I know it is Christmas Eve and there is so much more important things to think about but I missed the Ohio State story because of traveling to Alabama to spend Christmas with Lica's family! Well they are my family too, so it's not so bad. But I couldn't let this story go by without adding my spin to the joke that is the NCAA. So it appears that the way to get around any violation is the simple phrase "I didn't know"!
The athletic director wants to excuse the behavior of his athletes because the economy is down so they only sold their items to help their family. You can argue the ethically value of paying athletes all you want, but the fact is there are rules against what they did on the books now so that makes it wrong. And then there is the whole tattoo parlor discount thing. That's a big enough story but the way it has been handled by the NCAA is what gets me.
An SEC receiver sells a jersey and his suspension comes immediately. Another couple of SEC players and a bunch of ACC players go to a party at an agents house and they are suspended from a few games to having their whole career taken away from them. Yet these guys who are probably not coming back anyway get to go to the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans and then serve a 5 game suspension. Sure Pryor was always coming back! Yeah not so much now! I will be very surprised if any of these guys were planning on coming back. That's why they knew it didn't matter if they got caught or not. So the penalty is nothing that bothers them at all. It doesn't hurt the team, it doesn't hurt their draft status, and it sure doesn't hurt their bottom line, but the tattoos might have hurt a little.
Seems a little like the Daddy Newton incident. The rules just don't matter if there isn't any real teeth in the NCAA's penalties. If there is not any more at stake than it appears to be from the last couple of infractions, then why bother even trying to play by the rules? So the NCAA should just place itself on probation. They should not be allowed to offer any rulings for a two year period and no longer be able to determine how we determine a national champion in football!
And a merry Christmas to all!