Whitlock is missing the point with Jim Tressel and Ohio State


How can writers, Ohio State fans, and the media continually miss the enormity of the situation at Ohio State? Jason Whitlock, a writer for Fox Sports takes the argument to another level by blaming everyone but Jim Tressel for the “Vest’s” recent resignation in his article “Tressel Product of Flawed System”.

Mr. Whitlock, an obvious apologist for OSU and their players, thinks the rules in college football are not fair, the players should be paid, and college sports are a sham. In a meandering article, Whitlock blames ESPN, while promoting the new book “ESPN, Those Guys Have All The Fun”, “Shamateurism”, as he terms it, and takes the “everybody else is doing it so it’s okay for OSU” defense. Whitlock takes swipes at Urban Myer, Coach K, Roy Williams, Bo Pelini, and… Pat Summit? He also cites college sports as a neo-plantation scheme; the players are the slaves while the administrators act as plantation owners. Really?

What Whitlock is failing to understand is the kids at OSU were hanging out with known criminals. Edward Rife, the tattoo parlor owner in Columbus, Ohio, was under federal investigation by the FBI for drug trafficking; not for receiving stolen OSU equipment by OSU players and trading those items for tattoos, cash and who knows what else. The horribly termed neo-plantation scheme, being a student athlete, does not call for student athletes to put their lives at risk hanging out with known criminals. College athletics presents a student athlete with an opportunity to prepare themselves for life after college, as a professional athlete or at a 9-5 job, while receiving a free college education. Whitlock’s extremist view would mean anyone working for someone else is a neo-plantation scheme? Isn’t that capitalism? “You do this for me, work, and I will do this for you, give you an extrinsic reward. Wouldn’t this capitalist “scheme” make Whitlock part of a neo-plantation system?

Lost in the shuffle of finger pointing is Jim Tressel feigning ignorance to his player’s actions could’ve cost those kids their lives; if young adults are allowed to do as they please with no consequences most individuals will continue to escalate their actions until reprimanded. Let’s hope that upon further investigation we don’t find out that some of Tressel’s players were dealing drugs purchased or traded for stolen equipment from Rife.

Whitlock needlessly points out that many teams and coaches across the ranks give a false outward appearance of being a moral pillar in their communities, for their universities, and for their programs. Who cares if Coach K is blow hard that only wants to win, as long as he’s running a clean program? Whitlock uses the “other coaches and teams are cheating too defense” so what’s the big deal about Tressel and Ohio State? Tressel is not a sacrificial lamb for a falsely accused NCAA witch hunt. He is a coach that has allowed the city of Columbus, Ohio State Universityand their donors, and the residents of Ohio to rally around the characters and public persona he created, “The Vest” and “The Senator”, all while running a dirty program dating back to at least 2002.

Whitlock needs to understand that with great power comes great responsibility. If  Tressel or any other major program is not able to recruit high school students to their universities based off the rules outlined by the NCAA… then don’t be a college coach. No reports have surfaced that any Division 1 college coach was forced against their will to coach at their current or former school. If  Tressel didn’t like making $3 million a year at Ohio State as their head football coach and the pressures that come with that position, he could’ve resigned on his own terms instead of being forced to resign for running a dirty program. All the other dirty neo-plantation running programs will pay the price for cheating at some point, regardless if the rules are fair or not.

You can read Jason Whitlock’s article at: http://msn.foxsports.com/collegefootball/story/Former-Ohio-State-coach-Jim-Tressel-is-product-of-flawed-system-053111