What Factors Can Bring Down A College Athletic Program?

October 31, 2011

Local businesses and corporations has a strong partnership with college and universities sports teams for many years. The businesses would encourage their customers to attend the school’s home games and support the team and in turn, the school would provide ad space around the stadium and have both their flagship radio station and television station promote the business. It’s a win-win situation for both parties involved because each one can make money and build its own brand at the same time.

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How they can mess up a program:

Apparently, having their business being promoted around the stadium, on the radio, television and in newspapers are not enough for some corporations. They want to have a close relationship with the athlete(s) and one way to do that is doing special favors for them, such as give them free gifts under the table. The feeling is that no one is going to know because it’s between the business and the athlete.

Who: Athletes

There are two goals that a student athlete must accomplish while in school: 1) Graduate and 2) Win a championship, or at least, have a very competitive team. An athlete must work hard in the classroom and on the field/court. There are a number of student athlete who end up on the Dean’s List and become Academic All-Americans for their work in both areas. Athletes would not even think about messing up they eligibility by doing some dumb stuff to jeopardize the athletic program.

How they can mess up a program:

An athlete can bring down the sports program quick by breaking any violation you can possibly think off. These violations include such as: accepting gifts or money, talking with an agent; talking to any associate with a professional team while as a student athlete; pay other students to either take tests, write papers, or do class projects for them; persuade instructors or teacher assistant to give them credit for attending class; or point shaving, where they perform badly on purpose to take part in a bet. In many cases, the athletes keep this a secret, but sooner than later someone (students, teachers, paid informants, etc.) tells the media about what’s going on and the next thing you know, a scandal has been born.

Who: Coaches

A coach is the leader of the team. Also, they are a second father to an athlete (or a reality in today’s world, the father that an athlete never had.) Plus, A coach is also plays the role of the team’s therapist, counselor, judge, jury and executor when it comes to the team rules. Their goal is to see that their players graduate from school and hopefully turn into professional athletes. They would always be there to help a player out with whatever the problem is either on the field/court or on a personal level.

How they can mess up a program:

Now, you would think that a coach who not put themselves in a spot where the athletic problem goes on probation or worse, but it does happen. One way is lying to officials about any recent violations or problems that took place in the program. It is best for a coach to come clean and tell the truth about what happened because the cover up is always worse than the lie.

Another way is cheating. Coaches must always run a clean program. But then, you have coaches who engage in gambling where they exhibit questionable coaching decisions and lose their games on purpose so that can cover a bet. Lose one or two games, fine. But when you look like you are taking a dive every single game, a red flag should go up and the investigation will begin immediately.

A third and final way is the recruiting policy. Colleges and universities set a timetable when coaches can talk to recruits and when they cannot contact them at all. Once the schools set up the date, coaches cannot contact any new recruits by telephone (phone call or text message); by mail; by e-mail; by the use of social media (Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, Skype, etc.); video conferencing or even by a face-to-face meeting. Normally, coaches follow the policy and wait until the ban is lifted. However, there are some coaches that just can’t wait to talk with the new recruits and they might invite them to a social gathering (Ex. birthday party, a cookout, a get together at the coach’s house, etc) for a meet-and-greet. Look, if the school tells you not to talk to any of the new recruits, don’t do it. Just wait it out and once the school says that it is okay, go ahead.
Final Word

Everyone that follows college sports should always show their support for the team. But as a fan, don’t go too far to the point where the obsession is so strong that you’re willing to do anything for the team to win. Don’t do it!

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