Without an investigator stepping foot on the campus of Penn State University, the NCAA handed out the worst punishment since SMU. Meanwhile, in Coral Gables miles of paperwork have been collected about supposed transgressions that have occurred over a tremendous period of time and involving multiple athletes, administrators and recruits. They’ve been twisting in the wind for months now waiting to learn the severity of their punishment.
North Carolina got a relatively quick spanking, followed by more issues within the “probation” period. Now, they wait for the other Nike to drop. By the time USC got slapped, the offending parties were applying for pensions in the NBA and NFL. THE Ohio State University was given an audience and approved of their self-inflicted flagellation so quickly you would have thought they were in cahoots with the suits at Indy. On a side note, I have been to Cahoots, but unfortunately I went alone and no one is supposed to be alone in Cahoots. So, how does this tremendously random NCAA judicial expediency affect the really important folks on campus – the sales and marketing grunts?
For the sales schleps, the Penn State situation actually is the best case scenario. They know that they are in detention, how long it will be, and what to bring to the cafeteria after school. They can react and market reality right away. They have a compelling sales story to pitch to the sympathetic alumni and ego-driven fan base to rallying around the school and its’ sports. The fact that the NCAA simply can not take away television privileges to almost any BCS conference-based institution in this era of TV rights insures that fan exposure will not immediately erode either.
The real tough putt is in Miami. They have been living with the stigma of disaster for an incredibly drawn out period while the lawyers in Indianapolis shuffle paper. Recruiting under this cloud is like PigPen without an umbrella. Fans, without a tremendously compelling product to root for in South Florida, will just fade away with other South Beach choices taking their disposable income. So naturally, sponsors follow the crowd out the stadium gates and make financial decisions based on what they know – not what they guess might happen with the Canes. By the time the actual reprimand is enumerated by the NCAA, the damage done to the sponsor base might be almost irreparable. That is not right, and the powers that pay mightily for the rights to these properties should be first in the take-a-number line to get some compensation back from the punisher – not the University.
Marketing folks are begging you NCAA. Investigate quickly. Have a base set of rules and subsequent transgression list handy, and spank before the child forgets what they did wrong. So from a sales perspective, we should all be as lucky as the pitchmen in Happy Valley.