Justin Jackson, WVU Sports

Uneasy feeling when the game goes back to ADs, presidents

In every fiber of my being, I truly hope a commission headed by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice can find some sensible solution to the flaws that come with college basketball.
Hopefully the commission can make some headway in some of the troubled areas like the footing the shoe companies have created within athletic programs across the country, cheating in recruiting or the role that over-zealous agents are playing.
Maybe some real conversation can be opened on the proper way to compensate a college athlete.
Maybe they can open the door to a better relationship between the NCAA and the NBA or the NCAA and AAU.
The commission’s studies and findings are due April 25. No telling what the next step will be from there or if any real reform will come of it.
In theory, the NCAA already has hundreds in place who should have taken it upon themselves long ago to clean up the game.
WVU athletic director Shane Lyons is among that group. So is WVU president E. Gordon Gee.
And so are the hundreds of other athletic director and university presidents at our fine institutions across this nation.
Maybe Rice’s commission will get the ball rolling the right way.
Maybe the FBI investigation will unearth some more corrupt behavior and corrupt personalities in the game and we can get rid of them, too.
But someday those entities will be done with their interest in college basketball and the game will fall right back into the trust of the people who let it get messy in the first place.
That might just be the scariest part of all.
You would like to think that our athletic directors and presidents will be better prepared to handle the charge of maintaining the game.
You would like to think they would search for the next John Beilein in their coaching searches instead of the next Rick Pitino.
You would hope they look at a potential coach’s integrity and what’s in his heart rather than his connections with Nike or top AAU programs.
You would hope they would hire a coach with a good soul rather than a good coaching record.
You would hope they don’t look the other way when trouble is brewing in the form questionable recruiting practices.
You would hope they stop the practice of letting just anyone get involved in their athletic programs, as long as that person comes with a deep checkbook.
You would hope that they would realize that maybe there are some consequences that come with accepting millions from shoe companies.
Somewhere down the road, the headlines created by FBI investigations and wiretaps will fade.
The NCAA will eventually run out of catchy Washington, D.C. types to head up a fancy commission.
It will be just the ADs and presidents and their own athletic programs and universities.
And you can just quickly sink back into business as usual. That will be easy and profitable.
Or you can play a role in helping to keep college basketball clean and fair.
It’s what you should have done in the first place.