Are NCAA Bowl Bans Hurting the NCAA?

Grant it!  The NCAA needs some enforcement power over college sports!  After all, it wouldn’t be much of a governing body if it didn’t. The NCAA has been using bowl bans since 1953 as a sanctions tool.  To be more explicit, bowl bans have been a means by which the NCAA punishes major college institutions. But, if you think about it, who does it really hurt?

Thanks to Football, I can show you the history of NCAA Bowl Bans:

History of NCAA Bowl Bans

What is the real purpose here?  According to Webster, sanction means: the detriment, loss of reward, or coercive intervention annexed to a violation of a law as a means of enforcing the law.

Wow!  That’s pretty heavy.  But, if you follow major college football, wouldn’t you agree that bowl bans by the NCAA are designed to cause “loss of reward” to a school; and you might agree as well that NCAA bowl bans are a “coercive intervention annexed to a violation of a law as a means of enforcing the law.”

Let’s just take a look at some recent NCAA Bowl Bans: Ohio State and Penn State.  Nah!  Let’s be a bit more specific and concentrate on the Penn State bowl ban.  After all, as the above graphic depicts, this bowl ban extends a bit further into the future.  And, maybe, just maybe, the NCAA will realize what it’s doing to itself and correct it’s mistakes.  If you examine the purpose of these bans and measure it against the mission and purpose of the NCAA, you’ll understand that what I am saying is hurting the NCAA more than these bowl bans are hurting the colleges it imposes these sanctions against.

OK… I did say I would concentrate on Penn State.  But, let me first say this about Ohio State, a team that went undefeated this season.  Urban Meyer drove this team to huge success in 2012. Do you suppose there would be any interest from the college football world to see Ohio State play in some bowl game this season?  The demand would be dramatic, fantastic and could potentially reward the NCAA with tons of money.

I could be wrong, but isn’t the NCAA chartered with the chore of promoting college sports?  And, isn’t it true to promote college sports means having the financial resources to do so?  I’m talking all sports programs, not just football.  If so, why doesn’t the NCAA begin to think a bit smarter about it’s bowl bans?  If it did, it could better promote other college sports programs… at least, I think it would.

It’s all about product.  Why don’t they put their best product in the bowls?  In other words, why do they keep their best products from participating?  I’m watching a game between TCU and Michigan State and it’s totally boring.  As a fan, I would appreciate a much better product.  And, what about these sponsors that are sinking huge dollars into these bowl games?  Aren’t they being cheated?

As a fan, I don’t want to watch mediocrity.  I want the best!  And, Penn State was one of the best stories of the year!  It was simply amazing how Bill O’Brien took a bunch of young college athletes at Penn State, suffering from events they knew nothing about, into a true winner!  It’s a remarkable story!  Chances are that Urban Meyer or Bill O’Brien will be named “coach of the year” for the remarkable jobs they did this year.

Yet, they were both denied participation in a college football bowl… and subject to NCAA bowl bans!  This is completely asinine!

The NCAA needs to realize that it can still punish these teams without hurting themselves!  And, this is just common sense and certainly within the ability of the NCAA to accomplish.  Here is my recommendation:

1. NCAA Bowl Bans:

Kill this!  It doesn’t serve the NCAA’s purpose.  It disallows the NCAA from putting it’s best product on the market.

2. Replace Bowl Bans with these Alternatives:

This is simple.  Let your “banned teams” play in the bowls, just defer the earnings to the NCAA coffers. Deny these teams any championships.  For example, don’t allow Ohio State to play in the Rose Bowl. Should they win, they would be crowned champions.  You can’t deny that it you put them into that position to win. So, simply allow them to compete in some of the minor bowls.

The NCAA know this  better than I.  Major college  teams like Ohio State and Penn State travel very well. In other words, their alumni attend bowls. That puts people in the seats, and that means revenue for the NCAA. I’ve watched numerous bowls where there weren’t more 6-7,000 people in the seats. That’s ridiculous! Bowl bans just don’t make good economic sense!  Let’s get this NCAA policy changed to reflect modern economic realities. The NCAA will be much better for it.





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