Way We Live Really Needs to Change, Not the Rules

Article excerpt

The NCAA Manual, the rule book governing major college athletics, is around 600 pages.

Steve Rushin, writing in Sports Illustrated, said even the NCAA officials admit it is impossible to keep in its entirety.

When asked if he had obeyed every rule while athletic director at Arizona, NCAA Executive Director Cedric Dempsey confessed, "No, it was almost impossible to do that."

"Why do we need so many rules?" ask athletic directors, coaches and even NCAA executives. Why cant we trust each other to do things right and get rid of most of the rules?

That question is echoed in the halls of business and government. Why do we need so many antitrust rules, environmental rules, traffic rules and safety rules, to name just a few categories currently being questioned?

"Get them down to a manageable and realistic number, and then we will obey them," is the cry of those against whom the rules were written.

But we need to remember that rules, or laws, or regulations, didnt pop up overnight through some sort of spontaneous generation.

Most of them were written because we werent doing things right in the first place. All of the rules in the NCAA Manual are there because the member schools wanted them, Dempsey reminded us. "Those rules have been made because of mistrust for each other within the membership."

Were dealing with human nature here, and human nature is inherently self-centered. We are more likely to look out for No. 1 than sacrifice our own comfort and security for the sake of someone else. …