Lately I’ve spent a little time scouring the web for what people are saying about all the rumors flying around about NCAA investigations of Oregon football. The overall consensus from Duck fans seems to be anger that the rumors are spreading. Conclusions have been made that this is a jealous response from programs that are legitimately under investigation. This got me thinking – are Oregon fans (I include myself here) just not used to what it feels like to be at the top? What does society typically do to those people, organizations or companies on top? They tear them down, or attempt to tear them down. Everyone wants to be on top so if you aren’t there at that moment, the only way to get there is to bring down whoever is. Oregon is a top team right now and most of the country doesn’t seem to know where they came from. So the natural conclusion is that something is amiss. How could this school in Oregon be so powerful? They must have cheated. I for one don’t want to see any negative NCAA attention on Oregon, but right now it seems to come with the territory.
So here’s the deal…this kind of stuff comes with the territory. It’s not a coincidence that both teams in the title game came under the radar. The questions are being raised because Oregon is a legitimate force in college football now – and that’s outstanding. Where would it seem most likely an infraction would occur? Most likely within the programs that gain the biggest financial rewards — and now Oregon is included on that list. Why do our rivals want to put their two cents in? They do it because ultimately a violation within the Oregon program becomes beneficial for their respective programs. Rather than get up-in-arms over these rumors, I want to be informed of what is being said, have an intelligent discussion, and wait to see if anything actually comes out of it.
The last thing Oregon’s program wants is even a question from the NCAA. But, a question was raised. So expect to continue to hear these rumors and then expect to have some conversation about the possible alternatives to what is being alleged. The whole issue should be acknowledged, discussed and then we move on. What has happened since the Ducks started to get top recruits out of Texas? They’ve seen success and therefore the program sees more money. Knowing this it makes a little more sense that the program would pay such a high fee for recruiting services. $25,000 is a drop-in-the-bucket compared to the millions of dollars a highly successful Div. I program will ultimately bring in. So chances are there is a reasonable explanation for the money that went out and the timing is most likely coincidental.
Ultimately, Oregon’s competition will have to prove themselves on the field and we will know soon enough if there is anything substantial to worry about for Oregon’s program. Success brings out some nasty stuff in others and us Duck fans should get used to it. The truth is that when the NCAA starts to look they usually start picking through with great detail. So I’ll say it one more time; I hope nothing of substance comes out of these questions. Now let’s stop getting so defensive when the criticism comes and enjoy the spotlight of a successful program.