In pro wrestling, heels are supposedly the bad guys. The people promotions present to the crowds as generic evil-doers. In reality, as long as s/he is talented enough, that person will be cheered regardless. After all, a trope in the realm of pro wrestling is that heels catch the hottest heat by speaking only the truth.
Oh, hello there, Gonzaga Bulldogs coach Mark Few. Are you looking to play the role of Scott Hall, the too cool to be a hated character, to the NCAA’s over-the-top cornball John Cena? If so, you’re off to a tremendous start.
The NCAA is the governing body of college sports. This entity is out here 2,018 years after the world’s most famous carpenter made his first appearance, attempting to tell the human species about its outdated ideals and romanticized notions of amateurism.
At the same time, while wanting to champion those beliefs for the sake of keeping all of the power and money, it appears Marky Mark Emmert and the NCAA Funky Bunch would prefer to avoid peaking too far behind the curtain, as it might hurt the bottom line of their biggest moneymakers.
“This whole incident has cast a very bad light on college basketball, and we need to deal with it as effectively as we can,” Emmert told reporters last week after speaking at the Learfield Intercollegiate Athletics Forum. “We’re not going to have everything wrapped up by the Final Four, that’s for sure, because these trials are still going to be going on.”
A decodable book is unwarranted. This benign, trivial, talking point-styled quote isn’t difficult to decipher. Given the sport is likely to see its largest couplings of eyeballs come March in years, thanks to some of the very programs locked within the scandal, the NCAA feels it best to look the other way only until AFTER all the monies are made.
It is what it is, even if it’s fully predictable. Something, in fact, we’ve grown so accustomed to we no longer actively care about scandal, become outraged over, or bother to blink an eye at. In that regard, the NCAA has won by tiring the people out. Nothing the NCAA can do or say will hurt it, as evident through the numerous other times “forever-changing” events happened in the organization’s history.
However, like the Macho Man Randy Savage, Mark Few has come off the top rope, dropping an elbow on the entire landscape of college hoops.
“I’m disappointed. I don’t think this is something the NCAA needs to take their time on,” Few told Yahoo Sports. “There’s teams out here who are competing for Final Fours and national championships and they don’t need to stall this thing out. They need to make decisions and roll with it. I think that’s on Emmert. Emmert needs to step up and be a leader and make some quicker decisions.”
He should be disappointed. If the Gonzaga Bulldogs are playing by the NCAA’s own archaic rules, like them or not, the program shouldn’t receive punishment by way of cognitive dissonance. Where’s the protection of the even playing field the NCAA is always worried about?
I almost feel bad pointing it out, as it’s something written about to the point of nausea, but the NCAA is simply an umbrella organization acting on behalf of university members’ best interests. If only a minority of schools are as corrupt as those who champion the amateur model believe, it would serve the governing body to act in great haste. Otherwise, the very attribute of their business-model they swear to cherish above all else — a fair and balanced sport fielded by those who do it for the love of whatever — will be crushed by others who defied everything holy within the confines of hardwood hypocrisy.
“Everybody’s got a value system and you can either adhere to that value system or not and you let it become compromised,” Mark Few said. “[Illegal recruiting is] just something we don’t do.”
Alas, that’s where Few made his first true heel misstep. He gave the “good guys” the benefit of the doubt, believing they actually had a set of values in the first place. The NCAA: Hulking Up to avoid any form of consequence since memory can recall.
Joseph Nardone has covered college basketball for nearly a decade for various outlets in a variety of ways. You can follow him on Twitter @JosephNardone.
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