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OSU in Trouble, but NCAA Needs Changing

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I think everyone gets it by now. Ohio State football has dug itself a hole that not even Terrelle Pryor could launch a football out of because of multiple accusations of crossing the strict boundaries the NCAA has in place. Whether it be the discounted cars, selling memorabilia, withholding information from the NCAA or getting tatted up for free, Ohio State certainly isn't the only university to have done this; they just weren't as good at keeping it under wraps. But that's not the point. Being a Wisconsin Badger fan, I dislike everything Ohio State more than anyone except for those stationed in Ann Arbor, but I think the school is getting a raw deal...and then some.

I certainly won't defend getting discounts on things just for being a college athlete. It shouldn't matter who you are; getting something at a lower price than the next person shouldn't be allowed unless you have a coupon. But how does this have anything to do with the NCAA? Isn't this a matter for, I don't know, local authorities to be dealing with? Now I'm sure that there is investigation ongoing with the Columbus police and all that, but in no way should these kids be punished by the NCAA. The NCAA shouldn’t even be involved. The focus should be placed on the guy who's basically giving away the keys to a Mercedes Benz. Do you really think it was the players’ ideas to walk over to the nearest Dodge dealership and demand that they get a car for a cheaper price because they play football? It's been something that this dealership has done for years for whatever reason (I honestly can't think of any good ones), and so these players simply fell in line and accepted the bargain. The same goes for the owner at the tattoo parlor, although it's not nearly as big of an issue money-wise. Yes, these are division I college football players who are receiving fame and recognition at a very young age, not to mention a majority doing it for free (for the record, I am in no way in support of student-athletes getting pay for play), but that's not the issue at stake.

I know what the argument against the Buckeye players are; they should know the NCAA regulations that don’t allow accepting items for a lower price. And I totally agree. Rules are rules. My argument is that this isn't something the NCAA shouldn't be sticking their nose in in the first place. If you don't agree with me on the discounted materials not warranting punishment issue, then what about selling memorabilia? This is highway robbery compared to the tattoo and car discounts. These players have earned rings, trophies, plaques and what not as a result of their accomplishments on the football field. They belong to the players and no one else. So why can't they sell them to whomever they please? Because they play in the NCAA? Baloney. How does this apply to anyone else who earns something while attending college? Just look at the kid who wins a trophy for winning the intramural basketball championship or an award for being the president of PRSSA. These rewards could be sold along in minutes and it wouldn't matter a lick to anyone. The student-athlete earned their rewards. Even though I personally would never sell something as prestigious as a Big Ten conference championship ring nor anything of that nature had I played on a team that earned such an award, you should be allowed to take part in such an action without feeling as though you committed a felony.

But here we are. Ohio State players and former head coach Jim Tressel are all being crushed by allegation after allegation. Tressel, one of the premier college football coaches and best motivators in the sport, is gone, probably forever, and can no longer use his position of power to motivate and guide young men. One of college football's brightest young stars in Terrelle Pryor, although he (allegedly) drove with a suspended license, may never see the field again at Ohio State. Several other Buckeyes face similar NCAA sanctions. They have partially themselves to blame, but the big bad wolf that is better known as the NCAA should really be the ones looking itself in the mirror. It's time to rewrite the old rulebook so that division I student-athletes can live like everyone else.


0 sean 2011-06-02 16:08 #1
the players knew what they were doing was against the rules, and when they got caught they took their punishment in stride. These players, by playing in the ncaa, agreed to follow their rules, they are already rewarded with free educations, which the rest of us struggle to pay off for years after graduation. These players dont appreciate was was given to them. that being said the real issues came about when tressel lied in the face of the ncaa investigators. He made himself out to be a man with the highest integrity, then turned out to be a liar. even past players have expressed their frustration that tressel held certain players to a different set of rules from the rest, all for a few wins on the football field.

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