In my previous article about Lester Earl, I am not suggesting IN ANY WAY that LSU and/or Dale Brown were innocent in the Lester Earl scandal. They were busted. But the venom, anger and ruthlessness that the NCAA displayed during the investigation still makes me angry. The punishment did not fit the crime, especially considering the many precedents set before and after this one. Does anyone remember Notre Dame's football "probation" a few years ago? In contrast, LSU's punishment was the about the equivalent of a football team losing 30 or more scholarships during the same period of time.
That's what makes this Final Four so much sweeter than normal. We could barely field a competitive basketball team as recently as 8 years ago, and here we are today.
Nobody can deny that the NCAA has a different set of rules for what it considers "respected" programs (Notre Dame, Michigan and other schools get off light), while "renegade" programs, usually in the Southeast and Southwest (LSU, Alabama, UNLV) have their programs wrecked. Does anyone remember the Chris Webber "Fab Five" scandal--where the booster who paid him wound up dead before he could testify? We're talking hundreds of thousands of dollars there (much more than the $5,000 in LSU payouts reported in the articles), and Michigan lost fewer scholarships over a longer period of time than LSU did. Michigan lost 4 over 4 years; LSU lost 6 over 3. Is that right?
I guess karma is a funny thing.