Enough about Ohio State already!


The media, OSU fans and their apologist, please stop putting different spins on “Tressel Gate”.  All the same questions keep popping up and surprisingly enough, everyone has a different answer depending on who is answering the question. How is this possible?

Whose fault is it for all the problems Ohio State University and their athletic department are currently experiencing? Where do we point the fingers? Who is to blame? However you ask the question the simple answer is the fault lies on the shoulders of every single person involved in and around Ohio State’s football program… players, coaches, boosters, and fans; every single person that has stuck their ink stained hand out to receive something and looked for a favor or reward in return. An autographed helmet, 300 yards passing, a win overMichigan, 1 pound of marijuana…

How can the media, sports radio “guy”, bloggers, OSU and their fans think anything different? This a simple morality issue comprised of one part greed and the other part is accountability. That’s it. There are no other perspectives to take. No other arguments to make.

This is not a cultural problem.

It’s sickening hearing this excuse from former college football players, writers, and sports talk radio shows. This is a greed problem. Gordon Gekko was right about society’s appetite for money. Does anyone ever feel like they have enough money? Is it not human nature to want more stuff? Isn’t that why we buy bigger houses, to put more stuff in it? Regardless of one’s economic background, our society is always going to want more and “need” more money. The fallback excuse that it’s okay for college players to take money because they grew up in an economically challenged environment is just that, an excuse. If you want to have an argument how our society is not financially fair, so be it, but that argument should not be a pivotal point in this discussion.

The university and the NCAA are making money, so should the players.

Wrong. The players are student-athletes. The players are receiving a free education to help prepare them for life after college; so they can have a career and make money then. The byproduct of receiving a free education is playing football, basketball, volleyball, or whatever sport they agree to play. Should that student-athlete be skilled enough to become a professional athlete once their college career is finished so be it.

This is the lost perspective, until then, they are student-athletes and they should be treated as such. Few jobs have a stock share or profit sharing program for their employees. Why should college athletics? An employer hires an employee and pays that person accordingly. For 1 to 5 years any student athlete receiving an athletic scholarship has the opportunity for free room and board, student meal pass, free text books, a monthly stipend, and a free education. Depending on that student-athletes choice to attend college, this can be in excess of $100,000 “payment” for playing college athletics.

Even if you think the players should be paid and thus it’s okay for the players to sell their jerseys, autographs, and other memorabilia you’re still wrong. The rules currently set in place do not support this argument thus it should not be part of any defense for OSU or any other program caught with similar infractions.

If we start paying the players this is a slippery slope. How much do we pay them? Do all Division 1 players receive the same “payment”? If we pay per game, will college athletes put themselves at risk to play so they can get paid? If they are paid, is it reasonable to believe that situations that have occurred at USC and OSU will stop?

They earned the right to sell their memorabilia.

When said student is finished playing college athletics, you are correct. Until then, because of the rules, they cannot. If you want to change the rules how should the NCAA and college athletics oversee this process? When a player sells his jersey, how much is that jersey worth? The perceived value of a game worn jersey for an OSU player in a BCS Bowl would be more than that of a Sun Belt Conference player’s game worn jersey in a smaller bowl. How do we set the bar for what is the fair market value? If capitalism and an open market is your answer, consider if a booster wants to pay $200,000 for a jersey worn in a bowl game during a player’s freshman year in college is this fair? If that same player sells his game worn BCS Bowl jersey from his sophomore year for $400,000 is that fair? This sounds like an open invitation for boosters to legally give players as much money as they want under the disguise of buying a piece of memorabilia. We’re right back at square one.

The rules are the rules.

Once a coach signs a contract to perform at a given school, they agree to follow the rules of the NCAA and the university hiring them. Same goes for every student-athlete that signs a national letter of intent. Rich or poor, black or white, 5 star recruit or 2 star recruit, at a “major” university or at a sub-division school, every student-athlete must adhere to the same rules; whether you agree with the rules or not.

Just to clarify, very little of the overall story has surfaced about OSU and somehow there is confusion about who to blame for all that has gone wrong? The image, or mirage, Tressel built is proving more difficult to give up than a loaner car in Columbus. Why are OSU fans and apologist not able to face reality? Why does the media keep giving a way out to the players and the boosters that give to those kids? Enough with the excuses already.

Tressel knew what was going on and did nothing to stop it. The players knew they were wrong but kept receiving extra benefits. The fans or boosters, however you personally want to label them, knew that they were putting the school, players, and football program in harms way but didn’t care because they were receiving a benefit from the exchange. There is no one to feel sorry for but the fans that had no idea what the new ink on their favorite players would come to mean to their beloved program.

Remember Jim Tressel tried to cover up the fact that he knew his players were taking Ohio State memorabilia to Edward Rife’s tattoo parlor in exchange for cash, tattoos, and drugs. In the spring of 2010 Tressel received notification of these NCAA infractions via email from a former Ohio State player; an individual concerned about the future of his alma mater. Rife was under investigation by the FBI for drug trafficking and Tressel knew his players were involved. Tressel was so concerned about OSU’s 2010 season and the possibility of winning a national championship, he buried it. He lied. He lied to NCAA compliance officers when asked if there was anything to report and he went on about his business hoping to not get caught. But Tressel is only part of the problem at OSU. OSU’s major problem is their lack of morality, accountability, and greed.