I am very surprised how everyone attempts to act surprised when coaches and players of NCAA schools commit illegal acts. Lying, taking money, bribes, tattoos, or whatever the interests are. Under handed deals have been going on in collegiate sports for many decades now, and it will never stop. In knowing this, I have a proposal that may be able to assist everyone, the NCAA, schools, recruiters, and the players.
A person would have to either be very sheltered or very ignorant to not know what goes on in collegiate sports and the money that's involved. No school is perfect and every school cheats to some degree, FACT. Of course the bigger schools, even when caught, hire some top-notch attorney, donate money to the board members of the NCAA, and all is forgiven. Smaller schools are so insignificant that when they do cheat it's almost laughable and nothing is done. In my opinion just make it legal, I propose the following.
Have a Dues or Registration Fee:
The NCAA might as well treat collegiate sports like the NFL. Any Recruiting agency or representative that wants to be involved or associate themselves with the NCAA should have to pay yearly dues. Depending on the sport, since the amount of revenue being brought in by the sports is different, the dues should have a pay scale. This way an agency, uncle or dad can solicit whoever they want to whatever school they want. The schools themselves should also pay a yearly fee if they want to use these services. Between the NCAA and the schools, millions of dollars are brought in yearly so a small fee, lets say 10,000 for programs like Texas or USC is nothing. For example, and these are strictly fictional numbers, schools like Texas pay 10,000 and schools such as Appalachian State pay 7500. Of the 120 Division 1 FBS teams lets say 50 are elite and 70 and below that. Multiply the fee by the amount each school is slotted to pay and that's 525,000 and 500,000, which is over 2.6 million dollars the NCAA gets a year. Included are the fees paid by the recruiting agencies, lets say 5,000. If there are 30 recruiting agencies, that's another 150,000.
The Player Gets A Percentage:
Since the player is the one bringing value to the NCAA, the school, and the recruiting agencies, wherever the player signs it is only right that the player receives a one time fee on signing day. If the kid is being "solicited" for 80,000 give him 10,000. Again he brings all the value, period. These amounts can also be slotted based on the player's star rating, which in my opinion is a not so credible system as well. It may not stop players from taking money, gifts etc, but at least it will lessen the chances of it happening because the money is up front and the player doesn't feel too slighted by the school using them to bring in millions and they get nothing. And please don't throw the "kids gets a free education at a credible school" at me, because it's not a factor. Also depending on the bowl, advancement into tourney play, a small amount should be given as well. Coaches get bonuses from the schools or from contracts with Nike or Adidas, the players should as well.
Draw A Definitive Line On The Rules:
A player can get investigated or get in trouble for borrowing someones car or getting tattoos and it's considered the same as taking money. It's not the same. One could argue that trading a jersey for a tattoo is monetary yet technically no money has been exchanged. The rules are too vague and too suggestive which is why some punishments are more severe than others. Also during the recruiting process, be clear if a coach can be around, call, text, Facebook or whatever. I say that because of the incident with Nick Saban and Barry Sanders JR. Let's be honest, if Nick Saban comes to my high school, didn't go to the school himself, or has a child there, then why else is he there. It's not because of the "Just Say No Program", so get real people. Also if he says hello or is too in-depth talking to the kid then it's considered "contact." I am unsure of the rules, I say just don't let the coaches set foot on the high school campus period ! Again too vague.
This is not the answer to violations that happen daily with colleges, however it can be a start to somewhat of a conclusion to this debacle. With the exception of elementary, junior high, and high school, amateur sports no longer exists. Even on those levels it really doesn't exist. The NCAA, schools, and recruiting agencies are only concerned about making money. It might as well be legal, no harm no foul. This is an epidemic that will never stop, it has gone on since the beginning, and unless definitive parameters are set it will continue. It's a hoax and a farce, and is an embarrassment to sports and shows the hypocrisy of the NCAA and those involved.