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Around Town: It's just a Caltechnicality

July 28, 2012|By Anita S. Brenner

La Cañada Flintridge is still reeling from the announcement that the Caltech Beavers violated NCAA regulations.

“According to the NCAA's report, the violations took place from 2007 to 2011 and involved 30 student-athletes from 12 of the school's 17 sports who were allowed to practice or compete while not being enrolled full time or not being in good academic standing or both.” (“Caltech admits shortcomings, accepts NCAA sanctions” Pasadena Sun, July 15.)

Ardent Beavers fans everywhere are shocked. Simply shocked.

But this was not a case of the Beavers hiring ringers. La Cañadans would have understood that sort of violation. (Confidential to former Palm Crest Principal Don Hingst: Were all the faculty players in the sixth-grade vs. faculty softball game of 1992 actually full-time Palm Crest faculty members? Hmmmm....)

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But no, the Beavers did not hire ringers. They did not use shills. All the players were students.

The defect, which was self-reported by the Caltech administration, primarily resulted from the school's policy of allowing students to “try out courses through the first three weeks of Caltech's 10-week quarter sessions without needing to be registered full time as long as the students are in good standing.” If the students like the courses, they pay the tuition and get credits for full time, but under the NCAA rules, they are not “in good standing” during the first three weeks.

Full-time students who delayed registration until the end of the third week are technically (Caltechnically?) in violation of the NCAA.

It's a Caltechnicality.

In a stunning break from normative modern culture, Caltech self-reported the violations to the NCAA in an evidence-based report.

Self-reporting, evidence-based or not, by the offending school is unheard of.

Don't tell Jerry Sandusky about the Beavers! He'll turn over — in his cell.

Don't tell John Edwards about the Beavers! He has a 5th Amendment right to remain silent.

Luckily, this will not affect Caltech's one-point rout over the Occidental College Tigers. On Feb. 22, 2011, the Beavers beat Oxy in men's basketball, 46-45. There has been concern that the victory, which broke the Beavers' “26-year, 310-game SCIAC losing streak,” would be forfeited.

It will not.

The record stands.

ANITA SUSAN BRENNER is a longtime La Cañada Flintridge resident and an attorney with Law Offices of Torres and Brenner in Pasadena. Email her at anitasusan.brenner@yahoo.com and follow her on Twitter @anitabrenner.

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