NCAA Football: the wacky, the un- deniable, and the unfair

NCAA Football: the wacky, the un- deniable, and the unfair

Drew Friedman

Drew Friedman ‘16 and Mike Morgan ‘16

Collaborative Writers

Suspensions. Upsets. Bold predictions. These things never change in college football. While these things have been occurring for numerous decades, suspensions have become the most prevalent topic in all of college sports. In past years players are sidelined due to misconduct off the field, or for academic reasons, but never for self promotion, and profiting off of one’s own success. That was before Reggie Bush, the USC standout, was accused of accepting gifts from possible future agents. Now, the most recent Heisman winner, Jameis Winston, and Heisman hopeful Todd Gurley Jr., have been accused of profiting off of their own memorabilia. As NCAA infractions committee chairman Paul Dee said during the Reggie Bush investigation, “High-profile players merit high-profile enforcement.” The premier players in college football, just like any college sport, usually do not know how to handle themselves off the field, like they do on it. And honestly, are we expecting them to?

Drew Friedman: Most of these athletes have never experienced this kind of pampering before, and are bound to slip up eventually. This is why colleges need to be on top of their athletes, and make sure they are not making any backdoor deals that could harm the future of the program, not necessarily the future of the athlete. Reggie Bush is in his ninth season – years removed from the allegations that stripped him of his Heisman trophy. Gurley, Winston, future stars, don’t need to worry, unfortunately, about any non criminal accusations they partake in, because when it comes down to it their success on the field is what the NFL scouts see, and after three seasons, the athletes are free to walk into the office of any NFL organization, and put a pen to paper.

Mike Morgan: I think the problem starts with the NCAA administration. If the NCAA wants these issues to stop, then they need to be consistent with how they treat their athletes. They are strict on players collecting money by selling autographed items or accepting gifts, yet they continuously engage in talks of paying their athletes or providing them with free meal plans, thus pampering their athletes. The NCAA needs to put their foot down and either shut down these talks once and for all, or allow this legislation to go through to keep these violations from happening. It is not until then that we will see a noticeable decline of these occurrences.

No Losses, but Still No Trophy?

Even with this year’s implementation of the four-team playoff in FBS college football, we still may see a team do all that they can, but come up short. Marshall University, a Conference USA school from Huntington, West Virginia best known for its inspiration of the 2006 film “We Are Marshall,” stands at 7-0 on the season but only 23rd in the rankings. In recent years we have seen schools like Utah, Boise State, and TCU record undefeated seasons and still come up short of the National Title because of BCS complications. As of now, four unbeaten teams remain standing: No. 1 ranked Mississippi State, No. 2 Florida State, No. 3 Ole Miss, and No. 23 Marshall.

Drew Friedman: There is a difference between who deserves to get to the title game, and who is in the title game almost every season. Whether a No. 1 ranked team faces a No. 2 ranked team does not necessarily mean either team should be the last two standing. Its comes down to politics, and money, which unfortunately stump every other variable that lands two teams in the championship.

Mike Morgan: In my opinion, the whole point of the four team playoff is to allow for a school like Marshall to win a National Title if they have an exceptional regular season. This is not a joke of a team. Marshall has blown out every team they have faced and scored at least 42 points each game. That is an extremely high powered offense that would be interesting to see on the national stage against the typical suspects at the top of the rankings. More importantly, I don’t think an undefeated team should ever be shut out of winning a National Title. Regardless of strength of schedule, undefeated seasons are rare. They do not happen every season, and when they do, they are normally the team that wins the National Championship game. It is the outliers like Utah, Boise State, and TCU that deserved the chance. This is a chance that Marshall may not get this year, even after implementing the four-team tournament, the believed solution to the madness of selecting the championship game.