-sniffer with a lot of money sprayed it on college UM athletes to feel cool, now this guy is busted and he's exposing all of it. By NCAA law, this is ugly stuff. Like Death Penalty stuff. But that is never going to happen.
Called an old friend today, the great Kent Johnson, who now works at West Texas A&M in that athletic department.
He was 25 in 1985 when he was an assistant sports information director at ... SMU, of course. His rationale is spot on why we will never see Miami, or any program ever, receive the death penalty again is because of the unforeseen damages it caused to all of SMU.
He was there that April day in 1987 the NCAA announced the program was dropped. This is how he recalls some of that experience:
"Up until the day of that ruling was announced we thought the NCAA was going to take away SMU's non-conference schedule, and no post-season games. We were going to just play Southwest Conference games. That would have been pretty radical. When (NCAA chief) David Berst announced no competition in football at all, it was the opposite of thunderstruck, it was deathly silent except the click of cameras. No one knew how to react. It wasn't sadness or anger, it was complete bewilderment that that was the verdict."
Johnson said as a result of SMU losing football about 35 people lost their jobs within the athletic department. His job was eliminated, and he wound up at Tulane with a young football coach named Mack Brown.
Johnson is of a mind that SMU will remain the eternal case study why there will never be a Death Penalty again.
"The NCAA thought that it would serve as a detriment to schools and that it would remind them to toe the line. I don't think the NCAA realized how long it would take for a program to recover," KJ said. "It hit them on the field, but it really hit them in enrollment, which really hurts a school."
The NCAA has had dozens of chances to Death Penalty a program since SMU. Kentucky basketball, Ohio State football, USC football, and on and on. It's not going to happen. Those are the schools that make the cash. That's what Miami does.
Expect scholarship reductions. Expect post season bans. Expect a few people to get fired.
Just never expect another Death Penalty.
Facebook Mac Engel