At a time when college athletics is overrun with rogue agents, unscrupulous coaches and handlers who exploit athletes for money, it's reassuring to know not every unrepentant rule-breaker goes unpunished.
Hearty congratulations to the NCAA for penalizing a student-athlete from a West Coast Conference school for the unspeakable crime of washing her car with university water.
Portland basketball coach Eric Reveno tweeted about the violation Wednesday after he learned of it during conference meetings, punctuating his message with the hashtag #stopinsanity. A spokesman for the WCC did not know any further details, but a source familiar with the circumstances revealed what happened.
A WCC school self-reported an extra benefits violation to the NCAA when university officials caught one of their women's golfers washing her car on campus, according to the source. The NCAA ruled a secondary violation had occurred because the water was not available to regular students and demanded the golfer pay back $20, which was deemed to be the value of the water and use of the hose.
That school administrators actually reported the violation and NCAA officials followed through with a penalty is equal parts hilarious and exasperating. What's next? Charging athletes by the sip at drinking fountains? Or by the gallon after locker room showers?
Too many petty rules like this one or the one governing the use of bagel spreads continue to choke the system and prevent administrators at the school, conference and NCAA levels from focusing on what's important. Reform is needed throughout college athletics, yet its leaders are too busy calculating the value of a couple buckets of soapy water to attack the real issues.
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