Posted on: December 23, 2011 1:20 pm

A college graduate is an adult. Right?

The staredown between Saint Joseph's coach Phil Martelli and former Hawks center Todd O'Brien -- an SJU graduate who transferred to UAB but hasn't been allowed to play -- is being lost by both people. That's fairly clear. O'Brien is losing his final season. Martelli is losing the public relations fight. Why Martelli is doing what he's doing, we don't know.

But here's something that seems indisputable:

Going forward, the NCAA can -- and should -- make sure this doesn't happen again. And it would be so easy, too. So easy, and so fair. It would take the decision out of a coach's hands, even a coach who (clearly) feels he is justified in playing such hardball with a former player.

I'm not here to backtrack on what I wrote a few days ago about this. I'm not here to rehash it and defend that position all over again, either. I wrote it, I stand by it, and if you want to know why I still stand by it, read that story again.

But the NCAA's rule should be altered, dramatically, to reflect the real world. The real world being this:

Anybody who does what Todd O'Brien has done -- graduates from college with eligibility remaining -- shouldn't need anyone's permission to play somewhere else.

Again, make no mistake: I'm not saying Martelli is wrong here. NCAA rules allow him to decide whether to release a graduated player to transfer and play somewhere else, and he made the decision not to release O'Brien. Why? I have no idea, but he has his reasons for playing hardball with O'Brien, and without knowing those reasons, I'm not going to do the easy thing and scream that Martelli is wrong.

Is he wrong? Again -- I have no idea.

But I know the NCAA rule is wrong.

A college graduate is an achiever, a winner. More importantly, a college graduate is an adult who has fulfilled the obligations asked of him -- that being, to honor his scholarship by graduating.

The next Todd O'Brien who graduates with eligibility remaining shouldn't have to ask for Daddy Coach's permission to transfer. He should be able to tell the coach, the school and the NCAA that he has fulfilled his obligation, he has graduated, and since he has eligibility remaining, he's going to spend that eligibility somewhere else.

I mean, isn't that sensible and fair? I'm trying to find a hole in my proposed rule change, and the only one I can come up with is this: It could, in some folks' eyes, open the door to younger players who want to transfer. If the NCAA says that a college graduate should be free to transfer with no penalty incurred and no release needed, what's to stop a sophomore who is on track to graduate from making the same demand?

I could be snarky here and say, "Nothing should stop a college sophomore in good academic standing from being able to transfer wherever he wants and play right away." And honestly, there are days I believe that to be true.

But this isn't the day for that argument, and I'm not concerned about the slippery slope that might be created for underclassmen by allowing the next Todd O'Brien to do as he damn well pleases after he graduates.

The NCAA could make this very simple by making the rule very clear: If you've graduated college, and you have eligibility remaining, you're a free agent. You've done everything asked of you, so here's your reward: Free agency. Go play wherever you want, assuming you're wanted there in return. You've earned the freedom to choose. Go.

Underclassmen? This rule isn't about you, but it's for you as well. Because if the day comes that you've graduated -- with eligibility remaining -- you too would be free to transfer.

Obvious, right? Fair, too.

Of course it'll never happen. It just makes too damn much sense.

Posted on: September 13, 2011 4:00 pm

Boise State guilty of, well, nothing really

You know what would have been appropriate in the case of The NCAA vs. Boise State? It would have been appropriate for the NCAA to look over the violations and say, "You know what? This stuff was clearly inadvertent, and more to the point, it was nothing. No sanctions for you. The NCAA isn't into sanctioning schools for inadvertent piles of nothing."

Instead, the NCAA justified its existence, not to mention its hundreds of man-hours into the Boise "case," by giving the Broncos three years of probation along with some small scholarship and practice restrictions. All in all, the NCAA slapped Boise State on the wrist. Which is nice, but this would have been nicer:

Patting Boise on the head, telling the Broncos, "No harm, no foul," and calling it a day.

