Caltech is on NCAA probation

At the least they’re willing to go after somebody:

That’s kinda the ultimate in technicalities, but that’s apparently enough for a three year probation. Good thing they’re cracking down on the serious crimes, eh?

It’s not about the NCAA going after Caltech, it’s about CalTech doing the right thing. Their new athletic director discovered violations occurring and decided to report them. In light of the discussion going on over in the Penn State thread, in which people are disagreeing about when and how to report child rape, CalTech is making it clear that they know their reporting responsibilities. I find it admirable, and hopefully the publicity will encourage other schools to report violations instead of trying to cover them up.

What was the old saying about SEC football - That the NCAA was so mad at Alabama that they put West Kentucky State on probation?

It is certainly the right thing to do, but isn’t particularly admirable. In fact, most of the violations reported to the NCAA are self-reported. According to ESPN, Big Ten schools alone have reported over 1400 violations since the start of 2006, an average of about 2 dozen per school per year. I’ve seen it mentioned (and not hyperbolically) that every NCAA school commits violations of some sort.

Of course, self reporting of major infractions isn’t as common, and, in these, the cover up is often worse than the violation.

I love that saying, though I’ve heard it as Tark the Shark saying the NCAA was so mad at Kentucky (hoops), they put Cleveland State on probation. The point stands, of course.

A few mental exercises to illustrate what’s going on here.

I) Which of the following is, morally, the worst?

a) Failing to pay your rent on time
b) Playing your stereo too loud in your apartment
c) Keeping a cat in your apartment, even thought the lease says “No pets”
d) Writing racist and anti-semitic articles for a neo-nazi magazine?

Can we all agree that D is, morally, FAR worse than the other three offenses? Good- now, which of those offenses is NOT a legitimate reason for a landlord to evict his tenant?
II) Which of the following is worst, from a moral standpoint?

a) A bartender showing up late for work every night
b) A bartender stealing $10.00 from the cash register
c) A bartender beating his wife

Can we all agree that offense Cis BY FAR the most morally repugnant? Good- now, which of those offenses is NOT a valid reason for the bar owner to fire the bartender?
III) Which of the following is worst, from a moral standpoint?

a) A restaurant owner who doesn’t wash his hands often enough?
b) A restaurant owner who has roaches in the kitchen?
c) A restaurant owner who abuses animals in his spare time

Easy one right? Now, which of those is NOT a valid reason for the city health inspectors to shut down the restaurant?

Get the idea? Of COURSE the NCAA’s rules concern matters far less weighty than child molestation. There are already criminal laws to cover things like that! The NCAA was set up to regulate sports, not to prosecute and imprison criminals.

Small violations of recruiting rules ARE a legitimate area for NCAA investigation and punishment. Criminal matters aren’t.

When I was a renter, my lease said “No pets.” It didn’t say “No rape” or “No murder.” Does that mean my landlord had warped moral priorities? OF COURSE NOT! It just meant that he knew what fell under his authority and what should fall under police jurisdiction.

In the same way, the NCAA is RIGHT to spell out rules about athletic scholarships, but not to write any rules about assault and battery. The latter is a far more serious crime, but it’s NOT a crime that falls under the NCAA’s domain.

Are people suggesting that Penn State should be penalized for Sandusky’s crimes, or for the administration covering it up? There’s a difference.

You keep making this argument in different threads. I assure you that it does not become more compelling with repetition.

Are you suggesting the OP’s argument that he’s responding to is an original one?

As a Caltech alumnus, I’m getting quite a chuckle out of the whole thing. So are the former classmates I’ve talked to about it.

I’ll take that under advisement.

Meantime, I assure YOU that “Throw the book at people who had NOTHING to do with crimes committed by people who are ALREADY getting punished by the criminal justice system” has NEVER made a lick of sense (mcuh less been compelling) and never will.

People are angry. I get that. You want to punish somebody, ANYBODY. I get that. It just so happens there’s NOTHING you can do to the guilty people.

No, not really.

My main point, i guess, is that astorian’s analogies are fundamentally flawed, precisely because they choose to define what is and is not a “sports-related” incident in a way that completely and conveniently ignores the centrality of sports—and one sport in particular—to the whole Penn State scandal.

The main reason that this situation developed in the way it did is precisely related to the place of football within the institution, and the problems outlined in the Freeh report are, almost without exception, problems that occurred precisely because of a desire to protect the football program. If that doesn’t qualify under the NCAA’s institutional control issue, then nothing ever should.

Also, part of astorian’s argument is that the NCAA’s role is not “to prosecute and imprison criminals.” But that’s not what is being proposed here. No-one is asking the NCAA to prosecute or imprison anyone. People are simply asking them to impose sanctions in an area that is within their jurisdiction.

Actually, I’ve had leases that said commission of a felony in/on the rented premises was grounds for eviction. Didn’t spell out which felony, but certainly the landlord wanted to reserve the right for tossing me if I was running a meth lab in the kitchen.

I basically agree with your main contention that criminality outside the college sports arena is not the purview of the NCAA, but I have a quibble with the lease.

It’s been well over 30 years since I’ve had a lease, but when I did I believe it did say something about not using the premises for illegal purposes. Not specifically rape or murder, of course.

How carefully did you read your lease?

Here is what mine says:

“DRUG AND CRIME-FREE HOUSING: You, your Aprroved Occupants, guests and visitors shall not engage in or facilitate any criminal activity anywhere…”

And it goes on to say I may be summarily evicted for criminal activity on the basis of “preponderance of evidence” “regardless of the staus of any prosecution”.

I believe businesses in the US are generally entitled to fire employees at will,
although firing may be contested in exceptional cases such as those involving
certain forms of discrimination. I doubt wife-beaters are a protected class.

I will add that any violent behavior anywhere should be valid grounds for firing.

I would be willing to bet a restaurant may loose its license due to criminal activity
by its owner.

I also believe it would be reasonable to draw analaogy between the NCAA and a municipality
rather than between the NCAA and a municipal department. A municipality is responsible for
enforcing all local and state law within its jurisdiction, and the NCAA is responsible for enforcing
all association rules within its jurisdiction.

The issue therefore devolves upon whether Penn State violated NCAA regulations, and hypothetical
analogy games are not a defence.