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And Another Thing


Collaterally damaged

And in other news from the rap sheet ... Tennessee has responded to the scandals embroiling its football and men's basketball programs by punishing two guys who weren't even there when they occurred.

That would be new football coach Derek Dooley and new basketball coach Cuonzo Martin, whose programs not only just got slapped with two-year self-imposed probations, but who were punished themselves even though they're blameless. Martin and his staff are not allowed to provide off-campus meals during the 2011-12 academic year; Dooley and his staff's recruiting days during the spring 2011 recruiting period were reduced from 168 to 162, and only five of the 10 football coaches will be allowed to make recruiting phone calls during the November 2011 recruiting period.

Meanwhile, the real transgressors, Lane Kiffin and Bruce Pearl, are long gone. Kiffin's now the coach at USC and Pearl likely will land himself another cushy gig down the road after being dismissed in March.

No wonder the NCAA can't get a handle on the corruption in its ranks. Its punishments invariably not only never fit the crime, they never wind up in the same zip code as the crime. Watching their process is like watching two guys rob a bank -- and then, 20 minutes later, watching the cops swoop in to nab some poor schmuck who happened to be getting his hair cut across the street at the same time.

One upside here, though: While Kiffin escaped capture in Tennessee, he now has to pay for Pete Carroll's transgressions at USC.

Karma 1, Kiffin 0.

Ben Smith's blog.