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SLATE: NCAA botches North Carolina case, and your Kansas State weekend calendar

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Alex Delton will get his first start... against a top-10 opponent.

Get ready for a rough Saturday.
Get ready for a rough Saturday.
Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

It’s an exceptionally slow Friday morning on the football news front, but we’ve got your weekend non-revenue sports information covered, at least.

But first...

Today, the NCAA’s committee on infractions released its findings in regard to the academic fraud allegations levied against North Carolina. The committee found that since North Carolina athletes received a benefit which was freely available to any general member of the student body, no violation of NCAA academic rules existed.

This is, of course, absurd on its face, but there’s another reason why this is bad.

Yes, the NCAA is in charge of athletics, and their enforcement policies are geared toward making sure athletes aren’t getting extra benefits.

But the NCAA is also in charge of who their member institutions are. One way in which the NCAA passively polices academic integrity is embedded in the association’s membership requirements themselves. Any school which is not accredited is not eligible for membership; any school which loses accreditation is expelled.

Now, this is not a fate North Carolina appears to be in danger of suffering. But the general principle does still apply: to be a member in good standing of the NCAA, you have to actually be in the business of providing a sound and worthwhile academic product to your students.

Indeed, the NCAA’s own argument against handing down penalties to North Carolina arguably makes their refusal to act worse because they’re admitting that any student at North Carolina could take fake classes. Stop and consider that for a moment.

There’s a reason why diploma mill schools aren’t NCAA members. (Or even NAIA members, for that matter.) A system under which the NCAA refuses to penalize a school in any way for committing academic fraud is utterly broken, and needs to be dismantled. With this decision, the NCAA is essentially saying that any statement they make regarding their educational mission is completely empty and bereft of sincerity.

We may as well just have college athletic programs go professional at this point, because the NCAA has now blatantly stated that their only reason for existence is to prevent athletes from getting paid. Nothing else matters to them; not sexual predation, not crime, and not academics.

Football

Kellis Robinett has his keys to victory, and predicts Alex Delton will lead K-State to victory in a close one. Okay, sure.

ESPN’s Heather Dinich notes that there are no games this weekend between ranked teams — the latest point in the season this has happened since 2009 — and that 6th-ranked TCU should be on upset alert. Okay, sure.

In today’s Sports Extra, Corbin McGuire has some player opinions on what happened last weekend and what needs to happen tomorrow.

Soccer

Coming off last weekend’s big win in the Sunflower Showdown — which we’ll remind you Kansas now has to live forever as the answer to “Against whom did Kansas State win their first Big 12 conference game in soccer?” -- the Wildcats stay home all weekend. Tonight, they’ll host Baylor at the K-State Soccer Complex at 7:00pm, so if you’re in town early for tomorrow’s football game you should get out there and cheer. Sunday, the Cats host 9th-ranked and unbeaten Texas, and those of you staying in town for the night get the same exhortation.

And if you’re not, well, there’s always ESPN3.

Speaking of soccer, supporters packages for 2018 are now on sale, as of 8:30 this morning. Fitty bux gets you a scarf, a t-shirt, and a season ticket in GA or the lawn, or you can just get the scarf and t-shirt without the tickets (but it’s still $50).

In yesterday’s Sports Extra, McGuire profiled Katie Cramer, survivor of a billion ACL surgeries.

Golf

The men are already in action at the Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate at the Blackthorn Club at the Ridge in Jonesborough, Tenn. Jonesborough is, apparently, the “oldest town in Tennessee”, and is located near Johnson City, the home of East Tennessee State — the tournament hosts. Also competing in the event, which runs through Sunday, are squads from Louisville, Missouri, Penn State, Tennessee, Villanova, Virginia Tech, Virginia, and a host of G5 schools.

Cross Country

The regular season is already coming to a close today as the Wildcats make their annual trip to Peoria, Ill., for the Bradley Pink Classic. The mens 8k race is at 3:15, while the 6k women’s race begins at 4:00.

Basketball

Both the women and men will have open scrimmages tomorrow at Bramlage, surrounding the football game. The women will scrimmage before the game at 7am, while the men will take over post-game at 2pm.

Volleyball

Finally, the Volleycats will close out a big Saturday on campus with a 7pm match against Baylor at Ahearn. Be there or be square.