“New York’s” Team Takes A Whack

Let’s get this out of the way up front. I have never liked Syracuse. I grew up in New York City when St. John’s basketball and Chris Mullen did battle with Syracuse on a regular basis. I booed Rony Seikaly and Dwayne Washington growing up and kept on booing guys like Carmelo Anthony later on. On the list of teams I really don’t like, Syracuse holds a very high spot.

And I find their whole marketing campaign about how they are “New York’s” team a joke. Rutgers has tried this marketing angle as well, and it is just stupid. New York doesn’t have a college football team, and while there are certainly plenty of Syracuse basketball fans in the region, St. John’s still draws the biggest cheers. With so many people from so many different parts of the country, you can find a group rooting for almost any college somewhere in NYC. Case in point, I walked into a bar that was packed with UNH supporters and memorabilia a few years ago in the East Village.

But I digress, I want to talk about today’s sanctions against the Orange and the joke that the NCAA has become. I am not going to argue that Syracuse did or didn’t do what it is accused of doing. I suspect they did. But the punishment and the solutions offered by the NCAA hurt the wrong people.

Have you noticed how great Kentucky is this year? Undefeated, and heading for what could be a historic 40-0 season. Have you noticed who coaches them? John Calipari, the only NCAA coach to have Final Four appearances vacated at two schools. I have a feeling the NCAA had that in the back of their mind when they specifically named Jim Boeheim in today’s announcement. They are trying to show how tough they have become, but “punishing” Boeheim by taking away wins and suspending him nine ACC games is laughable. Taking away some scholarships will hurt, but losing three scholarships a season from a total of thirteen is hardly a death sentence.

The people who get hurt the most are the current Syracuse players. They can’t leave the school without sitting out, and they weren’t even involved in the recruiting and other shenanigans that led to this punishment. It is another example of the flawed system the NCAA perpetuates.

I wish we could all just agree that this “student-athlete” model is garbage in the big name sports. Most of these athletes are students in name only and their athletic work is making enormous money for other people. Money that they don’t get anywhere near. Some will argue that they get a free education. But I will ask you this. How valuable is that education when it comes secondary to athletics? Athletic schedules are driven by television and conferences have expanded to the point of geographical absurdity. Missing classes for games isn’t an exception, it’s the rule at most of these schools.

I wish one of two things would happen. Either the NCAA stopped the charade and paid the players a fair wage and treated them as adults, or they actually created a system that enforced the rules equitably and totally. Neither will happen, but perhaps we could ultimately move to something closer to the former. Otherwise, we will have another “scandal” like this one in the very near future.

 

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  • By Another One Bites The Dust | nysportsfanatic on February 5, 2016 at 5:06 pm

    […] snapping a 12-game winning streak in the process with a dominating defense. This is a good team, unlike Syracuse last year, which did the same thing. Now, this may be because the allegations are disgusting-using […]

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