Even in a horrible economy and uncertain job market there remains a beacon of stability. Compliance officers in athletic departments never have to worry about the unemployment line.
One hitch: You need to know NCAA rules and know them well. That wasn't a problem back in the day, in this case 1952, when the NCAA rule book was a mere 25 pages. Today it is 1,105 pages and with more rule proposals and adjustments on the way, the book according to the NCAA will continue to grow.
Think you know the rules? In 2007, six sports at California were busted for using summer camp brochures that exceeded 17 by 22 inches.
In 2005, a Washington State assistant golf coach bought condolence flowers for a recruiting prospect after the death of the prospect's mother. As a result, the prospect was declared ineligible temporarily.
From 2001-06, the number of minor violations reported to the NCAA have increased 65% to more than 3,400, including a 20% increase since 2005.
This has created a booming job market. In the 1990s, South Carolina had one full-time compliance person, plus one full-time assistant. Today the Gamecocks have five rules interpreters, plus two administrative assistants and an intern to help keep an eye on Steve Spurrier. And some people think compliance departments remain underfunded.
Violations range from the silly to the serious. And, as Fresno State's Pat Hill learned, some violations come topped with pepperoni.
Thanks to Mike!