After the ruckus that went up about Cam Newton's final days at Auburn, and that whole pay-to-play scandal played itself out, there was Tresselgate, and a chorus of voices (including Bob Knight, Jack Nicklaus and Kirk Herbstreit) trying to prove that Ohio State's head coach was a good and moral man who knew nothing about the misdeeds of his players (even though he did). It's been a rough year for an NCAA that finds it more and more difficult to hang on to its authority in an athletic system that has its football players lingering in a "lite" version of indentured servitude while the programs rake in millions of dollars every year.
The last thing the NCAA needs right now is for another scandal to come out about the football program at another major university, possibly involving another well-respected head coach. But that's what the NCAA may now have, because of what Rachel McCoy, the newlywed wife of former University of Texas and current Cleveland Browns quarterback Colt McCoy, said when she called in to Colin Cowherd's ESPN radio show on Tuesday morning. Cowherd and the new Mrs. McCoy got to talking about NCAA violations, and he asked her whether there were agents and boosters constantly around the young man who left the Longhorns for the NFL after a career in which he posted the sixth-most passing yards in NCAA history.
"His dad did a really good job of handling all of that, so early on, they decided that Colt wouldn't have contact with any of them -- even the best of the best," Rachel McCoy said. "I know he was approached a lot, but you know how Colt is; he can just kind of brush it off and move on and not go down that road. But I saw so many of his teammates who didn't have that self-control to say 'No' to somebody. I can't — it's not my personality and I don't want to hurt people's feelings. It's hard when it's an adult you respect, and you think will know right from wrong.
"You're taught to respect adults, especially in our culture in the South — you do what adults say, because that's how you're taught. So, you have adults offering things and promising the world. We're taught to go along with that, and say, 'Yes,' and accept those things, because that's the respectful thing to do. So, it's interesting to see the adults putting these kids in these positions where they're taught to agree and go along. It's authority, and people who are older that you're taught to respect."
Well, that's where it gets interesting for Texas. Mack Brown has been in charge of that program since 1998, and he's one of the most respected coaches in all of college football. The NCAA has to at least investigate the possibilities outlined by what Rachel McCoy said, and that could very easily wind up causing another you-know-whatstorm for a very big program.
More of what Rachel McCoy said on the call after the jump; you can listen to the entire interview here.
Cowherd: "Now, Rachel McCoy, Colt's wife, they're newlyweds … Rachel, you knew Colt when he was at Texas. What was it like, and what was he being offered regularly?"
McCoy: "Regularly, it was just dinner … most people in Texas are just being friendly and they don't mean anything by it at all. They don't really realize I think, most of the time, that it's a violation. And so, Texas is very strict about making it clear to all their players that you take absolutely nothing. I don't care if it's a hot dog, or a soda — that's just the regular stuff.
"But you've got guys who, like you were saying, are grown adult men with law degrees … you look at it and wonder, 'What are they going to gain out of this?' To me, it's just to say, 'Hey, I bought so-and-so dinner' or 'Hey, I took so-and-so to do this.' These grown men, it's just their pride, that's all it is. And I [saw] it every day. My joke was that my biggest competition with Colt was not girls; it's 40-year-old men who just want to say, 'Hey, I did this with Colt and I did this with his teammates.' And really, it's not going to improve their play at all; that's not the issue. You have to go after these adult men who have these responsibilities and think about these kids.
"It doesn't matter if these [kids] come from nothing, or families who have everything. You cannot expect 19- and 20-year-old kids to say 'No' to free stuff when they're in college. It's silly, and we really do need to make something more set for these adults and hold them accountable. Because it's not fair. Like you were saying, there's really honestly no way these kids can say 'No' to some of this stuff. They don't know half the time, I'm convinced. There's so many things the NCAA is so careful about, it's hard for these guys to know — 'I can take this or I can't, no one's going to know.'"
Cowherd then asked Mrs. McCoy if, when Colt McCoy was winning all those games and making all that money for the university, if even he didn't wonder why he wasn't getting paid.
"And that was the biggest joke. Every time you'd see a little 12-year-old kid running around — and in Austin, whoever's the quarterback, you'd see their jersey everywhere. And it's hard when you're in college when you're making zero dollars and getting zero help. People can say, 'Oh, yeah, all your hopes and dreams are coming true,' but it's hard to see that when Texas is making so much money. You love your school, but it's tough when there are things that could be handed to you that seem so minor — a dinner, a hunt here or there or a fishing trip. Things like that, where most kids don't realize they're illegal, and they're not quite educated on that."
Mrs. McCoy then said that the primary motivation of these boosters is to be remembered when the players make it to the NFL.