Just to be clear here, it is my opinion that the NCAA will never be recognized as functioning as a "well oiled machine." In fact, I'm not even sure the NCAA itself has a clue as to what it is doing. It is the most biased, inconsistent and unethical organization known to man. The only thing consistent about the NCAA is that they are prone to stupidity. Now, insert Terrelle Pryor.
After allegedly receiving thousands of dollars in improper benefits while playing quarterback for Ohio State Pryor walked away from the university and any obligation he had to cooperate with the ongoing investigation. Its a good thing the NCAA deferred his suspension to the 2011 season, allowing Pryor to play in the Sugar Bowl, otherwise they might be confused with an organization that is actually intent on punishing improprieties. Instead they're a governing body who will suspend a guy like Mike Balogun for an entire season based solely on speculation while guys like Pryor and Cam Newton walk away with thousands in cash and prizes.
Don't get me wrong, Ohio State is eventually going to get the hammer from the NCAA but like the USC case it may be five or six years down the road from now and the player it will affect are currently in junior high. The scandal at Ohio State was deep and the cover up was even deeper. It was about cars, tattoos, cash and hiding evidence. The NCAA knew about it and sat on it so that it could generate its own revenue off of the Buckeyes' football program. The time to take action was more than six months ago when tattoo gate initially broke. Instead college football's governing body turned a blind eye and allowed Ohio State to move forward with business as usual leaving the only victims of the scandal being the Arkansas Razorbacks who lost 31-26 to the Buckeyes in the Sugar Bowl. Had both teams been forced to play only eligible players, according to the NCAA bylaws, then Ohio State wouldn't have stood a chance.
Jim Tressel walks away from Ohio State after making millions of dollars as the Buckeyes head coach. He'll most likely never coach again at a major university but then again he has millions of dollars and don't be surprised if he shows up on ESPN. Pryor leaves Columbus after receiving tattoos, cars and thousands of dollars. He'll enter the NFL's supplemental draft and make even more money as a pro. The NCAA should be embarrassed that they had both in their sights in late January and chose to do nothing. Punishment? Please, this is the NCAA we're talking about.