Columnist glad scandal finally lumbering to halt

It can’t be over, can it?
No, silly, it won’t officially be over until we hear from the house of Haskins himself.
Still, the ride is over, leaving us dizzy.
And now the dizzying low: getting back to normal.
Knowledge was the key, from all the staff and administration that didn’t have it from 1993 until that fateful first game of the 1999 NCAA tournament, to all of us now that were jerked around long enough by the NCAA’s inability to make a ruling.
Now knowledge is power. How sweet it is in knowing your own punishment.
Ask Dan Monson and his players.
When University President Mark Yudof issued the self-sanctions in October of 1999 and April of this year, the view expressed here was that Yudof’s “spanking” would do little more than incite the NCAA to come down with the wrath of all wraths after seeing Yudof do little of substance.
Wednesday we learned that Yudof’s wrath was mightier than those above him.
Probation for four years and the loss of five scholarships over the next three years. What went up (championship banners) must come down, and all that money that gets handed back as well as limits on recruiting.
Does anyone know what probation really means?
Soft sanctions, given that the NCAA had to sort through one of the three worst cases of fraud in history. Apparently Yudof did his share.
Others at the Daily called for the death penalty as a way to set an example, for which he has taken some serious flack.
“We’re talking about something serious,” said Jack Friedenthal, Chairman of the NCAA Committee on Infractions. “The death penalty was applicable in only one case, and that was a serious, clear-cut repeated violation.
Perhaps the biggest omission from the report was another postseason ban this year, although it would hardly be applicable this season anyway.
So why so lenient?
“We looked at the cooperation of the school and the way they dealt with the situation once they found out about it and the penalties they took upon themselves,” Friedenthal said.
“And definitely as to whether it caught the attention of the school itself and others. They have to be embarrassed and ashamed.”
Apparently Yudof did draw a line in the sand. Everyone is embarrassed, ashamed, agitated and bewildered. That’s been a constant for the last 18 months. These were not light penalties, but they were small, considering six years of fraud.
Whether or not these penalties are light enough to draw prize in-state recruit Rick Rickert here, I doubt it.
I don’t even care.
Hopefully Rick Rickert will be the last person who tries to hide behind the NCAA’s indecision. I have a hard time believing Minnesota is that serious a choice for him anyway. Numerous times he has stated that a post-season ban on this season and the reduction of scholarships in the future would weigh on his decision between here and Arizona.
I hate to be a thorn in the side, but does anyone know why these are big issues to him choosing a school?
Monson will need a big-time player to choose the maroon and gold to help jump-start his program.
Coach, try to make sure your program is and stays clean. Don’t make me have to write about this again.
Hopefully this will be one of the last times anyone has to write about academic fraud, or Ganglehoff, or Newby, or Haskins.
Good or bad, all we want is answers. Yesterday, we got some.
Nobody but nobody is happier to end this all than Monson and his team, the recipients of Haskins’ eventually-failed boobery.
“You have to impose various forms of penalties regardless that people involved are no longer with the institution,” Friedenthal said. “Otherwise there would be no punishment.
“Every case is unique, so you can’t really say they’re comparable. We’ve seen it all, believe me. (Minnesota) was a serious case, there’s no beating around the bush.
“One problem in this case was the coach had sole autonomy and there was nearly complete control. Everyone answered to (Haskins) and Haskins alone.”
Now everyone has answers.
Let me know when we hear the truth, as promised, from a certain Kentucky farm.

Mark Heller is the associate sports editor and welcomes comments at [email protected]