Does Gator Football Deserve NCAA Sanctions?

Giving new meaning to "The Swamp"

The following is in no way meant to be inflammatory. Honest.

Go ‘Canes.

Somebody needs to address the $100,000 elephant in the room and it obviously won’t be Myles Brand because Myles is A) spineless and B) dead.

I think we can all agree that the NCAA – that bastion of… wait, what do they do again? – is by and large a farce; that, along with The Firm, German food and women’s sports, it looks great on paper, but really has no valid reason to exist beyond filling a Wikipedia page.

The guy from Zeppelin AND the guy from Bad Company AND the guy from Uriah Heep? In the SAME BAND? HOLY SH…!!!

Uh, not so much.

Given my cynic’s sarcasm, you can probably imagine my dumbfounded/slack-jawed/Carlos Dunlapian – i.e. face down on my steering wheel at 3 a.m. – reaction to the news that the NCAA’s 38-year probe into USC football and basketball (and tennis) resulted in actual punishments. And not just a spanking-spoon-type slap on the ass, but an honest to goodness hand-of-god smackdown.

Four years probation, 30 lost scholarships, fourteen voided victories, a pending national title forfeiture, a 2-year postseason ban, and one Lane Kiffin.

Like I said, smackdown.

A short-lived rivalry.

Unaware of the tenets of general decency (i.e. “rules”), Urban Meyer the guy who faked his death has taken it upon himself in his five years in Gainesville to turn the University of Florida football program into a dynastic cross between Pee Wee’s Playhouse and the 8th Street Gun & Pawn.

The Gators, beneficiaries of good karma upon my enrollment, have had… (*doing the math*)… (*using toes*)… (*damn, out of toes*)… twenty-eight players arrested on Urban Legend’s watch. That’s exactly:

  • 14 arrests per national title
  • 9.3 arrests per BCS victory
  • .97 arrests per NFL draftee
  • .0002 arrests per skanky Midtown girl

Of course, all these trivial infractions – garden variety weed, DUI, felony burglary, aggravated assault (read: “pummeling girlfriend”), battery, stolen police property, resisting arrest, violation of sexual restraining order, illicit use of semi-automatic weapons – took a back seat to this week’s technically non-illegal news that former center Maurkice Pouncey accepted $100,000 from an agent friend in the days leading up to the 2010 Sugar Bowl.

Allegedly.

When asked if he’d taken the money, the Steelers’ first-round pick said, “Straight cash, homie.”

No not really. Pouncey denied it and called the claims “absolutely ridiculous,” as in “[that’s] absolutely [possible. Don’t be] ridiculous.”

His twin brother Mike, a senior lineman at UF, also denied the accusations… from the passengers seat of a brand new Cadillac Escalade. In a case of impeccably poor timing, Maurkice dropped coin for his new ride and loads of jewelry right after the NFL Draft.

Pouncey Brothers, sans Escalade/ice

I say impeccably poor timing because, had he just waited to sign his pro contract, nobody would’ve questioned the young lad – or his brother back in Gainesville – for bouncing around in this chromed out Caddy. Now it’s just another piece of evidence (along with very Bond-esque spy pics of him w/ the agent’s runner and an anonymous tip-off letter from Canada) suggesting Maurkice might’ve indeed accepted this $100k advance in the name of “toppling dynasty.”

Pouncey says he used a deferred line of credit to make his purchases.

You’re thinking two things right now: 1) This blowhard has it out for the Gators and 2) This blowhard has it out for the Gators.

Guilty (like somebody else I know).

Look, Florida has been good to me in the five years I’ve attended the fine institution. Great school. Hot babes. Huge market for scalping student football tickets. I have no ill will toward it. But I’m a year away from finishing grad school, at which point I can go back to rooting for the ‘Canes without being showered with warm Budweiser.

The Black version of me.

I brought the school a couple of titles. I partied on University Avenue till the wee hours of the morning. I watched Tebow throw his first iconic jump pass… Enough is enough. The Gates left Miami in the rearview some time ago and show no signs of slowing down.

Five to three is too close for comfort, and I’m thinking four years probation is just enough time for The U to regain its footing, climb back to national prominence and break ground on the state-of-the-art LeBron Field (aka “The King Dome”).

So yeah, I’m not a Gators fan per se, but I am a fan of competitive balance… And fairness. The NCAA penalized Southern California when two star players forfeited amateur status by accepting gifts and money. USC claimed it was unaware of the infractions, a naivete that qualifies as “lack of institutional control.”

When asked about the Pouncey issue, Florida AD Jeremy Foley said, “At this time we have no information that has indicated that there are any compliance issues for the University of Florida.”

Hmmm.

I’m obviously not an objective party in this matter. As you may know, the NCAA railroaded the ‘Canes back in the mid-’90s for a host of indiscretions (/indiscreet hostesses), including but not limited to: covering up failed drug tests, funneling slush fund money to players, general unruliness (i.e. “on-campus brawls”), academic dishonesty and falsification of Pell Grants that constituted “perhaps the largest centralized fraud ever committed.”

(*takes bow*)

Plus, I was raised to hate the Gators, and if you’ve ever been down South, you know the insufferable SEC fans don’t help matters.

