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Tuesday
Apr282009

Where's Jerry Maguire?

Our government (for my American readers) and the NCAA could learn a thing or two from the ill-fated manifesto detailed in the movie Jerry Maguire. Essentially, less clients, less money, better service.

Stop being all things to all people. Focus on what you do well.

I bring this up because I found two amusing items today.

1)Register-Guard columnist George Schroeder attempts to pass the NCAA 'recruiting certification exam'. This is what coaches must pass in order to be eligible to recruit.

Here’s what I learned: The NCAA manual isn’t easy to navigate. It’s filled with complicated stipulations and detailed exceptions. Just skimming the thing makes it easier to appreciate how coaches can try to do the right thing, and still get it wrong.

Oregon coach Chip Kelly has the proper -- and because this is the NCAA, lopsided -- perspective on things:

"If it makes sense for a student-athlete or it makes sense for a coach, then you can’t do it," he says. "That’s my fail-safe when I have to guess."

2)Georgia coach Mark Richt will not be permitted to attend the graduation ceremony of signee Chris Burnette. He never had a chance unless Burnette was named valedictorian, a feat nearly accomplished but fell just short.

Says The Senator, " I’ll never get the NCAA, I swear."

Look, I think the NCAA, or a body like it, is essential to college athletics.  But over the years the current organization has become increasingly warped and wrapped up in its own nonsense.  It wastes its time and money trying to participate in social engineering while completely whiffing on the some obvious good deeds like what Richt would like to do.  The contradictions are endless and intensifying.

At its heart, my impression is that its a rules-based organization.  At this point in time that is a massive, potentially fatal mistake.  At some point they're going to need to make a ton of sacrifices and focus on whats really important and let the little things slide.  In so doing the health of the organization and its perception with the public would likely improve and be a step towards preservation.

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