November 12, 2021 

WATCH: How long should an NCAA investigation be?

Can we be sure the right people are being punished for breaking the rules?

The 2021-22 NCAA college basketball season has begun and it’s so exciting to watch outstanding teams and players on both the women’s and men’s side.  If the first few days of the season are any indication, college basketball fans are in for a treat all year long.  As the season goes, we do know that there are ongoing conversations, issues and moves that will continue to shape the landscape of college athletics as go forward. 

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Conference realignment continues to be front and center as many institutions, especially in the mid-major leagues, are making moves that they feel will solidify their programs for the long term.  Even though there seems to be a lot of moves already, we know there will be more to come in the future.  The NCAA is also setting the stage for a restructuring of its governance across college athletics.  They have released a draft of a new constitution, shrinking the current document by almost 20 pages.  Changing the constitution of the NCAA really is the first step to in determining what is going to be the role of the NCAA in the future, across all levels as it addresses the important issues for programs and student-athletes.

But one area that must be looked at is how NCAA rules are made and more importantly, enforced.  No one – no coach, administrator, donor or student-athlete – should get away with cheating, with cutting corners so their teams can win more.  But we do need to take a hard look at the longevity and timelines of enforcement investigations.  Programs across the country, in women’s and men’s sports, are being punished in some instances years after the violations occurred and the investigations began. 

 Are those that broke the rules still there?  Why are student-athletes who were in junior high at the time of the offenses left to suffer the consequences years later?  This has to be front and center to any restructuring we see in the future. 

Written by Missy Heidrick

I am a retired Kansas State shooting guard and spent almost 20 years working in Higher Education and Division 1 athletics. I am currently a basketball analyst for television and radio, contributing correspondent at The Next, Locked on Women's Basketball podcast host, WBB Naismith Award board of selectors member and run my own consulting business. I am a proud mother of two and wife to a patient husband who is almost as big of a sports junkie as I am!

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