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Blogging about college football by an Oklahoma Sooners fan.

Podcast: Crime, Punishment and the NCAA

Judging by the headlines this summer, cheating is the new black in college football. But, don't the kinds of infractions that have ensnared Ohio State and North Carolina happen all over the sport? The reality is that there is precious little research available on the extent of rule-breaking in major college athletics, let alone effective compliance programs. However, I managed to track down one of the authors of probably the most illuminating study ever conducted on the subject. Frank Cullen, professor of sociology at the University of Cincinnati, joins the podcast to discuss his 1996 NCAA-commissioned analysis of rules compliance in college football and mens' basketball.

Frank and I discuss his conclusions regarding:

  • widespread "lifestyle" rules violations among athletes, such as accepting small sums of cash and free meals;
  • the impact – if there is one – of an institution's culture in terms of deterring violations among athletes;
  • the value of compliance programs;
  • the uselessness of ramping up penalties and creating more rules; and
  • whether the concept of "amateurism" in college athletics is worth maintaining.

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