Thursday, July 06, 2006

Not just UND 

A series of columns titled Through the Trifocals: Illinois & the NCAA covers another school that periodically runs afoul of intercollegiate athletics in its history. The author of the series lays the blame for the current mess at the feet of former NCAA commissioner Walter Byers, and in the most recent entry he reviews the case of Deon Thomas, a recruit for Illinois who enrolled at Illinois over Iowa. Iowa's assistant coach Bruce Pearl -- now head coach at Tennessee -- is fingered as the one who broke the story to the NCAA, and the NCAA subsequently investigated him severely. No improprieties were found, and Thomas had a fine college career (though he never played in the NBA, choosing to go to Europe instead.)

This story was referred to me by Patrick Miller who reports for WDAY works for UND in Grand Forks*, and who makes this connection:
The practice of making examples of particular institutions to keep members in line while overlooking the transgressions of cash-rich members also reveals the NCAA's tradition of hypocrisy. How else can anyone explain Brand's persecution of UND while giving the Florida State Seminoles a free pass? And can anyone explain how the NCAA can take money from a sponsor such as Pontiac, the auto manufacturer that uses an American Indian name and stylized arrowhead logo, at the same time it condemns UND's Indian name and logo?
UPDATE*: correcting Miller's occupation via his email.