Friday, July 20, 2012

The NCAA Bench Slapped Caltech

The NCAA found a school to throw the book at – just short of the death penalty

The California Institute of Technology with 978 undergrads has felt the wrath of the NCAA.

Caltech, a Division III institution, which offers no athletic scholarships, goes to no bowl games, and has no TV contracts.

Caltech, a university with brilliant scholars and pathetic athletes, with no desire to change the balance.

Caltech with one of the greatest losing programs in NCAA history.

The Caltech men's basketball team beat Bard College 81- 52 on January 7, 2007 to snap a 207 game losing streak. They beat Occidental (The President's alma mater) 46 – 45 on February 22, 2011 on a free throw with 3.3 seconds left to win its first conference game since 1985. The soccer team beat Cal Lutheran 1-0 on October 22, 208 to break a 201 game losing streak.

Caltech does not pose a threat to the athletic integrity of any school.

Caltech’s alumni and faculty have won 32 Nobel Prizes, certainly more than the traditional football powers of Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Texas, Alabama, Auburn, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and LSU combined.

Caltech self reported possible violations of the NCAA’s full time student rule to the organization when new Athletic Director Betsy Mitchell discovered the violations.

The NCAA rules preclude part-time students from playing NCAA sports.

Caltech’s policies allow students to sample courses for three weeks before formally enrolling in them. Here’s a limited smorgasbord from which to choose: 1) Signal Transducion and Biomechanics in Fukaryoic Cell Morphogenesis, 2) Biophysics of Macromolecules, 3) Heterogeneous Kinetics and Reaction Engineering, 4 Synthesis and Analysis of Organic and inorganic compounds, 5) Computational fluid dynamics, and 6) Marko Chains, Discrete Stochastic, Processes and Applications. Caltech is offering its consumers, the students, the opportunity to make informed choices on their course selections.

However, the NCAA rules makes them part-time students until fully enrolled. 30 Caltech students were technically part-time students by NCAA rules,and thus ineligible to compete in NCAA sports..

Caltech proposed as penalties to the NCAA a one year post season ban, a 1 year ban on off-campus recruiting, vacating wins by teams with ineligible players, and a $5,000 fine.

The NCAA often has trouble finding what it’s not looking for even when it’s in plain view. The NCAA this time looked Caltech’s gift horse in the mouth, and raised the penalties to a public sanction and added three years of probation. It expressly found the dreaded failure of institutional control, as related to the academic program.

Imagine that, the NCAA knows more about academic integrity and quality than Caltech.

The only conceivable sanctions the NCAA did not levy on CalTech were the "death penalty" and the forfeiture of its name, such that CalTech would once again become the Throop Polytechnic Institute.

What again was Caltech's heinous violation?

Technically playing ineligible players.

Did the orange and white Caltech Beavers gain an unfair advantage on the field?

The record certainly doesn't show it.

Were the recruiting hostesses providing extra hospitality to recruits?


Were recruits receiving cash?


Did a Secret Santa bestow luxury cars on the players?

Not that we know of.

Did the cheerleaders offer special rewards for victories?

      What matters at CalTech - brains or brawn?

Were the basketball players receiving excessive compensation for summer employment?

Check with their employers - NASA, Jet Propulsion Lab, the federal government, et al.

Did parents move into a new home financed by a athletic booster?

Perhaps, conceivably by an academic supporter, but not likely.

Were tutors writing papers for the dumb jocks?

At Caltech?  The average SAT at Caltech is 2-3X that of many scholarship holders at Division I powerhouses.

Did the Caltech scholar athletes receive their high school degrees from a diploma mill?

See above

Were players, and possibly coaches, committing sexual assaults or domestic abuse, stealing cars, stereos or computers, misusing credit cards, displaying alcohol or drug problems?

No evidence exists.

We're professors changing grades to retain player eligibility?

     Are you kidding?

Did the scholar athletes voluntarily engage in involuntary unsupervised, supervised conditioning non-program programs?

Caltech students are into mind games.

The NCAA is obsessed with maintaining the academic integrity of its member schools. It believes in the shibboleth of the scholar athlete, except perhaps with the "One and Done" basketball program at Kentucky.

The NCAA full time student rule seems simple, but it as convoluted as the rest of the NCAA's rule book.

Matt Leinert quarterbacked USC to a perfect season and the national title in 2004. It was his senior year; he could have turned pro for a large contract. Instead, he returned to USC as a fifth year senior. He wanted to win another title.

Of course, he had to technically enroll as a student. Matt Leinert needed only 2 units for graduation, so he enrolled in a 2 hour ballroom dancing course. Two credit hours is normally substantially less than full-time status, but not for the NCAA.

Will the NCAA impose the death penalty on Caltech if it commits further violations, by the arcane NCAA rulebook, in the next three years?

The NCAA has no problem with majors, such as undecided or general studies. Which comes first, the scholar or the athlete?

The NCAA also allows freshmen to play before their first classes.
Has the NCAA ever asked itself why it is coming into increased ridicule?

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