NCAA Doesn’t Have Any Credibility Left
Give the NCAA this much: At least it’s consistent.
Every time it makes an announcement, it blows your mind. Take the hypocritical organization’s latest weak excuse for a punishment of a college football infraction.
Five of Ohio State’s best players, including Heisman-caliber quarterback Terrelle Pryor, are caught selling various apparel, including rings and other awards, supposedly back in 2009. OK, so the NCAA suspends them for the first five games of the 2011 season. That makes sense, right? But wait, here’s the kicker:
All five will be allowed to play in the upcoming Sugar Bowl.
Say what? Can somebody please tell me how it came to that conclusion? If you are suspending these guys, you have to suspend them right now, immediately. No bowl game. No first five games of next year. No questions asked.
But n-o-o-o-o-o. Ohio State’s athletic director Gene Smith concocts some far-fetched theory that the university’s education about such things hadn’t been complete at the time. So the players didn’t know they weren’t supposed to sell things.
And the NCAA bought that? Please. You know what really happened here. The merchandise almost assuredly was purchased by Buckeye boosters who probably paid five, ten or a hundred times what the stuff was worth. Anything to help our hard-working players, right, guys?
And the kids didn’t know they were wrong taking those huge rolls of cash?
Of course they did. The athletes screwed up, and they and the university should pay the price.
But they won’t, and you want to know why? Because the, ahem, Allstate Sugar Bowl is about big bucks as much as it is about the big insurance corporation sponsoring it. It’s about making sure you sell the place out and lure enough visitors from out of town and ensure that ESPN, the network that will televise the game, has a big audience so it can be paid top advertising dollars.
None of that can happen if Pryor and his buddies don’t play. The game becomes a dog, a bowl you wouldn’t feed to your friendly canine friend.
The NCAA has looked the other way, just like it did when Cam Newton’s father was discovered to have shopped his son’s services for $180,000, and nothing was done to either the player or Auburn, the university he eventually quarterbacked to an undefeated season.
How do you think USC feels about all this? Reggie Bush, one player, screws up, along with his parents, and the Trojans get stripped of a national title, lose bowl privileges for two years and have no less 30 scholarships taken away.
Now, that sounds fair, doesn’t it? Ohio State loses its players for a mere five games, including two with mighty Akron and Toledo, Cam Newton gets away clean and USC basically has its entire program flattened.
Yeah, those NCAA people, they certainly know how to be balanced and equitable, don’t they?
Sure hope they enjoy themselves, sitting back and watching Pryor and his friends romp in the Sugar Bowl.
— STEVE BISHEFF