The NCAA has said Coach Richt cannot attend Chris Burnette’s high school graduation. That isn’t a surprise, since it is against rules for a coach to do so. Coach Richt applied for a waiver, which was denied.
The intresting part of this is the NCAA roundly chastised Micheal Carvell of the AJC for suggesting Coach Ritch ignore the NCAA rules and attend Chris Burnette’s high school graduation. The NCAA blog writter even suggested one would be issued almost as a matter of course
Surely we can stipulate that the appropriate outcome here is for Mark Richt to be able to attend the graduation ceremony if he wants to do so. One of the hallmarks of Myles Brand’s administration as NCAA president has been to provide flexibility to schools when the circumstances of a situation appear to fall outside of the intended scope of a rule. This case seems to fit exactly with that philosophy. The appropriate means for addressing the matter is through a waiver.
So far, no big deal, right? This guy isn’t the powers the be at the NCAA. He is a PR hack for them. Ok, maybe hack is a bit harsh, but he is a PR guy for the NCAA. He is merely taking the AJC to task for jumping on the NCAA with both feet, noting
Perhaps that is the signal that was buzzing in the back of Carvell’s mind when he created an escape hatch in his own blog post. After calling the NCAA “big and bad” in paragraph No. 3, he came back five paragraphs later to note that a waiver request probably would be granted. Unfortunately, the damage was done with the presumption of NCAA intransigence. Several of the comments that followed impugned the Association for an action it had not taken.
He goes on to say
Rules are not always perfect, but neither are they always rigid. The key to fairness often is found in the flexibility of application, and on that count, the NCAA often deserves more credit than it receives.
Can I impugn the NCAA now? The rationale was that since Burdette isn’t going to be the Valedictorian, Richt can’t go. So, where is the flexibility of application? Burnette will speak at graduation and do so as a kid with a 5.0+ GPA. Coach Richt should absolutely get the minor violation and go. It would be worth it and send the right message.
On that count, the NCAA deserves no credit whatsoever.