By selectively, suspending five Ohio State players this week, the NCAA revealed itself for what it really is, an arrogant, hypocritical, dysfunctional organization.
We understand all too well that the NCAA structured these suspensions to make sure that its monetary partner—the BCS, wouldn’t lose star players for a bowl game. The Buckeyes play Arkansas in the BCS’, All State Sugar Bowl. The suspensions were cynically announced now to give the impression that the NCAA was taking charge.
But the fans aren’t buying it, they know exactly what’s going on. And since the NCAA isn’t stupid either, I can only surmise that what the NCAA is really saying is, “At least give us credit for being honest!”
The crime: Five Ohio State players, including star quarterback Terrelle Pryor, are caught selling awards, souvenirs, autographs and other trinkets in exchange for cash and tattoos.
But how is it that the five-game suspensions of these Ohio State players are postponed until after the upcoming bowl game? The rules are pretty clear—gifts/prizes cannot be sold for profit, or tattoos.
What the players were seeking seems like chump-change, in the grand scheme of things. At most, there’s a couple of thousand dollars in it for these “greedy” kids. But there are millions at stake for the “needy” schools, conferences and the TV network, which is why the NCAA made sure the players play now, and pay later.
So let me ask again: Are these young men suspended or not? Why wasn’t the penalty assessed now, rather than the start of next season?
We know why! The hypocrisy is glaring.
The real problem is that everyone is making money “legitimately”, except the young men. Little wonder the NCAA’s so-called rules are rarely taken seriously, and are violated routinely.
Those same young people are also watching what the folks at the NCAA do and can see for themselves that the those in charge haven’t done a very good job at setting a good example about integrity.
Maybe the rules don’t make any sense. Maybe these young men really do need the money and the tats. If so, perhaps the time has come to pay these kids—above board, instead of under-the-table. But we know that won’t happen anytime soon. Instead we will likely get more dubious decisions from the NCAA.
Pretty obvious this decision was all about the money—the real money.