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The hypocrisy of the NCAA

December 30, 2010

It seems only fitting that my first post would be about the recently suspended Ohio State football players and the NCAA yet again making a huge mess out of things. First, here is the background information about what each player did:

Terrelle Pryor-sold his 2008 gold pants(Ohio St players get a gold pendant every time they beat Michigan), his 2008 conference championship ring, and his 2009 Sportsmanship Award from the Fiesta Bowl. Total $2,500.00

Mike Adams- sold his 2008 conference championship ring. Total $1,000.00

Daniel Herron- selling his football jersey, pants, and shoes and getting a discount of $150.00 on a tattoo. Total $1,150.00

DeVier Posey- selling his 2008 conference championship and accepting a discount of $50.00 on a tattoo. Total $1,250.00

Solomon Thomas- selling his 2008 gold pants, his conference championship ring, and accepting a discount of $155.00 on a tattoo. Total $1,505.00

Jordan Whiting- accepting a discounted tattoo. Total $150.00

     The first 5 players have been suspended for 5 games, Whiting was suspended for one game. All players must repay the monies received as well as the estimated cost of the discounted tattoo.

      The NCAA ruled that the players “were not aware that they were committing violations”. Ohio State’s internal investigation has uncovered that most of the money received, especially by Pryor and Posey went to their families. No one can argue that getting a discounted tattoo helps your family in any way, and as big of a Ohio St fan as I am, even I think the players knew that receiving discounted tattoos broke the rules, but I can definitely see how a player would think they could sell their own property. I think a suspension for the players that received discounted tattoos of 1 game, the Sugar Bowl, would be adequate, along with all players paying the monies back they received for selling their items, especially since the NCAA ruled the players did not knowingly break a rule.

      The NCAA seems very conflicted in their handling of this issue on its own and in comparison to other cases. On one hand, they ruled that the players did not know that they were breaking a rule, but on the other that their actions were so egregious that they should be suspended for half a season. But they also concluded that the players would be eligible to play in the Sugar Bowl. It seems to me like it should be one or the other, either the conduct warrants immediate suspension, or the 5 game suspension is to harsh, especially for players who did not know they were breaking a rule.  The NCAA has found that the players were wrong for selling their own property for profit. I will skip the whole rant on how much the NCAA and its universities make off the athletes and how unfair it is the athletes don’t get a piece of the pie. I do not believe student-athletes should be paid. The free education that they receive should not be overlooked. But to put things in perspective, Forbes magazine puts a value of $85,000,000 on Ohio States football team and the revenue they generated at $68,000,000 in 2009. That is big time business with a basically free labor source.

   The fact that the players are eligible for the Sugar Bowl is probably the biggest sticking point I have with the NCAA. If what the players did deserves a 5 game penalty, why should the suspensions not start immediately? The NCAA says that it is delaying the suspensions because they found that the players “had not been properly educated” on the rules they were breaking. Does the NCAA really think we are that gullible? They did not delay the suspensions because they felt sorry for the players or the University. The suspensions were delayed because the CEO of the Sugar Bowl asked the NCAA to do so because he did not want the potential revenue the Sugar Bowl generates to be compromised by some of the best players on Ohio State not being in the game.  So the NCAA, in the interest of protecting one of their business partners, delayed the suspensions.

   Then there is the whole Cam Newton debacle. Are we really suppose to believe that he had no knowledge of his father shopping him around for $180,000? It’s next to impossible to prove that he did, but it is beyond naive to think that he did not.  Yet, the NCAA who usually errors on the side of being heavy-handed, took no action against Cam Newton. I would think that your pops shopping you for 180 grand would be a much more serious offense than getting $505.00 worth of discounts on tattoos and selling your own personal property. ESPN’s Micheal Smith had a great quote on the whole situation, “I guess Terrelle Pryor should have just given the stuff to his mother to sell.”

  The inconsistency of the handling of these eligibility issues makes the NCAA look at best like idiots, and at worst, an agency with an agenda when it comes down to doling out punishment.

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One Comment
  1. Dr. Brian Moriarty permalink

    Great stuff Kendall! Couldn’t agree with you more! It’s a joke!

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