CAA commissioner Yeager participates in, approves of, NCAA's radical reform

"If the membership really wants to up the ante," he said, "the Committee on Infractions will carry it out and welcome that guidance and input."

But Yeager cautioned against inflexible sentencing guidelines, and he used the movie "The Blind Side" to illustrate. The film chronicles the real-life story of Michael Oher, a football lineman who played at the University of Mississippi and developed into a first-round NFL draft choice of the Baltimore Ravens.

"You have a severely socially-economically disadvantaged kid that hooks up with a very wealthy, prominent booster from an institution, and there's cars, clothes, cash, he's living in his house, he gets a tutor, he ends up going (to the booster's school), and oh by the way, he ends up being a first-round NFL draft choice," Yeager said of the film's plot.

"You take those facts and you throw away the key (on Ole' Miss). You wire those guys up for probation forever. But then you learn the context of the story, and it's very different.

"Humans can sort that out. Well-intentioned, educated humans can make those kinds of distinctions as opposed to just checking off boxes and here's the outcome. There's a balance that needs to go in."

Yeager's right. Balance and nuance will be critical as the Division I Board of Directors, which includes Hampton University president William Harvey, considers the financial and enforcement components of the presidents' reform package.

But understand that under Emmert's leadership, and after recent high-profile scandals at Ohio State, Southern California and North Carolina, these changes are inevitable. The only question is degree.

"The deal points are done," Yeager said. "We're just filling in the logistics of it. … The presidents are dead serious about this."

Their mission?

"Do something dramatic," Yeager said, "and do it now."

Mission accomplished.

David Teel can be reached at 247-4636 or by e-mail at For more from Teel, read his blog at and follow him at

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