Dear NCAA, Bring Back The Death Penalty

Hello everybody, it’s been over a month. Where have I been? Well school takes precedence, and apparently practicing to beat my friends in FIFA on the Xbox does as well. And there’s no guarantee of consistent posts over the next few months because of this, just so you’re aware.

The main point though is that the actions, or rather inactions of Baylor and Tennessee and perhaps other collegiate football teams that I’m unaware of, are absolutely disgusting. Allegations at both universities that both the staffs and universities ignored or disregarded several rape victims is absolutely horrifying. I feel that it is a gross abuse of the law; shielding people from rape allegations simply because they’re football players. To say that this was mishandled would be the understatement of the century. These schools and football programs actively swept these allegations under the rug, refusing to assist the victims in this horrible idea that football is somehow above the law.

Something has to be done, and it can’t just stop at firing both Butch Jones (Head Coach at Tennessee) and Art Briles (Head Coach at Baylor) as well as banning them for life from NCAA football. Drastic measures need to be taken to ensure that no school puts it’s sports team, whether it be football, basketball or baseball above the health and safety of the students within their university systems. So, why not bring back the Death Penalty? Set examples of Tennessee and Baylor to make sure that every school is very aware of the consequences of such misconduct.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Death Penalty, it is a rule in the NCAA that, basically, kills an entire program for a year. That program cannot play their next season, and all players attending the program are allowed to transfer to other universities without penalties from the NCAA. It has only ever been used on SMU football for repeated NCAA violations, culminating in SMU missing the 1987 football season and subsequently choosing to skip all home games of the 1988 season. The Death Penalty was uber-succesful. I mean, pre-1987 SMU was one of the powerhouse colleges. Today, it is a shell of it’s former self still, and instead of competing for championships they struggle to receive Bowl bids. Because of how successful the Death Penalty was, the NCAA has never used it since.

It’s bad enough that one university swept rape under the rug, but two universities covering up rape for their football programs is indicative of a larger, more systematic problem. The Death Penalty would certainly scare universities into doing things to actively help rape victims on their campus’s, and would be a step in the right direction to help end rape on campus’s in general. And while I, as a student of The University of Alabama, would miss seeing the Tide play Tennessee in any meaningful games in October, this is something that needs to be done right now. Because college comes first, and the students on the campus come first, not the football team. So, to the NCAA, I implore you to seriously consider wielding the Death Penalty on Baylor and Tennessee. To not do so would signal to not only the families of the victims, but to all universities as well, that you don’t care about it. And I am very concerned about what will happen if universities start thinking they can cover up rape to save their football programs.

Dear NCAA, Bring Back The Death Penalty