Major college athletics received some heavy jolts to public perception this week. Two high-profile athletic programs were embarrassed and humiliated by actions of the leaders in their most high-profile sports.

At the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville, head football coach Bobby Petrino was fired "for cause", the causes being that he continually lied to his superiors about his affiliation with a young female employee and about the circumstances surrounding a motorcycle accident that he was involved in.

Seems that Bobby, a married father of four children, was having an affair with a 25-year-old former Arkansas volleyball player whom he had just hired to be on his staff. Seems that the affair has been ongoing for at least seven months, and that Petrino chose her in one day from a pool of 159 applicants for the football office job.

This young lady had also been riding with Petrino when the accident happened. Only Petrino never acknowledged her involvement during his initial press conference following his dismissal from the hospital with rib and vertebrae injuries. Add to the fact that the idiot wasn't wearing a helmet when the accident occurred. Both of them are lucky to be alive. But in Petrino's case, being alive meant being fired for his indiscretions and behavior.

I applaud the athletic director Jeff Long. He had the guts to dismiss a very popular and successful football coach who had the program rising in the national rankings and national exposure. But he claimed that the integrity of the football program was paramount to any kind of forgiveness for Petrino. To Petrino's credit, he did take full responsibility for his actions.

It's got to be a tough time in the Petrino household these days. But I can assure you, Petrino will be back in coaching within a year.

We also found out that the Baylor University men's and women's basketball programs have been committing recruiting rules violations BY THE THOUSANDS! The illicit actions, all surrounding impermissible phone calls and texts to recruits, is another example of a program deciding that they will not play by the rules when it comes to recruiting. And this is supposed to be a private Christian school that advocates ethics and morality? Yeah, right.

We'll get to the discussion of the men's program shortly. I want to begin by saying the actions by the women's program, specifically head coach Kim Mulkey, are deplorable. All of the violations began in 2008, right around the time that Baylor was knee-deep in the recruitment of Britney Griner, the 6-foot 8-inch wonderwoman that just led the Bears to the 2012 national championship. She was the most coveted recruit during that time period. And Mulkey decided that she was going to break any rule she needed to do to get Griner to the Waco, Texas school. Forget about the one call and one text message per week. She was going to double or triple that amount if she needed to. Which she did.

Griner's team went undefeated this year and won 40 games in the process. The first time any team in any NCAA sport has won 40 games in one season. A truly magnificent accomplishment. But at what price we now discover?

The women's program was given three years of probation, was stripped of two scholarships (from 15 to 13) for this year, Mulkey was given summer recruiting restrictions, and an assistant coach was given restrictions on recruiting calls he can make.

Man, that punishment is nothing more than a slap on the wrist. Where is the post season ban on playing in the league tournament or NCAA tournament? The NCAA Committee on Infractions could have sent a message with a severe punishment attached that this type of cheating will not be tolerated. But it didn't, and I can promise you that the cheating will continue.

On the men's side, head coach Scott Drew was suspended from all coaching duties during the first two conference games next season. One of his assistants was given a one-year show-cause order which restricts him from all recruiting activity. The program was also placed on probation, given a reduction in scholarships for two years, had official campus visits reduced, and was given a reduction in recruiting evaluation days.

It seems like the men's program misfortunes were deemed more severe than the women's infractions by the weight of the punishments given to the two programs. Still, the men's program was not banned from any post season tournaments. Both programs showed a lack of control, which usually within the NCAA structure means that banishment from post season tournaments are justified. But again, the NCAA Committee on Infractions didn't want to send any message.

Arrogance played a big role in all of these cases. All of the coaches thought they were above the law. Arkansas administration showed guts, while the NCAA Committee on Infractions failed to send a message with their handling of the Baylor basketball cases. Kelvin Sampson lost his job as head men's basketball coach at Indiana a few years ago because of his phone violations. Indiana and Oklahoma (where Sampson began his phone violations) all paid dearly for his cheating.

Baylor should have received more punishment. The violations easily justified it. The school is a multiple violator, having been found guilty of rules violations in the past. These violations should have caused them to incur heavier penalties. The NCAA didn't do their job...again.

Author's Bio: 

Steve Brennan, a former educator and college basketball coach, has Masters degrees in Educational Administration and Sport Psychology, and a Doctorate in Performance and Health Psychology. He is the author of several books, including Six Psychological Factors for Success and The Recruiters Bible (3rd Edition). He is President of Peak Performance Consultants, and the President and CEO of the Center for Performance Enhancement Research and Education (CPERE). Steve is the developer of the Success Factors Scales, both Corporate and Athletics Editions. and