So tell me what you think. Do the program’s actions under Meyer constitute a “lack of institutional control”? Does Gator Football deserve the USC treatment? Does villainy directly relate to on-the-field success? Is Urban Meyer two seasons away from “pulling a Carroll”? Have you ever personally been attacked by a Gator? Am I just bitter cuz the ‘Canes suck? Are you a “straight cash homie”? Should “innocent until killing someone” be the law of the land? Does Jeremy Foley read my blog? Am I leaving anything out?

– Robbie

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11 Comments

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11 responses to “Does Gator Football Deserve NCAA Sanctions?

  1. bholt11

    In the immortal words of 3LW: “Haters, they gonna hate.”

    No, in all seriousness, speaking as a fan of both the Gators and the USF Bulls, I hope that there are no NCAA violations in store for UF because:

    A. Violations would hurt the Gators.

    B. If the Gators deserve violations, USF deserves the death penalty.

    I personally feel like these things get blown way out of proportion and only because people still have this idealistic and naive outlook on college football. It’s a big business masquerading as some gritty, honest public service announcement.

    • In all seriousness, I do hope Florida gets exactly what it deserves… after I leave. I agree 100 percent about the NCAA’s naive outlook. But if they’re going to have these ridiculous rules in place, these ridiculous rules need to be enforced.

      I think we can both agree that the system is broken (and paying players is not a realistic solution).

      Also, I originally called this post “Does Gator Football deserve the death penalty?” Turns out you need to be a repeat offender while already ON probation. So technically, I don’t think USF qualifies. On the other hand, the DP at Southern Cal is pretty much a certainty now. No way in hell Kiffin can stay out of trouble for the next four years.

      • SFGator

        What has happened to society where we are constantly wishing harm on others? These petty jealousies are childish. Maybe, I am the one in the minority as my mom taught me not to envy the kid with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle I didn’t own. Maybe, it’s the fact that my mom graduated from FSU and my dad graduated from UF and I grew up rooting for both (and still do). Maybe, it’s because UF and UM never played while I grew up so, I rooted for UM as they played OSU and every other team that wasn’t UF (and still do).

        It will be a sad day for me when I root for my team, not to get better but, for my opponent to get worse by suffering some scandal and being penalized. I didn’t do it through the Zook years and I won’t do it in the future.

        It would be naïve of me to think that UF does no wrong. It would also be naïve to think that these things don’t go down at every single major D1 program in the country. This certainly doesn’t justify anything but, does give credence to the hypocrisy in society. I like how my friends come to me and throw the arrests in my face. As if there is this magical pool of players that every recruiter knows is going to get arrested and we are the only scumbag school willing to sell our souls to sign so we can win more trophies. That only the worst people are the best athletes.

        I am not ranting like this because of your article because it is rather tame compared to what I normally deal with. They usually make ridiculous and obnoxious comments like the guy below.

        Afro keep doing you. Your writing is solid. You had me with the skanky midtown girls.

        Also, how do I add a picture? This psychedelic shape does me no justice.

        • I’m not so much “wishing harm on others” as calling for a little justice. And, yeah, I’m jealous, but UF is a direct recruiting competitor – the success it has directly affects how well Miami performs.

          I’m just asking for a more level playing field. I hear your point about violations at every major program. But some schools certainly break more rules and bigger rules than others… Miami, for its part, has come a long way in cleaning up its program (whether this translates to failures on the field is a different discussion). Florida seems to be going in the opposite direction.

          I will admit, though, that I would gladly trade off-the-field issues for more Ws on Saturdays. Still, you can field a champion with high-character players. It’s not impossible.

          WordPress Dashboard –> Users –> My Profile –> Change Gravatar –> Insert Studly Picture

        • qbytheU

          Scouting players has become a science and while you can never be sure, you should have a pretty good idea of whether you are getting quality young men or not. More importantly, 28 arrests speaks to the coaches not making it abundantly clear that bad behavior will be not be tolerated.

  2. Matt

    First of all, I hope that the campus currently known as UF gets wiped off the face of the planet.

    In all seriousness though, i dont think Florida will get nearly as bad of punishment as USC did because

    A. Pouncey reportedly took the money before his last bowl game, so only essentially forfeiting one game and because
    B. Its only one person where as USC had both mayo and bush.

    I really hope UF gets punished. I hope that a new report indicating that Tim Tebow has been taking PED’s comes out and these last four years get taken off the books.

    By now i guess you figured out im a seminole fan who thoroughly hates the gayturds but in the end i think Florida either gets away with it or gets a slap on the wrist if the NCAA cant prove anyone else was partaking in these activities.

    • I have to defend Gainesville for a second, as it is – by and large – a fantastic place. Think of it as you would Tallahassee, except with marginally more attractive women and, um, winners. I also love Tebow and wish nothing but good things for him.

      That said, come on down, sanctions!

      While I see the differences between USC and UF, I also think that the NCAA is making a concerted effort to show people that it isn’t a powder puff and shouldn’t be taken lightly. This week alone, it launched probes into UF, UGA, UNC and USCarolina. I think ultimately you’re right: slap on the wrist. At the same time, this is not your father’s NCAA. It have a new president coming in later this year and – as you saw with USC – looking to make a statement. i.e. Play by the rules, or else.

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