Luke Graham

Luke Graham

Luke Graham: The future of NCAA football

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Luke Graham

Luke Graham's column appears periodically in the Steamboat Today. Contact him at 970-871-4229 or lgraham@SteamboatToday.com.

Find more columns by Luke here.

— It has had to be harder for the University of Miami to stomach.

Opposed to Ohio State University or the University of Southern California, Miami’s latest transgressions seem more critical to the fabric of the NCAA.

Plus, the Buckeyes and Trojans won when they cheated.

Miami didn’t and that has to be the hardest part to deal with for Hurricanes fans.

Let’s be honest.

Division I college football isn’t the girl next door. It isn’t purely about athletics and academics, churning out the brightest people of tomorrow.

As we all know, it’s a business.

More teams and schools eventually are going to get popped. It’s really which school is next.

College football isn’t won on the field. Now it’s which school can win on the black market of college athletics. It’s all about which coach can maneuver that gray area without getting caught.

USC won that battle for years. Ohio State was on the plus side of things for 10 years. Miami, despite relative down years, at least tried to.

That brings the question of whether things will change.

It’s hard to think they will. Some figurehead from the NCAA will stand at a microphone and talk about how this is horrible for college sports, how Miami will be punished. But don’t think they’ll get the death penalty that tore up Southern Methodist University more than 20 years ago. Miami’s too valuable to the NCAA brand. Look for a punishment akin to a little more than USC got.

The latest transgression, however, is going to change the way college football works. It has to.

At some point, colleges or the NCAA have to say enough.

People talk about paying college football players, but that’s ludicrous. The very foundation of college athletics is based on amateurism. There’s already a better system in place.

Look at the Ivy League. They don’t award athletic scholarships. They award money on a by-need basis. Instead of paying players, why not follow the Ivy League way of things?

As long as college football is big business, covered daily by media outlets from sea to shining sea, it won’t change.

Besides, you think Buckeyes or Trojans fans would give up their 10 year run of dominance for a few down years? Ask yourself if you’d take 10 years of winning 10 plus games, a couple of conference championships and maybe a couple of BCS bowls for a little cheating.

Not happening.

The elite of college football will inevitably break away from the NCAA unless the system is changed radically.

Miami isn’t the first example.

And it won’t be the last.

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com

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