In fact a coach can serve his players catered lobster and caviar in his home if he wants, at least on occasion. (True, Majerus doesn't have a home. He lives in a hotel room year-round. Is that the NCAA's fault?) But when you wantonly go to a known pizza joint, mister, you're just begging for it.
And I don't want to hear how clean the Utah program has been either, or how, under Majerus, the Utes have had four Academic All-Americas in the last five years, more than any other Division I basketball program. Clyde Barrow used to floss. So what?
And so what if the NCAA didn't find any hidden cars or substitute test takers? What about the massive slush-fund payments? The worst example was Majerus's giving the players $10 each to go see Remember the Titans. Ten bucks? The discount theater in question charged $5 for a ticket. That leftover $5 could've gone toward all kinds of temptations—drugs, alcohol, Junior Mints.
There was more: letting a player send a housing application in a FedEx envelope when the NCAA rule specifically states that only transcripts or standardized test scores can be included; serving milk and cookies made by Majerus's 76-year-old mother, or by Utes basketball fans, or by an athletic department secretary, at film meetings. Sure, milk and cookies sounds small, but how long is it before we're talking about the harder stuff, like pie and coffee?
There were other violations: practices going over the allotted four hours a day; Majerus watching 15 minutes of a pickup game he wasn't supposed to see and another 10 minutes of informal dribbling and dunking. You let that stuff go unchecked, and pretty soon you've got frogs falling from the clouds.
It's not an easy job, picking nits this tiny, but nobody is up to the task like the NCAA. Take the time the organization told Aaron Adair, a third baseman at Oklahoma, that the book he'd written about surviving brain cancer meant his amateur career was over. Or the work the NCAA is selflessly doing today, like making Colorado receiver Jeremy Bloom curtail his world-class skiing career and kill his modeling because they would somehow make him a professional football player. (Now, when the NCAA uses its athletes in TV ads to promote itself during the Final Four, that's just good marketing.)
I support the small-mindedness of the NCAA. In fact, my hope is that someday the NCAA will get so small—so microscopic—that it will slide down the holes in its shower drain and be gone for good.