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Monday, April 06, 2009
 
Professor Alfred Yen on UConn Scandal

Boston College Law School Professor Alfred Yen has a terrific piece on Madisonian.Net concerning the alleged recruiting violations at UConn. Here's an excerpt.

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Instead, Connecticut appears to have completely flouted important rules in a way suggesting that such behavior was routine. How else could those involved have failed to stop and consider the wrongfulness and consequences of their behavior? Could they have done something like this only once, and “by accident”? It is only too easy to suspect that Calhoun and his staff knew exactly what they were doing, that it was wrong, and that is was necessary to maintain Connecticut’s long record of competitive success. Perhaps even more disturbing is the notion that Connecticut presumably did not have to do this to succeed. Its basketball program is one the most successful in the entire country, one to which top recruits would presumably flock in exchange for a valuable college degree. Did Connecticut correctly think that it would take “something extra” to get the best young basketball players to enroll?

For years, baseball treated allegations about steroids as a problem of individual miscreants. Baseball officials maintained that the sport was generally clean, and that drastic action wasn’t necessary to clean things up. Even after baseball declared steroids illegal, the sport did not take systemic, forceful action until prominent players made fools of themselves in front of Congress unsuccessfully denying their use of steroids. The public now generally believes that steroid use was the widespread, tarnishing the competitive integrity of the entire sport and devaluing the achievements of players who did not break the rules. Indeed, nothing has confirmed this suspicion more than the recent revelation that Alex Rodriguez, who (like Connecticut) did not have to cheat, somehow felt it necessary to do so.

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For the rest of the piece, click here.





1 Comments:

Perhaps even more disturbing is the notion that Connecticut presumably did not have to do this to succeed. Its basketball program is one the most successful in the entire country, one to which top recruits would presumably flock in exchange for a valuable college degree. Did Connecticut correctly think that it would take “something extra” to get the best young basketball players to enroll?

Another possibility - indeed, one that makes this notion all the more disturbing - is that UConn broke the rules simply because they could - that is, because they believed the NCAA wouldn't dare take any meaningful action against one of its marquee basketball programs (read: "cash cows"). See also Miami (FL)'s football program during their years as a major powerhouse; they too were widely suspected of rampant and systemic cheating, tolerance of player misconduct and a host of other transgressions for years during the 1980s and '90s, yet it took a Pell Grant scandal of epic proportions in 1995 (the same event that prompted SI's infamous cover story urging Miami to drop its football program) to finally force the NCAA's hand.

Now, if UConn hoops really did believe their elite status protected them from NCAA sanction, I'm not sure which party deserves more of our scorn and ridicule - UConn for cheating, or the NCAA for giving Uconn (however unwittingly) reason to believe they could get away with it.

Blogger Joshua -- 4/07/2009 4:49 AM  


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