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More NCAA silliness

Ran across this today on Jay Bilas' Twitter feed, and couldn't resist sharing.

I mean, really, guys? Iowa wants to do a good thing here -- a thing that, heaven forbid, brings a measure honor to collegiate athletics, which could sorely use it these days -- and you deny their request because ... because ...

Well, why? Because it would have violated some petty regulation that apparently prohibits a school from altering its game uniforms by, in this case, putting the name of a deceased former player on the back of the jerseys?

And, yet, you'll allow this abomination?

Oh, yeah, I forgot: The first doesn't put coin in your member institutions' pockets. The second does.

Here's the deal, folks: Despite all its high-minded gum-flapping, the NCAA doesn't give a tinker's hoot about the integrity of college athletics, only about controlling the product and the product's cash flow. So it'll slap down any coach who buys a kid a cheeseburger, or any kid who dares to even obliquely trade on his hard-earned status as a college athlete. And woe betide the school that, like Iowa, tries to step outside the accepted box for any reason that doesn't involve commerce.

So what was the NCAA's explanation for denying Iowa's request?

Apparently it was some mindless jibbering about how rules are rules and you can't have exceptions, because then every school would want to honor some dead kid, and, good God, then there would just be utter chaos, school after school engaging in touching but unauthorized tributes to its athletes -- and, well, where would it end? With (gasp) the eventual reversal of a rule that made no sense to begin with?

Heavens. We couldn't have that.

Ben Smith's blog.