Published May 17, 2011
NEW YORK – Former Michigan coach Lloyd Carr wants the NCAA to crack down on cheaters in college sports and do a better job of enforcing the rules.
Carr was in New York for a news conference to announce his selection for the College Football Hall of Fame, along with 15 other former players and coaches.
He retired after the 2007 season with a record of 122-40 (.753) and a national championship in 1997.
He declined to talk specifically about the recent NCAA troubles involving his old rival, Ohio State coach Jim Tressel.
"I know it's a difficult time because the issues are serious, but it'll be up to the NCAA to find out what did and did not happen," Carr said.
Tressel has already been punished by the school with a five-game suspension and $250,000 fine for not disclosing information about NCAA violations by some of his players. He and Ohio State could face stiffer penalties when the NCAA completes its investigation.
Ohio State's scandal is one of several in college football that have made headlines and cast a gloomy shadow on collegiate sports over the past year — and made the NCAA a target for criticism.
Carr gave a blunt assessment of college sports' governing body.
He said it's up to the NCAA to curtail the rule breaking.
"And they need to do a better job in my judgment."
Mark Emmert, who took over as NCAA president last year, has talked tough in recent months about ramping up enforcement and putting more bite in sanctions. He said he wants schools that violate the rules to pay penalties punitive enough to make coaches and others think twice about cheating.
Carr said the NCAA's reliance on its members to report their own violations puts the organization in a tight spot because there's "ample evidence, down through the years that some people are not self-reporting."
"If you're going to have a system, that the public, the fans, respect and buy into, than you better have a way of making sure that those people who are violating the rules don't prosper," he said. "You got to invest the money to have investigators and whatever else you need to do — or they need to deregulate."
Carr recalled speaking with late NCAA president Myles Brand about enforcement, and Brand saying, "'I don't have the authority to do a lot of these things that people want done.'
"Well, the question is, who does?" Carr said.
Last year, Michigan was hit with NCAA sanctions for violations of practice-time limits under then-coach Rich Rodriguez, who took over in Ann Arbor after Carr retired following the 2007 season.
It was the first time the Wolverines' football program had been cited by the NCAA for breaking rules.
Asked whether Rodriguez had tarnished the integrity of Michigan football, Carr said, "I can't answer that."
He added, "I think it was a disappointment for everybody."
In addition to the NCAA problems for Michigan and Ohio State, the football programs at North Carolina, Auburn, Oregon and Tennessee are also under scrutiny for possible violations.
"If you look at where we are today, there's obviously problems," Carr said. "There's a lot of issues and we need to address them for the good of the game. For the integrity of intercollegiate athletics.
"We're under fire. We shouldn't be where we are."