That would have been appropriate, given that Boise already had self-imposed penalties on itself, including some lost scholarships and lost practice time. The NCAA then added to the scholarship-and-practice reduction, and wrapped a bow on the whole thing by imposing three years of probation -- as if Boise is guilty of something nefarious, something North Carolina-like or Ohio State-like or Miami-like.

Nonsense. Boise State basically committed some bookkeeping errors in terms of housing and transportation for athletes in the summer, including the ridiculous sin of allowing one athlete to bunk on the couch of another athlete.

Anyway, Boise State will survive this, especially if it stays out of trouble over the next three years. Then again, according to this very case, the NCAA has defined "trouble" with a bit too broad a brush.

Category: NCAAF
Tags: Boise State, NCAA
Posted on: August 30, 2011 8:51 pm
Edited on: August 31, 2011 11:45 am

2 Guys and a Podcast: Danny Sheridan talks bagman

Danny Sheridan says he's sorry. He's sorry he ever opened his mouth about Auburn. Sorry he said a word about Cam Newton and the infamous bagman who paid Newton (allegedly) to go to Auburn.

Do I believe him? Sure. I believe Sheridan is sorry he spoke about this stuff, because USA Today isn't thrilled that their oddsmaker guy who makes odds is making headlines for bizarre reasons. I believe his reputation is taking a beating, and I believe he's starting to realize that.

Do I believe he knows who the bagman is, or even that there is a bagman? Nope. I believe all of this was a ploy for attention for his real job -- and now that the attention has gotten out of control, Danny Sheridan is sorry he ever brought it up.

I said something along those lines to Sheridan in this edition of Two Guys and a Podcast -- and when I did, he complimented me! True story.

Will Brinson, meanwhile, was merciless in his pursuit of the truth. You'll know what I'm talking about when Brinson asks the most blunt question of the podcast. Good thing the question was for Sheridan, not me, because I swallowed my tongue at that point.

Listen by hitting play below and don't forgot to Subscribe via iTunes!

If you can't listen to the podcast, download it here.

Posted on: August 22, 2011 4:58 pm
Edited on: August 22, 2011 5:30 pm

Podcast with Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports

So we had a special guest, reporting wrecking-ball Charles Robinson of Yahoo!, which made it a banner day for Two Guys and a Podcast if not a banner day for punctuation in this sentence. What with the exclamation mark after Yahoo! and yet the sentence wasn't over. It happened again!


Anyway ...

The whole podcast is on the Miami scandal, but once we kicked C-Rob to the curb we might have gone in on Dan Le Batard and Jason Whitlock a little bit. Maybe. You better listen and find out!

All that and much, much more just by hitting play below. Also, Subscribe via iTunes!

If you can't listen to the podcast, download it here.

Posted on: August 9, 2011 12:35 pm
Edited on: August 9, 2011 12:44 pm

Podcast: Tebow, religion and Noah's wildebeests

My buddy @willbrinson and I did another installment of Two Guys and a Podcast, where we laughed at the litigious segment of the North Carolina fanbase, hypocriticately blasted Twitter use by young men (well, I did) and also spent some time on Tim Tebow's faith. I believe the highlight of the show comes when I -- of course it was me! -- said the following:

"There are people out there who really believe there were two wildebeests on that damn ark."

It's all downhill from there. Listen by hitting play below. Also, Subscribe via iTunes and we'll be friends.

Posted on: May 4, 2011 5:58 pm

NCAA attacks Boise State's nickels and dimes

Ohio State employs a football coach who hid violations by his star player, violations that would have made that player ineligible -- an ineligibility that would have rendered Ohio State something short of the Big Ten champion it became.

The NCAA decided that Ohio State has institutional control.

Then along comes Boise State. That school saw 79 student-athletes in several sports receive excessive lodging, travel and meals worth $5,652 over four years. That might sound like a lot, but it's not. It's an average cost of $71 in excess items per player. That's one lunch here, one cab ride there. That's nothing, in the grand scheme of things -- and it's certainly nothing nefarious.

The NCAA decided Boise State lacks institutional control.

This, NCAA, is why so many people think you're so full of crap. Because you think Ohio State is on top of things. And you think Boise State isn't.

Category: NCAAF
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com