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A Mizzou admin just said what everyone’s thinking about the NCAA

If this is the best it can do, do we really need it?

NCAA President Mark Emmert News Conference Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

From a pile of statements released by Missouri after the NCAA handed down a three-sport postseason ban because the school was, uh, up front about a former tutor who completed coursework for 12 players (my emphasis added):

Jon Sundvold, Chair of the University of Missouri Board of Curators

The NCAA Committee on Infractions made a mistake yesterday. We expect leadership from institutions to admit when they make a mistake, correct that mistake and move forward. The NCAA should do the same. As David Roberts, NCAA Committee on Infractions panel chief officer, said, “Missouri did the right thing.” I now expect the NCAA to do the right thing.

“If it doesn’t, a dangerous precedent has been set. When an individual acts independently of their employer, violates rules, commits extortion and shops her accusations to the highest bidder, why would that institution be punished unjustly after doing the right thing?

“Inconsistent actions by the NCAA continue to erode its credibility. If it doesn’t admit and correct this unprecedented fault, many Power Five schools, like Missouri, will question the need for the NCAA as a governing body.

“As our appeal moves forward, I appreciate the support of the SEC and Commissioner Greg Sankey. When Mizzou wins the SEC East next year, he should do the right thing and invite one of its good standing members to play in the SEC Championship game.”


Mizzou’s finding broad support for its position here, with Sankey and two of Missouri’s most prominent politicians in that school-released list, along with a big chunk of the general public, which is largely confused about why UNC’s fake class was fine, but fully cooperating with an investigation into an ex-employee merits some of the stiffest punishments available.

Sundvold, a former nine-year NBA vet, is not the first person with some power to suggest the Power 5 conferences doing away with the NCAA to some degree and building a new governing body for themselves — for example, Kentucky coach John Calipari was proposing a 64-team breakaway from the NCAA in 2011.

Even ignoring the NCAA’s dumb decisions, embarrassing investigations, and outdated model, we’re long past the point at which the lower levels of FBS can ever hope to compete against the top, so why should all those institutions be held to the same standards?

But given the circumstances, Sundvold’s among the maddest officials to raise the notion of leaving the NCAA, and mad people are a valuable component to any change.

The schools would need to figure out how to take over the NCAA’s most important duty — making a ton of money for running a basketball tournament — while refining its rules and modernizing its treatment of athletes.

Most importantly, in order for anyone to accept a new thing as truly a new thing, players would need to be allowed to make money. Otherwise, replacing the NCAA would just mean rich people near the top firing rich people at the top and hiring new rich people at the top.