Topic: "NCAA---Blech!" (7)
Once upon a time "Tubby" Smith was the very successful and charismatic basketball coach at the University of Georgia (Everybody remembers the University of Georgia, it was the school with the lowest entrance requirements identified on the SAT preparatory material we all analyzed before we sat down to select multiple-choice answers about how long it would take us to get to Chicago by train). Sean Smith was (and is) his son, and he was a very good basketball player who attended the University of Georgia in order to play on the team that his father coached. Frodo thought (and still thinks) neat it was, that a kid in America could play college basketball under the direction of his father and that father and son could mature together in both a personal and a professional relationship (had everybody named George Bush been so involved, our whole world may have been different).
Tubby Smith received an offer from the University of Minnesota to become their Basketball Coach. Mind you now, Tubby was under contract to Georgia, so impossible it was for him to simply invalidate a contract for more money. Frodo was stunned when the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) ruled that Tubby could go ahead and accept the higher-paying job, and move on to greater glory without any regard for the sanctity of the issue that a "deal is a deal" between a university and those whom it chooses to employ.
Sean Smith decided, quite reasonably, that he would be much happier playing for his father in Minnesota than he would be playing for someone else at Georgia. Sean announced his intention to transfer, and was promptly slapped down by the same NCAA and told that he would have to sit out one entire season because of his transfer to Minnesota.
Dear reader, the NCAA ruled that it was perfectly all right for the father to violate the cornerstone of business law, but for the son to merely want to follow his father, it was worthy of a penalty.
The NCAA is today dealing with the myriad issues surrounding the behavior of men and boys at Pennsylvania State University. Frodo, not unsurprisingly, has little confidence in the capacity of the NCAA to maturely deal with issues with a certain level of social complexity. Not unlike the opinions presented by many, it is clear that a moral compass is required prior to entry into dealings with institutions such as the NCAA, for the attainment of a moral compass once one comes under their jurisdiction is not only unlikely, it is fiction.
Institutions, of every ilk, are self-preservation structures. Institutions teach us directions, and often said directions are totally contrary to our instincts and what we were taught to believe during the maturation process. Catholic Churches, Pennsylvania State Universities, NCAA's and the people who maintain them are primary contributors to the moral desolation of leadership. How else would one explain the failure of a college-educated adult male who witnessed the rape of a ten-year-old boy, and who did not stop it?
Frodo could go much further with all that is on his mind as he contemplates the impact of the Ring on innocence. It would serve lesser a purpose however, than the words of the last sentence in the preceeding paragraph.