Guess Eric Bledsoe’s one of the (un)lucky ones. Turns out a fraction of athletes approved by the NCAA’s eligibility center actually have new information surface that causes a review.
Question is, why didn’t the NCAA do an extensive review in the first place?
The Lexington Herald-Leader posed that very question to the NCAA, and received this answer from spokesman Chuck Wynne: We didn’t have time to look at anything other than the bare minimum. From the story:
In explaining the fairness in a player being judged eligible and subsequently ruled ineligible, Wynne noted that the normal preliminary eligibility review can be a cursory look at the two components that determine eligibility: the grade-point average in 16 core courses and the college entrance exam score.
“No red flags and you’re off to the next transcript,” Wynne said.
Wynne then went onto to talk about “fairness” in regards to the NCAA’s review process, which did irk the guys at A Sea of Blue, mostly because it came off as trying to sound balanced, but rang hollow.
Fairness is important, of course, but fairness does not require that you put on blinders and pick things at random. If the NCAA wants to be taken seriously, they should consider all factors when determining the scope of the review they are doing. Am I suggesting UK’s recruits should be more closely looked at? Well, maybe yes and maybe no -- UK has been clean of major violations for a long time now. But should it consider the high profile of the recruit, and the high profile of UK? Sure it should. That isn’t unfair -- it’s basic common sense.
So the current rash of violations can be explained as a period where the coaches have not come up with the next generation of cheating while compliance and enforcement have caught up. The challenge now is for compliance officers and the NCAA to not squander this advantage and try to get ahead of the coaches in terms of monitoring.
Think you’re one step ahead of any cheaters? Probably not. You’re probably a step behind.
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