There are stupid laws everywhere. In Devon, Conn., it is unlawful to walk backward after sunset; in Arizona it is prohibited to hunt camels; and, my favorite, in Marshalltown, Iowa, horses are forbidden to eat fire hydrants.
The only problem with these laws is they aren't enforced. I doubt very seriously that if you get caught walking backward at 9 p.m. in Devon they will throw you in jail and if you are hunting camels in Arizona, well, good luck with that. And if your horse eats a fire hydrant I think you have bigger problems than breaking the law.
Unfortunately the NCAA has idiotic laws like this and apparently they enforce them. On Friday an investigation into the Southeast Missouri State University's women's basketball program was completed and some "violations" were found. When I read through what the "violations" were I was disgusted, not at the university but at the NCAA.
Here are some of the "violations."
* Some prospective and enrolled student-athletes were driven by a member of the women's basketball staff to the Cape Girardeau airport. I guess the NCAA would rather the students stand on the side of the road and try to hitch a ride rather than a coach give them a lift.
* A student-athlete transported a few prospects to campus for the prospects' official visit. You have to be kidding me. If I'm a basketball player I can't drive a prospective player to the campus? What possible harm could come of that?
* A prospect living in the Cape Girardeau area prior to full-time enrollment used the computer of a women's basketball coaching staff member. WHAT???? Using a computer of a coach is against the rules? What happens if you use a coach's personal toilet, are you banned from playing college athletics for life?
* The same prospect also received automobile transportation from a staff member which included help moving a used bed to the young lady's residence. I guess I understand this one. Players should sleep on the hard floor, it's better for their backs.
These were just some of the "violations" but I think it is a travesty that any of them are against the rules. What if regular students on academic scholarship were forced to follow rules like this?
I myself got a ride from a professor a time or two, but if these rules applied to academics our school could be put on probation. If a student used his teacher's computer, the school could lose a couple of scholarships for the following school year. A teacher helping a student move a bed, oh my gosh he could lose his job.
There are some poorly run organizations I have blasted over the past year, FEMA, MoDOT and others, but the NCAA takes the cake. They go to such lengths to see that student-athletes don't get special treatment that they punish them more than regular students. A coach spends a lot of time with his or her players during the course of their time at a university. You would think that something like giving a student-athlete a ride to the airport would be seen as taking care of a player rather than a violation but not according to the idiots at the NCAA.
Well, since I am leaving on vacation Friday I will make sure that nobody here at the Standard gives me a ride to the airport (although I am sure I would have many takers), because they might put us on newspaper probation. I'll just have to find my own ride to hunt those camels in Arizona.