Tag:Failure To Monitor
Posted on: July 8, 2011 3:54 pm
Edited on: July 22, 2011 4:47 pm

West Virginia closing the Rodriguez/Stewart era

Posted by Chip Patterson

On the same day that Ohio State responded to allegations and Caleb King was ruled academically ineligible, more NCAA-related news came out of the ongoing investigation of West Virginia. As first reported by Dennis Dodd, Rich Rodriguez and Bill Stewart were both charged with failure to monitor compliance with NCAA legislation.

The charges were in regards to the allegation that West Virginia exceeded the permissible limit of the number of coaches and staff members engaged in team coaching activities. West Virginia proposed two years probation, lose three scholarships, and other internal restrictions for the football program. The NCAA, West Virginia, Stewart, and Rodriguez agreed on the facts of the case, charges, and penalties.

For West Virginia fans, it is the beginning of moving on from the soap opera that was the Rodriguez-Stewart transition. The university will not fight these allegations or penalties, and clearly athletic director Oliver Luck and the rest of the administraton is ready to bring a close to all this mess as quickly as the NCAA will allow.  In the last few years there have been reports of shady transitions, more than one forced retirement/resignation, and then most recently the leaking of false information from inside the program. Combine all this drama with the controversy of adding beer sales to the certain West Virginia athletic events, and it is fair to say they have had enough off-field attention for one offseason. More than most schools in their conference, West Virginia is anxious to crate some on-field headlines.

When they do take the field, they should be creating headlines. The Mountaineers offense struggled at times in 2010, particularly considering the caliber of talent at each position. Eight starters return from that unit, and now they will be under the watch of Dana Holgorsen's high-octane system. The 6-foot-3 Geno Smith fits in perfectly, with an impressive arm to spread the ball around and the athletic ability to remain a threat outside the pocket. He's not a run-first quarterback, or even run-second, but he can still do damage with open space. The defense returns two of the best pass rushers in the nation, with Julian Miller and Bruce Irvin now both every-down defensive linemen. There are some experience issues in the secondary, but there are few quarterbacks outside of Cincinnati's Zach Collaros who have proven the ability to consistently beat teams downfield. Regardless of the shortcomings in West Virginia's outlook, they are still expected to be in the Big East title hunt.

Mountaineer fans have a head coach; one they can feel like they searched for and found. He arrived earlier than expected to the heralded post, but now he's here. It's time to close a very successful (and occasionally very dramatic) era in West Virginia football, and begin focusing on the future with one of the brightest offensive minds in the game.
Posted on: June 23, 2011 1:59 pm
Edited on: July 22, 2011 4:55 pm

Welcome to Compliance 2.0

Posted by Chip Patterson

North Carolina's Notice of Allegations, delivered to the school earlier this week by the NCAA, is certainly stocked with all kinds of facts, figures, and redacted information to be discussed and debated between now and the Oct. 28 hearing with Committee on Infractions. The case will end up being a standard for NCAA enforcement in modern college football history. It may be buried well below the lede on Sportscenter, but trust me: we will remember this case.

One aspect of the case that is particularly notable is in alleged violation 9b.
In February through June 2010, the institution did not adequately and consistently monitor social networking activity that visibly illustrated potential amateurism violations within the football program, which delayed the institution's discovery and compounded the provision of impermissible benefits provided in Allegation Nos. 4-a, 4-c, 4-d and 4-e.
This is where the entire investigation started. All 42 pages of letters and allegations can be summed up in a series of 140-character tweets from Greg Little and Marvin Austin. Well, technically, it was a combination of tweeting some Rick Ross lyrics, TwitPic'ing pool parties and expensive dinner bills, along with some other loose evidence of misconduct.

So the NCAA is wondering how North Carolina's compliance office did not see a red flag when their star student athletes were living a lavish lifestyle in big cities the summer before their senior season. Now, being charged with Failure To Monitor, this case becomes the NCAA's official acknowledgement of social networking in collegiate sports.

Unfortunately, they are probably entering the game a little too late. Acting reactively, as usual, the NCAA has essentially let compliance offices all over the country know that this is something they should be monitoring closely. Here's the thing: it's really not that hard.

Make Twitter lists, download Tweetdeck, organize the accounts however you choose -- there of plenty of options. If the "search" function is too difficult to figure out, then require athletes to include their Twitter handle at the same time you get the rest of their contact information. Most of these student-athletes (particularly the ones most at-risk of impermissible benefits) will want as many people as possible to have unprotected access to their Twitter accounts. Amateurism rules prevent an athlete from benefiting off their own likeness financially, but Twitter allows a pro prospect to begin marketing themselves while in school. Certain athletes enjoy building their brand, interacting with fans and getting a more hands-on approach to shaping people's perception.

All the compliance office has to do is watch, and ask questions.

Recently Maryland defensive lineman and Twitter extraodinaire A.J. Francis (@The_Franchyze) tweeted a lyrics from a song by Rick Ross (surprise!) and Kanye West -- "Live Fast, Die Young."
Seems like we getting' money for the wrong things,
Look around Maseratis for the whole team.
Now, someone with a common knowledge of the lyrics on Ross' 2010 release Teflon Don might recognize that quote. But none of those people are in Maryland's compliance office. To them, this seemed like a questionable Twitter-post that could possibly be dealing with impermissible benefits. No need to launch an investigation, but the office took action.

Now Francis was asked to remove the post, but I think once Compliance explained the situation he understood. There could be a discussion about free speech, but we have yet to see a Chad Ochocinco-type character challenge the authority of his school on those grounds. But the point of the matter is that if North Carolina's compliance office had been keeping an eye on the profiles of its star athletes, there could have been more immediate action to nip the wrongdoing in the bud.

So the message has been sent to compliance offices everywhere. It's time to wake up and follow your student-athletes on their social networking sites. The fans are, most of the media is, and for both of those groups to find out about a potential violations well before the compliance office is unacceptable.

Go ahead, just follow them. Trust me, most student-athletes will be happy to raise their follower/friend count.

(Image Credit: Twitter)
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com