A friend of mine who's an USC alum (and big Trojan football fan) sent me a link to this story, with a gleeful comment of "Allow me to welcome you to the club!" According to the story, my college alma mater, Caltech, is also a sports cheater!:
In an announcement as stunning as the ones that brag about a professor discovering the secrets of the universe, Caltech said this week it has joined the likes of USC and Ohio State in NCAA jail by being placed on three-years' athletic probation.
Probation from what, exactly, we're not entirely sure. The Beavers aren't on TV, they don't give scholarships, they rarely qualify for postseason tournaments. The baseball team will vacate all wins during a period in which it went 0-112. The men's water polo team will vacate wins achieved while going 0-66.
The probation seems silly, the ramifications are bizarre, but, after witnessing this week's destruction of the myth of Happy Valley, the message is clear.
Caltech is known for the technically impressive pranks pulled off over the years by students. You have to wonder if this "probation" is the Administration's effort to pull off its own prank. The gist of the "violation" is that Caltech made things a little easier for students by letting them essentially audit classes the first three weeks of the semester, which means that the student-athletes weren't technically taking a full load under NCAA standards. Hence, they were ineligible.
Ridiculous? Yes, but then, so is so much about the NCAA's inconsistent, bizarre punishments. Just compare how hard USC got hammered to how easily Ohio State was treated.