Georgia Tech broke an NCAA rule and has self-imposed a penalty. The punishment? One of its football practices in August will be shortened by 12 minutes.
Yes, we're serious. Not 15 minutes or 30 minutes or an hour -- but 12 minutes.
The background: In a promotional video produced by the school before the 2013 season, strength coach John Sisk is shown talking to the team before a workout. The school says that in the video, Sisk threatened consequences for players who were late. The problem is that under NCAA rules, summer workouts are "voluntary," which means there would be no penalty for being late -- or not showing up at all. (The idea that any workout truly is voluntary, of course, is laughable. But it's in the rulebook, so ...)
Georgia Tech self-reported the violation and decided it would penalize itself 12 minutes, for reasons too hard to understand but evidently in the NCAA rule book. (Here is the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's take on the reasoning behind the 12 minutes.)
Think about it: A school decides to punish itself by shortening a practice for 12 minutes. It's ridiculous, stupid, beyond belief -- a lot of descriptions apply, and some, frankly, could be preceded by profanities.
NCAA president Mark Emmert has said that the organization's rulebook needs to be rewritten, and this is yet another example of why. Emmert and his helpers should be criticized on a non-stop basis for their recent inactions while the NCAA crumbles around them (think Nero fiddling while Rome burns), but rewriting the rulebook and actually making it useful is one of the very few things Emmert has said that makes sense. Does he have enough power to get it done -- or at least started? Let's see what happens.