It is no secret how disgusting college athletics, especially at the big-time level, have become. Calling these players at major programs "amateurs" would be funny, if it wasn't so sad and absurd. But, it isn't sad because they guys get pampered with anything they want, often times are given extra "benefits", and academically are not pushed like your average student. What is so sad about the way college athletics at the high major level are run is this:
BOTH THE NCAA AND THE PROGRAMS THEMSELVES ACT AS IF IT IS NOT TRUE!!!!!
It is hypocrisy at its worst. Maybe I am in the minority here, but I would respect all involved if the NCAA would admit that they have rampant violations and cheating going on, and they are trying to fix it. I would respect the NCAA so much more if they would admit they allowed Ohio State players to play in the bowl game because of the TV revenue. I would respect Jim Calhoun, Kelvin Sampson, and Bruce Pearl so much more if they would admit that they cheat because everybody else cheats. Instead, they almost all just say it was an "oversight". We sure do have a lot of coaches in this country who seem to have NO IDEA what actually happens in their program.
The entire scandal with the Ohio State football program just highlights the extreme hypocrisy, both with the school and the NCAA. Obviously, those players should have NEVER been allowed to play in the bowl game. If Kentucky's 5 best players did the EXACT same thing, selling their jerseys for cash and tattoos, I would bet every cent to my name they would not have played in the Birmingham Bowl.
But because Ohio State is the cash cow program of this country, and they were playing in the cash cow Sugar Bowl, you couldn't suspend their best players. What would the NCAA officials wipe their arses with if not the revenue generated from that game? So, Ohio State gets to keep those players, leading a win and huge payouts to both the school and NCAA, thanks to plays by kids who are flat-out CHEATERS.
Then Terrelle Pryor is able to pompously pontificate after the game about how much he loves the school and blah blah blah. Of course you love the school. They let you cheat and then play in a BCS bowl.
Let's not forget that it also came out that Pryor and the other Buckeye cheaters were told if they would commit to coming back to Ohio State in 2011 they could play in the bowl game. Why would they do that? Could it be because they are such high-character guys and Tressel loves them so much? Or does he know that Pryor and Co. coming back gives him another BCS bowl and more money? I think we know the hypocritical answer to that one.
Now Jim Tressel is in hot water this week after is was discovered he KNEW about the violations MONTHS before telling the NCAA. I don't care how you want to spin it, that is called a cover-up.
It is supposed to be Tressel's responsibility to tell the NCAA and his A.D. when rules are broken. He didn't do that for fear of losing games. Tressel was at least man enough to admit that part of the reason he kept it to himself was fear of what might happen. But dear lord man, grow a pair and take your lumps. If you are running a dirty program, and we all know you do, then man up and take your consequences when you get caught. Don't treat you fanbase and college football fans in general like we are too stupid to know what happened.
Your guys cheated, you found out, you chose winning over integrity. End of story.
But the biggest hypocrisy of all was this PITIFUL 2-game suspension handed down to Tressel by Ohio State. Again, Ohio State would love for you to believe they are doing this to prove what a clean, tough program they run. No coach is above the law, they would tell you. GARBAGE!!! They did it in hopes the NCAA will not give Tressel the same 5-game suspension they gave Pryor and the other cheaters. And why did OSU choose a 2-game suspension?
Let's look at OSU's early season schedule next season:
at Miami (FL)
Hmmmm, how convenient that Tressel will be available for the first competitive game they play. I would imagine if the 3rd game of Ohio State's season had been Youngstown State, Tressel would have been suspended 3 games. It's a freaking JOKE, and disgusting to the fans who want to enjoy the sport.
And let's not act as if Kentucky is clear of the hypocrisy. When John Calipari came to UK, with his checkered past, many fans and those within the administration felt that the tough compliance officer Sandy Bell would be able to control any wrong-doing. I gotta say, I feel like there has been more controversy in the past 2 seasons than in the 10 previous. But, and this is unfortunate to say, when you recruit the caliber of player that Cal recruits, those guys seem to have more academic and other troubles than most.
Tubby and Gillispie didn't seem to recruit those guys much. Then you read the CNNSI article from yesterday, and this little segment:
"(Sandy) Bell says Calipari has been open to all her questions and intrusions. She has told him he cannot recruit academically risky prospects, and she has backed him off at least two recruits who seemed like trouble."
HELLO? Eric Bledsoe was not an academic risk?
He was the greatest of academic risks. Right this very second, Kentucky is recruiting Trevor Lacey, and most feel he will come to Kentucky. His academic record is incredibly shaky and questionable. Haven't heard any talk of not recruiting him. Why you might ask? Because he can help the basketball team, of course. If Jarrod Polson was "academically questionable" I am sure Kentucky would never have invited him on the team. But Eric Bledsoe has grade issues, and those can be overlooked. And what happened? Kentucky very nearly got in serious trouble because of it. But hell, we won 35 games with him, so it's all good, right?
I don't say that to be critical of Sandy Bell or Coach Cal. Bell has certainly earned her reputation. Coach Cal has helped so many kids, including Bledsoe, get out of tough living situations and earn millions. But I say recruit the kids, even if they have shaky academic records. I don't care. What bothers me is to tell people YOU WILL AVOID THESE KIDS, and then recruit them anyway if they are any good.
In the same way that Ohio State is suspending its coach 3 less games than the players for a similar offense, and he returns just in time for a tough game. Winning over integrity.
The NCAA and Hypocrisy have suddenly become hand in hand. The 300 million sports fans of America know it. Why don't they just admit it? Or freaking change it??