The NCAA has decided to form an ethics panel in order to deal with a growing and complex web of rules and legislation regarding NCAA recruiting and also in response to the recent string of high-profile infractions in the past several years. Michigan head coach John Beilein has agreed to be the chairman of the new men’s basketball ethics coalition according to reports.

I couldn't agree more with this most recent direction by the NCAA. In my opinion, I think this is the best way for the NCAA to proceed. Of course, the rules will still exist and coaches will still need to comply with them. But as I've mentioned before, I think the community of coaches is really where social pressure can help to self-regulate but more importantly educate coaches about the "spirit of the rules." It's one thing to have rules and tell coaches to follow them. Rules don't mean anything unless there is a social consequence for an infraction. I've always felt and still feel strongly that coaching is a vocation (even in Div1 where they make unimaginable amounts of money and the pros). Coaching is a profession where integrity actually means something. Where unwritten rules are often more powerful than the written ones.

Does that mean that a world exists where coaches will never step outside of the lines?? No, humans will always be flawed. But in my opinion, a "coaching ethic" can be socially constructed. We can influence behavior through proper education and indoctrination. Coaches don't start out being sleazeballs, I truly believe that the vast majority of coaches (sleazeballs included) decided to start coaching out of a selfless altruism and a devotion to people and basketball; and are eventually led astray only due to the external pressures around them. After all, there are much quicker and easier ways for self-promotion than coaching. If I wanted to be rich and famous, coaching is the last profession I would choose.

So, hurray to the NCAA for taking this necessary step in the right direction.