Spare me your false indignation

In a world where helping your father try to extort $180,000 gets you a Heisman and a NC shot, it seems disingenuous to suspend a player for selling his school ring just so that he could have enough money to buy gas and take a girl to the movies.

So spare me the bumper sticker outrage.

Let’s read between the lines and put what transpired into plain English (based on what’s been reported as of this afternoon): back in 2008, several OSU players, all freshmen, sold some personal memorabilia for petty cash and/or discounts on other services. At the time, none of the players knew that this was technically an NCAA violation, as they had not yet gotten to that part of the “NCAA education” course mandated to them by the OSU Athletics Dept. Later, after taking this course and realizing that their previous actions were inappropriate, the players refused to volunteer their earlier misbehavior.

It was this latter decision that apparently influenced the severity of their punishment. After completing the course, all players are given an opportunity to volunteer any earlier misconduct. Not doing so puts a player at risk of having a more severe punishment later on. These Buckeyes, out of shame or fear, did not do so, and a five game punishment was the result.

Make no mistake: what these young men did was wrong, and was a violation of the “special benefits” clauses included in the NCAA rulebook. However, was it “five games suspended” wrong? OSU homerism aside, it’s ridiculous.

To this author, the suspensions aren’t as shameful as the false indignation being displayed all over ESPN News and college sports radio this afternoon. This wasn’t pay-for-play, agents with suitcases full of cash, or free housing for players and their families. These players simply sold items that they believed belonged to them. In their freshman year. To earn some needed extra money.

So here’s where the team stands: In no way, shape, or form is it likely that Pryor, Herron, Adams, or Posey will sit out for five games next season. Either the penalty will be appealed and reduced to a one- or two-game suspension, or all four players will likely just declare for the (possible) NFL draft.

If the latter is the case, then the Sugar Bowl will be the last time we’ll see the three most dynamic players of the past few years in Buckeye uniforms. And it’s not certain whether the distractions caused by the suspensions will help or hurt the team’s focus going into the game.

Several things are for certain, however. The Sugar Bowl will be a media circus, ESPN will continue its hypocrisy of deifying Cam Newton while demonizing Terrell Pryor, and PSU & UM fans will enjoy the ensuing schadenfreude (which is really just born from jealousy over not having any championship memorabilia to sell, or having some that nobody would want to buy anyway).



  1. Joe Schad reports that “…Pryor’s high school coach, Ray Reitz, [said] that Pryor sold items because ‘he wanted to help his mother.'”

  2. Couldn’t agree more. Violations occurred and should be punished. But the NCAA continues its failures by not applying any common sense to these types of situations. Add that to a total lack of consistency and an obvious desire to protect its own financial interests, and you get a corrupt governing body.

  3. Hocking Hick says


    False indignation? FU!!!!

  4. I’m not all that happy about them selling awards, but 5 games seems harsh.

    It seems like the suspensions will be reduced to a couple games, hopefully less.

  5. @Hocking Hick – They knew they’d be getting more than one pair!

  6. Hocking Hick says

    @ el Kaiser — Funny. But I’d want a whole closet full.

  7. