NCAA poobahs announced last month that in the wake of another rash of scandals it's time to update and streamline the 439-page Division I rulebook, which is more complicated than the IRS tax code and even less heeded.
Just to prove he gets it, the NCAA's new president, Mark Emmert, says the makeover would "look at serious threats to college athletics and not things like whether a bagel has peanut butter on it."
You're right to wonder if the NCAA has the resolve it would take to enforce a pamphlet, much less an entire rulebook. USC's postseason ban last year was the first since Alabama was sanctioned in 2003.
Get this: No Football Bowl Subdivision team has faced a TV ban since 1996.
Until the NCAA takes serious money from a school, it will remain difficult for anyone to regard its regulatory efforts with a straight face.
Emmert hopes to have the new Cliff's notes version ready in a few months, but you know how the NCAA goes. It took them six months to rule that BEVO TV shouldn't televise high school football games. If they'd moved faster, Texas A&M might still be a happy member of the Big 12 and Dan Beebe wouldn't be out beating the bushes for new tenants.
Fortunately, with another college football season upon us, I have answers.
Herewith, a new Ten Commandments for College Sports.*
*Editor's note: A dozen or so extra were needed to cover the SEC.
Thou shalt not hire a recruit's AAU coach, high school coach, father, uncle, godparent, camp counselor, youth director, mechanic, significant other or anyone else who might wield undue influence on said recruit. If you really need an assistant, steal one from someone else's staff.
Thou shalt not pay more than Netflix rates for highlight videos of a recruit. Thou also shalt not pay for cars, hookers, strippers, jewelry, abortions, SUV rims, trips on yachts, trips on private jets or bounties on rival SEC quarterbacks.
Thou shalt not invite Nevin Shapiro to your booster club meeting if he ever gets out of prison.
Thou shalt not hold a conference hostage with a network that pays you millions you couldn't spend if you domed Austin, thereby creating a historic competitive imbalance where there was already a pretty fair advantage and causing your chief in-state rival to run off and join a biker gang.
Thou shalt not wear sweater vests and speak in platitudes and act like the Ward Cleaver of college athletics, then look like Richard Nixon covering everything up.
Thou shalt not pretend that D-I football and basketball players are not employees of the university, thus denying them the "full cost of attendance" received by other students who don't risk their health or their grades or keep their coaches in condos and Cadillacs. Not every school is Miami. Not every college football or basketball player lives like a rock star. But their coaches do.
Thou shalt not preserve the farce of the one-and-done "student athlete" who never goes to class because he's not coming back anyway. Either he turns pro out of high school or he stays three years. Let him buy an insurance policy. Tell the NBA to start its own farm system.
That shalt not hire Bruce Pearl. This includes you, Donnie Nelson.
Remember Saturday and keep it only. Not Friday night, not Sunday night, not Monday or Tuesday or Wednesday or Thursday.
Thou shalt not make students camp out a week in the vain hopes of getting tickets to their own games, or deny freshmen and sophomores the opportunity altogether just so fat cat fans and boosters can use the tickets that should be going to kids. Give students more tickets, not fewer. It's their school, their time.
Thou shalt not allow a president who wears a bowtie to act like one of the boys.
Thou shalt not allow Craig James to call a coach for anything other than an interview.
Thou shalt not avoid the death penalty just because you're a big school from a rich conference. Pop an FBS heavyweight and see what happens. Maybe they'll sue. Maybe they'll quit the NCAA. Maybe others will cheat less.
Thou shalt not build a new stadium or a fourth practice facility or weight room the size of a cruise ship while complaining that Title IX is making you shut down another sport.
Thou shalt not load up your nonconference football schedule with more than one directional school from Louisiana.
Thou shalt not complain about the coverage your team receives while more fans party on the Boulevard than in the stadium.
Thou shalt wear one uniform at home and one for the road. No alternative colors. No special fabrics. No green on green.
Thou shalt not play on a blue field. Or a red one. Only green.
Honor the legacy of college football, the pageantry and color and spectacle it has provided generations for more than a century.
Kill the BCS.