Big 12 Conference commissioner Bob Bowlsby took a big swing at the NCAA on Monday.
Bowlsby, delivering his state of the conference address at Big 12 media days, called out the college sports governing body for consistently allowing rule-breaking programs to avoid serious punishment.
“Enforcement is broken,” Bowlsby said, via ESPN.com. “The infractions committee hasn’t had a hearing in almost a year, and I think it’s not an understatement to say cheating pays presently. If you seek to conspire to certainly bend the rules, you can do it successfully and probably not get caught in most occasions.”
Bowlsby did clarify, however, that he does not believe cheating is rampant in college sports — only that it is easier for programs to get away with than in the past.
His address also touched on the hot-button topic of the payment and/or unionization of college athletes. Bowlsby said he opposes such a system, arguing that it would be unfair to pay a football player but not, say, a field hockey player.
“It is hard to justify paying student athletes in football and men’s basketball and not recognizing the significant effort that swimmers and wrestlers and lacrosse players and track athletes all put in,” Bowlsby said. “Football and basketball players don’t work any harder than anybody else; they just happen to have the blessing of an adoring public who is willing to pay for the tickets and willing to buy the products on television that come with the high visibility.”
“We have both a legal obligation and a moral obligation to do for female student-athletes and male Olympic sports athletes just exactly what we do for football and basketball student-athletes. I don’t think it’s even debatable.”
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