There are, at its latest count, 439 pages of NCAA Division I compliance regulations. And sure, with so many coaches looking to
circumvent creatively comply with those rules, it makes sense that the expansion is inevitable; every time a coach gets an insane idea to entice a recruit to campus, a rule’s got to be put into place to shut that door. And those doors stretch as far as the imagination.
(WARNING TO COLLEGE ATHLETES: Even looking at this picture will make you ineligible. Our sincerest apologies, especially for putting the warning after the picture. Whoops.)
At the same time, though, it’s awfully hard to make the case that every single one of those rules is necessary; after all, while nobody wants to see large sums of money funneled to players’ families or anything, there are some regulations that just boggle the imagination.
Earlier today, the college football media (or at least Spencer Hall) was abuzz, agape, and agog at the news that the Clemson Tigers football team would be forced by the ACC to give up two preseason practices for the strange, strange violation of improper and illegal
benefits underpants (padded compression shorts). Everybody seemed confused by the sudden ruling, from Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney on down.
It was a ruling that came with uncharacteristic speed from the bowels of the NCAA (how’s that Reggie Bush investigation coming?), but when the swift practice sanctions were met with equally swift derisions from all corners of the college football world, the NCAA - cowardly body that it is - retreated this afternoon and reversed the practice penalties. The score now stands: NCAA 129,834 - Common Sense 1.