Is college football falling apart? 

March, 9, 2011

My buddy Seth Wickersham, who has covered just about every sport for ESPN The Magazine but has an emphasis on the NFL, texted me Monday night after Yahoo! Sports went with its Jim Tressel story. He wrote: "Is it just me or is college football coming apart?"

My immediate response was that there have always been big scandals in the sport (the SMU Mustangs and the old SWC, the Miami Hurricanes pell grant scandal, Albert Means, etc.), but now with Twitter you can hear about almost everything, and rumor and innuendo often gets "reported" and digested as if it's fact. Plus, there are more rules players and teams can get caught up in and there's much more money involved.

But the more I thought about his point, I wondered if he was on to something.

Wickersham later wrote: "Every few weeks another college football powerhouse is potentially involved in a major violation. Reminds me of 2008, when every few months a bank would collapse, before the whole thing blew up. Will the NCAA have to bail out all FBS schools to keep college football from falling off the cliff?"