A failure to comply, thoughts on the WVU NCAA allegations from a pissed off fan

AUBURN, AL - SEPTEMBER 19:  Head coach Bill Stewart of the West Virginia Mountaineers yells to his players against the Auburn Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium on September 19, 2009 in Auburn, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

West Virginia University’s football program is entering uncharted waters, the deadly sea that is NCAA violations. And I am livid. The NCAA informed WVU they have found 5 major and one minor violation from 2005-2009. The speculation is hitting the fan as we all become amature NCAA compliance officers and try and determine what the punishment will be. Here is my take on this unholy mess.

The Good

President Jim Clements saw this coming a mile away, and its his foresight that may just save us. The WVU Athletic Department’s compliance office was more or less restaffed in August of 2009. In addition to that I want the former compliance officers to be placed in gallows outside of Mountaineer Field for the home opener with a rotten fruit and vegetable stand next to it. Perhaps sales can help offset some of the inevitable lost revenue.

Over the last 9 months the University has fully cooperated with the investigation, and has made changes to how the offending graduate assistant program works. One can hope that while its always said compliance is a high priority, perhaps now it actually is.

Gladhander Eddie P has finally being pushed out the door. You see, Pastilong is not an athletic director, he is a middle man. He puts a face on the program, he’s the guy the money folks call when they are having issues with he ticket office. As for the actual day to day running of the athletic department, that was obviously left to the inmates. New AD Oliver Luck will have a much more hands on approach that should ensure stupidity like this never happens again.

The Ugly

There is nothing more in life I would like more than to blame all this on Rich Rod, while RR started the fire Billy Stewart failed to put it out. The NCAA compliance rule book is not for the meek, I won’t hold it against him if he didn’t know the specific rules, can’t say that I did until recently. Billy is to blame because he was the one in charge of making sure that at least someone in the program, on the staff, or hell even on the team knew what was kosher regarding GA participation in practices and film sessions. The fact that the entire organization was blind to what seems to be a simple black and white rule is unacceptable.

What may kill WVU in the end is the fact that the allegations took place with two different coaches. This gives the NCAA a reason to cite the dreaded “lack of institutional control”, which is really the only violation that has me concerned.

The NCAA is like a crazy ex-girlfriend, one minute she says she still loves you the next she is picturing how to place your head on a pike. We are facing anything from a loss of practice time to the loss of a bowl game. Since there was no money or ineligible players involved I don’t see the loss of bowl revenue, but the fact that its a possibility is outright scary and infuriating. All because the fools in the compliance office were either A, too stupid to be able to do their jobs, or B were too afraid to do their jobs. What the hell were they doing all day? Somewhere in that job description has include monitoring workouts, a place where a myriad of violations have the potential to occur.

While never thrilled with the hiring of HCBS (as his detractors call him), I was more than willing to give him a chance. His first two years were reasonably acceptable, until you factor in this insanity. I hate to join the bandwagon, but its time to put Billy out to pasture. Never mind X’s and O’s, these allegations prove he has no clue what he is doing in regard to running a major college football program. His “Aw shucks” personality and loyalty to the mountain state may have saved him from my wrath to this point, but the honeymoon is over. We need a coach that understand how to run the program as a whole, one who knows how to put competent people in the proper places so this kind of embarrassing nonsense never happens again.

Now we wait for the final word from the NCAA on Michigan, as we will most likely share their fate. Here’s hoping we don’t catch that crazy bitch that is the NCAA on the rag.


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