Scandalized by Jim Tressel at Ohio State, But Mad At NCAA

Jim TresselHere’s what I want to know. What is Mike Shanahan’s opinion of soon-to-be-ex-Buckeye quarterback Terrelle Pryor?

I just want to be the first blogger to link Pryor’s name to the Washington Redskins, because that’s the main offseason sport in the NFL—linking big-name athletes to the Redskins. Every time. And Pryor is a quarterback, no less. Our quarterback of the future is found!

Sarcasm aside, Ohio State Buckeyes football head coach Jim Tressel “resigned” Monday evening. The announcement comes just ahead of a Sports Illustrated report that violations of school and NCAA rules date to 2002, involve 28 players, and that Tressel knew about it all along.

The Columbus Dispatch is pursuing stories that Buckeye’s QB Pryor benefited from use of new, um, “loaner cars” provided by a local auto dealer. Everybody is investigating now, so get ready for everyone to be shocked, SHOCKED, that cheating is going on in this establishment.

Here’s another attempt to set sarcasm aside. This scandal is evidence of what I’ve long suspected. Every Bogus Championship Series (BCS) team is a pro team. I no longer believe that college teams that repeat as top performers so consistently as Ohio State are playing by the rules.

Looking at you, NCAA, for denial of the realities of the 21st Century. Division 1 football is not “amateur” football. Scholarship athletes are not “ordinary students.” League competition in major team sports is not part-time competition, nor is it a supplement to the academic experience. Athletic departments at BCS schools are not under control of school administrators. They just pretend to be. Pro leagues provide careers after college. Why pretend otherwise.

Pryor and those Buckeye players should not have traded stuff for tattoos. That was just stupid. Tressel should not have covered it up. That was just stupid. Several of OSU president Gee’s statements on the matter were just stupid and he should be fired for it. But so are the rules these people had to cope with. Since when can’t a legal adult sell something that belongs to him?

It is good that NCAA rules are there to prevent teams and boosters from exploiting players. It’s not good when those rules deny players what is due them–as players. Something about the rules encourages corruption rather than prevent it. 

If an athletic prize was not Pryor’s to sell, why was it given to him? Who says an adult athlete cannot license the use of his or her name and image for a school’s marketing? Why does a school, or the NCAA for that matter, get to dictate the price for that license? College players need representation. They need the NFL Players’ Association. They aren’t doing anything these days.

I am a Big Ten fan (Michigan State, Class of 19 None-Ya-Business). This unfolding drama at the league’s premier franchise is distressing enough. Here’s what’s more distressing. MSU Spartans football coach Mark Dantonio is mentioned as a candidate to replace Tressel. It’s speculative, but Dantonio is a former Tressel assistant, which may or may not be a good thing to show on his resume.

I hope Dantonio stays in East Lansing. The school struggles to return to the football elite where it hasn’t been since 19 None-Ya-Business. Dantonio has the program pointed in the right direction and is doing it the right way (I think, hope and pray).  MSU would stumble with his departure just by the distraction and the break in continuity.

Basketball coach Tom Izzo dallied with the Cleveland Cavaliers when they courted him last fall. I’m sure that contributed to the fall-off in team performance last season. I really don’t want to see that happen to the football program.

Not liking any of this.

Points after. This is something of a rant. We only promised thoughtful analysis about the Washington Redskins. So, it’s OK.

The new driver I downloaded for my video card took my whole PC down for most of last week. Can I at least know that you missed me?

Anthony Brown

About Anthony Brown

Lifelong Redskins fan and blogger about football and life since 2004. Joined MVN's Hog Heaven blog in 2005 and then moved Redskins Hog Heaven to Bolguin Network. Believes that the course of a season is pre-ordained by management decisions made during the offseason. Can occasionally be found on the This Given Sunday blog and he does guest posts.