It's another episode cast upon the NCAA, perpetrated to create further humiliation and generate draining drama within a collegiate association that everyone prides itself on, despite the sins which wrongly invoke a bad situation by the lack of maturity or poor judgment from a student-athlete.
There's a portrait not too long ago, that evidently unveiled junior quarterback Terrelle Pryor, who is entrapped as rumors swirl with infractions as the latest outlaw of college football, being ridiculed in local newspapers in Ohio.
It's one of the saddest scandals; the most pathetic and outrageous incident to dishearten Buckeye Nation and with so much lampoonery in the last few weeks; it's the equivalent of Hugh Hefner's engagement to a 24 year old woman or Justin Bieber's crush on Selena Gomez.
In his third year as a starter, Pryor has played impressively and mellowed into a team leader. The face of the Buckeyes is Pryor and as it seems, he quickly emerged into the savior for a traditionally regal program.
The face of trouble is Pryor, but he wasn't suspended because of his infractions and wasn't imposed a harsher sanction by the university for violating NCAA rules.
Sure, he has led the Buckeyes to three Big Ten championships, a 30-4 record and three wins over the archrival Michigan, but this doesn't mean he should be allowed latitude of his wrongdoings.
Should have Terrelle Pryor been suspended for Sugar Bowl
However, it seems he was allowed a free pass after he profited by selling autographed memorabilia, along with the traditional gold pants that Ohio State players receive when the Buckeyes defeat its longstanding nemesis.
The problem is that he's allowed to play in the Sugar Bowl, but was issued a five-game suspension at the beginning of the 2011 season and has already announced that he'll not declare for the 2011 NFL Draft.
Back in mid-December, Ohio State reportedly was doomed with compliance trouble regarding Pryor and four of his teammates for receiving tattoos from a parlor in exchange for keepsakes.
When reports surfaced, heavy talks caused fans to panic as innuendos of possible suspensions for the bowl game spread gradually and left the town of Columbus in a state of shock.
The basic approach, currently, is that the facts are evident: Pryor and his teammates broke the rules, yet the NCAA isn't proactive to punish the lawbreakers or repair an unglued system by instilling the emphasis of education and, more importantly, producing a policy to mitigate the dishonest agents and illicit payments.
Unfortunately, with the absurdity destroying integrity, it's obvious that the NCAA is manipulated by either the deceptive agents or student-athletes who are desperate to accept improper benefits in order to take care of their families financially.
Pryor, an excellent football name in an illustrious football conference called the Big Ten, said he had the desire to assist his mother in financial needs and ignored the consequences of facing a punishment that could have severly damaged Ohio State's quest in the Sugar Bowl.
With the game hours away, the Buckeyes are in the middle of a needless distraction, one that can affect the performance of a brawny quarterback, when he has admittedly acknowledged how nervous he is entering an exuberant game on the wondrous stage of a BCS bowl game.
"A number of people reached out as we've been dealing with this thing, and one thing said was, 'Keep in mind, coach, you're dealing with a different generation. Back when you were growing up, one got a trophy, maybe, and now you're dealing with a generation that if you're on the team and you're seven years old, then everybody got a trophy,'" Ohio State coach Jim Tressel said.
"Maybe this generation doesn't understand the value of awards like we did."
The Buckeyes, in truth, are 11-1, ranked No. 6 in the nation with the exception of possessing a speedy runner or a solid pass thrower like Pryor, despite a travesty in a program used to the infinite prestige for representing the Big Ten as the symbol of pride and goodness, considering that few actually believe Ohio State is overrated simply for stumbling in decisive games.
Even if the program is hampered by penalties, with implications involved in the next few hours, Pryor makes Tressel looks shrewder.
And because he's the emblem of the Buckeyes empire, he's saved by the NCAA, an industry that bares favoritism, negligence and injustice. But now, the drama has heated up, leaving us wondering why the NCAA never addressed this issue by banishing him for the bowl game, the most acute showdown for the Buckeyes.
As for Tressel, obviously, he wears a stylish red vest with the Ohio State logo on it, dressed in a tie and a shirt collar.
But he doesn't always rely on his ambiguous coaching style, and respectively advances to a favorable bowl game on Pryor's assurance and assertiveness.
The welfare of his eligibility, which probably lifts the popularity in the Big Ten and silence cynical populace devoted the game when the conference finished pitifully 0-5 Saturday in bowl games, is useful to the Buckeyes if they care to win against Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl.
It's strange that he remains eligible to play in the bowl game, giving him the opportunity to lead the Buckeyes to a win. The irony of integrity or sportsmanlike conduct is least important to the NCAA, willing to postpone the suspension until next season, when they clearly could have forced him to miss the bowl game.
In selling his belongings, he pocketed $1,250 in exchange for his 2008 Big Ten ring, his 2009 Fiesta Bowl sportsmanship award and his Gold Pants.
What amazes me is that the NCAA hasn't enforced the rules, but constituted the significance of the consequences if a player violates the rules.
Well, Pryor broke the rules. So doesn't that mean he deserves a suspension?
The rules are irrelevant if they are not meant to be followed. The conspiracy in student athletics is drawing an immediate issue and the members of a shabby association still haven’t reached a solution to oust the wretched farce.
This is all crazy, come to think of it.
It's all mishandled in such a despicable way that the NCAA may have forgotten it held Southern California liable for the Reggie Bush scandal and issued a heavy sanction to punish the school, tarnished ever since the investigation came to a close in which Bush accepted money from a dirty agent.
The backlash in Ohio is huge, although there are a few fans, like always, defending Pryor amid the tiring ordeal.
Through it all, he responded to the harsh criticism by former quarterback and ESPN personality Kirk Herbstreit and derided him in frustration. "Has he beat Michigan?"
All the hoopla had began to decrease somewhat, but then the Columbus Dispatch reported, as of recently, that Pryor had been stopped by the police multiple times in the last three years for driving loaner cars from a used car dealer. In defense, he informed police that he borrowed the car while his Dodge Charger was being repaired in the auto shop.
The university couldn't care less about his misconduct off the field, as long as its star is available in the bowl game.
If he's accepting most of the criticism, isn't the NCAA just as blameworthy as Pryor? I believe so.
But all that matters now is that he listens and learns from his mistakes. Whatever happened to the significance of "Midwestern values," a theory emphasized greatly by the legendary Woody Haynes?
Folks, we live in a different age—a bad age, that is.