On Saturday afternoon, a 3-year-old Atlanta girl fell through the floor of the apartment where her family lived. In response, the city inspected that apartment building and numerous others owned by the same person, finding code violations that resulted in the condemnation of ten apartment buildings -- including the one where the incident took place.
City inspectors learned of a possible issue, identified it as a problem, and acted quickly to correct it. What does that have to do with the NCAA?
A competitive advantage was being gained by some schools; a person set to be the head coach was able to take more visits than a head coach is typically allowed. It has become a recent trend in which a school designates an assistant coach as their next head coach before the current one has even made definitive plans to step down. The actual practice has been limited to a small handful of schools, but it was becoming quite popular and well-publicized. The NCAA, as the city did in the earlier story, recognized that there could be an issue.
The NCAA investigated and discovered that this was allowing virtually all of the recruiting benefits of sending a head coach on the road without any of the limitations usually applied to such visits. As in the story, they identified the potential issue as an actual problem.
In January, the NCAA sensibly imposed the same visit limitations on head-coaches-in-waiting that are applied to actual head coaches. As in the example, the NCAA acted to correct the problem that they had found.
The key difference is in what came next.
Texas and Maryland complained to the NCAA, likely alleging that the new rule was unfair. Apparently it is unfair to take away an unfair advantage without giving the impacted schools enough time to find a new unfair advantage to exploit. The average person might look at this complaint and say "Tough cookies, deal with it."
The NCAA lacks the institutional cajones to actually do that.
Instead, they gave Texas and Maryland an exemption from the rule for one year. That's right: they gave the only two teams currently benefitting from the practice a monopoly on the benefit that the rule was trying to prevent. Nobody else can name a head-coach-in-waiting and gain the benefits, but the rule doesn't apply to these two schools until this time next year.
This is an example of the reason why it is difficult to take the pointed-haired bosses in Indianapolis seriously. They identified a problem and quickly acted to ensure that those taking advantage of it . . . wouldn't have any competition.
You can't blame Texas or Maryland for this, of course, they have to advocate for their own interests, but it is difficult to justify calling this decision anything but myopic.