Thursday, June 2, 2011

Who's Kidding Who?

Who’s kidding who?

I, along with countless thousands of young men played college football.  Some of those same college football players became coaches in college football.  Some of those college football coaches became college head coaches.  And some of those college head coaches became administrators.

There have been few changes in the pure game of football.  The players are a little bigger, faster, and stronger.  The equipment is a little more advanced.  The rules make the game a little safer.  However, the basic premise of the game and everything surrounding the game remains basically the same.

With that being said, how can such egregious acts of non compliance go on with The Ohio State Football program unbeknownst to those who run it?  Did the coaches, compliance department, and the administrators at The Ohio State University all get their degrees at the University of Mars?  The last time I checked, I played the same college football that these guys played, coached, and administrated.  Way back when I played, we couldn’t make a phone call without someone higher up knowing with whom we were speaking.  So how can the last 8 years be such an enigma to these men with whom we are entrusting our sons?

It is what it is.  There is no way that I can believe that Jim Tressel, the vest, the man who wrote The Winner’s Manual, the man who wears his faith on his sleeve, did not know what was going on in his own program.  Furthermore, I find it hard to believe that athletic director, Gene Smith, the chairman of the NCAA selection committee for college basketball, did not know what was going on in his most lucrative program.  It is what it is.  I call foul on the whole thing.  The coaching staff, athletic department and the compliance department all are culpable.

Jim Tressel is endeared by all those who bleed Scarlett and Gray.  Rightfully so.  He led The Buckeyes to 7 Big Ten championships.  He led the team to 9 victories against Michigan.  He led the team to 8 BCS bowl appearances.  He attracted the best of the best recruits to sign on to wear the Scarlett and Gray.  All this being said, he brought millions if not billions of dollars to the university.  Maybe this is the reason such blissful ignorance became contagious over the years?  Maybe this is why the last 6 months have resembled a bad marathon of The Three Stooges, the episodes with Shemp, not Curly.

The brand will survive, but I have to call a spade a spade.  This is what happened.  Kids made mistakes.  Kids got caught in those mistakes.  Sometime before the story broke, coaches and administrators found out about mistakes but tried to find a way to make the mistakes go away.  Then came the collateral damages.  The cover-up became worse than the infraction.  A person or people lied.  Many people got caught.  Unfortunately, I think there is more to come.

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