Calling Bulls[p]it On the NCAA

To tell the truth, I had not planned to write today. I thought I would devote all of today to finalizing the preparations for the family festivities, which will begin this evening and then proceed amorphously thru the next couple of weeks. The plan for today had been to check off a list of small chores that needed to be done before guests arrived this evening for a Christmas Eve celebration and dinner. However, all that changed yesterday afternoon thanks to the National Collegiate Athletics Association…

Yesterday, we learned that the NCAA discovered that five Ohio State football players – - ones from that elite football program that President E. Gordon Gee assured all of us would never stoop to playing the “Little Sisters of the Poor” – - had committed violations of NCAA rules that were serious enough to merit a five game suspension from play. The only twist in that determination was that the suspensions would be served at the beginning of the 2011 season and would not include the BCS Bowl Game that involved Ohio State and Arkansas.

How self-servingly convenient for the NCAA… How sanctimoniously hypocritical of the NCAA…

Five football players sold memorabilia that had been presented to them – - such as championship rings and awards they had received – - for cash money. Either that or they received free tattoos in exchange for their autographs. That violates NCAA rules.

The real reason the NCAA is letting them play in the bowl game is that there is a boatload of money involved in that game and there are no benefits to the NCAA if that game is less than “must see TV”.

The stated reason the NCAA is letting them play in the bowl game is that the players were not aware that this was a violation and that they had not been specifically educated on this particular rule.

Well, if that is the case, let me say that THE Ohio State University ought to be on 2 years probation with no bowl games allowed as of this moment because all five players involved are juniors. THE Ohio State University has had at least 30 months to explain to these “student-athletes” that the fundamental rule of the NCAA is that a player cannot profit from or obtain money from anything directly related to his athletic status at the school. AJ Green sold his University of Georgia game jersey and got suspended; these guys sold their “stuff” and they get a deferred suspension because the university – - that institution of higher learning – - had not been able to instruct them sufficiently lucidly in 30 months to get that message through.

Let me call BULLS[P]IT on that nonsense in no uncertain terms…

    If Ohio State had not told them anything about avoiding this kind of behavior, the school needs to be punished severely and immediately.

    If Ohio State told them about avoiding this kind of behavior and the players did not understand the concept, there is no way to continue to pretend that they are actually college students in pursuit of an actual college degree; their academic eligibility becomes a farce.

    If Ohio State told them about avoiding this kind of behavior and they did understand it and then did it anyway, the student-athletes need to be declared ineligible immediately and permanently.

Frankly, I do not give a fig which of these explanations is real, but the NCAA has demonstrated once again that its sanctimonious posturing regarding the purity of its student-athletes is nothing but unadulterated nonsense.

    Memo to E. Gordon Gee: Since you have bowed out of any pronouncements regarding football after you put your Size 10s in your mouth, what do you have to say about the learning curve of your “student-athletes” and how your athletic department and football coaching staff are developing these fertile young minds?

    I’ll hang up and listen for my answer on the air…

The five games these players will miss next year include nail-biters against Akron, Toledo and Colorado. Instead of being 35-point favorites in those home games, Ohio State will have to settle for being 29-point favorites…

By the way, as soon as the first player “profited from” his football status he became ineligible and therefore Ohio State played some games with ineligible players. Where is the forfeiture of wins? Moreover, with the forfeiture of wins, where is Ohio State’s bowl eligibility?

All of the players are juniors and all have the option to declare for the NFL Draft in the spring of 2011. Any that do so will avoid any and all sanctions imposed by the NCAA rendering yesterday’s NCAA decision feckless beyond belief.

The NCAA is an institution beyond shame; we have known that for years. THE Ohio State University still likes to pretend that it is an academic institution first and an athletic powerhouse second – - but this episode exposes it for what it really is. THE Ohio State University is also beyond shame.

Speaking of bowl games, when someone tells you that the Beef O’Brady’s Bowl is over, do you think that it is time to wash the dishes or that it is time to check the score of a football game? Yeah, I get confused there too…

Enough of this nonsense, I have chores to do to get ready for company this evening. You probably have better things to do that to read any more of this stuff.

Have a wonderful Holiday Season – - no matter what form of winter Holiday you choose to celebrate. My family and I celebrate Christmas. I hope that the same feelings of warmth and family that we experience as we celebrate Christmas are with you and folks important to you at this time of the year.

Back next week…

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………

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Comments

  • Bones  On December 24, 2010 at 9:45 am

    Always happy to see a column posted by you. Have a great Christmas and enjoy your company!

  • Matt  On December 24, 2010 at 9:51 am

    Absolutely right. When I heard this report on the radio the first thing I heard was that they would still be allowed to play in the bowl game. It was like the most important part of the story is that they won’t be punished. I can only agree that the fecklessness of the NCAA as a policing institution is hitting an all-time high. I think the only cure for this is if the media just decided en masse to stop even paying attention to their press conferences and announcements. It’s as scripted and meaningless as anything Tiger Woods says in front of the cameras.

  • The Sports curmudgeon  On December 24, 2010 at 5:11 pm

    Bones:

    Thank you for those kind words. Hope your Holidays are great times for you and those folks who are important to you.

    Stay well.

    Matt:

    I was as disgusted by the NCAA position on this as you obviously were. I have a different proposal to suggest for the NCAA regarding enforcement of its rules. I’ll spell that out in a rant either next week – - or just after the New Year – - depending on writing time and schedules next week.

    Stay well.

  • rainier beacher  On December 25, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    A question of syntax:
    Can one be “feckfull”?

  • Peter  On December 25, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    The Beef ‘o’ Brady’s Bowl sounds like a microwaveable lunch item, with 500% of the recommended daily sodium allowance, sold in the food aisle of a 99-cent store.

  • The Sports Curmudgeon  On December 26, 2010 at 10:53 pm

    rainer beacher:

    Welcome aboard.

    I doubt anyone can be “feckfull” but your question demonstrates that your thinking is in tune with many of the commentaries here.

    Peter:

    The Beef O’Brady’s Bowl might not be of sufficiently high quality to make it to your typical 99-cent store.

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