My first brush with the National Collegiate Athletic Association came during my tenure as sports editor of my college newspaper. Two star players from the hockey team had been slapped with season-long suspensions for accepting room and board -- not even money, mind you -- while playing as juniors in Canada.

Even then, let alone today, it seemed a minute infraction when compared to what was transpiring at athletic programs at major schools in terms of under-the-table payments, drug dealing among athletes and, of course, continuous updates to local police blotters.

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