Much like he does on Twitter, Bilas took jabs at the NCAA and its "Eligibility Center" -- a recent hurdle in the process of becoming a collegiate student-athlete. His description:
Really, what the Eligibility center does is it takes $70 per prospect, every prospect has to pay $70 to get cleared -- I just paid it for my son who is going to be a freshman at Wake Forest as a walk on next year -- they go over transcripts, they look at classes and they basically duplicate what are the core functions of each member institution that's assessing their students and making admission decisions.
Bilas said this function of the NCAA is "bizarre" and has no business doing what it is doing. He even employed the recent buzzword and said this is not in the NCAA's "wheelhouse."
He then added that these issues never happen with "well-to-do swimmers" or "lacrosse players from Long Island;" that these issues always seem to fall on a certain class of athlete (i.e. poorer and/or racially and/or revenue-producing athletes). "Somebody with a visa issue and somebody who is playing a revenue producing sport, they need priority in line. We can fix this other stuff later. [The NCAA is] playing with an ineligible player because of a clearing house issue, it's not that big of a deal."
Bilas did acknowledge the fact that Syracuse's recent history could very well explain how the Diange and the Orange got here in the first place. But is sure to let you know that that part aside, the NCAA is still out of line. He says:
Well there are certain schools the NCAA has flagged and that will cause them to look deeper into certain things. It doesn't surprise me that maybe you might have certain schools, certain colleges that the NCAA takes a closer look with. And again, that's not to say there's anything sinister. But if you see something from one school, you're going to look a little bit closer the next time. Or if you've had a school that has been in the cross-hairs of an NCAA investigation in the past, it does not surprise me that someone may look at it that way thinking their antenna is up. Doesn't mean they're bad people or anything like that or there's sinister intent again. But, I do believe human nature takes over and you're going to see somebody look twice at certain things. I don't happen to believe that this is in the interest of the enterprise because this is not stopping anybody... The fact that they're making each prospect pay 70 bucks in order to have their transcript looked at by somebody who doesn't have any business looking at it strikes me as being kind of ridiculous.
That last bit is pretty much the gist of the segment. The nitpicking, micro-management behavior of the NCAA is reaching nauseating levels with no signs of slowing down.
Hopefully this Diagne issue gets worked out soon and the NCAA can focus on things that are actually in its "wheelhouse".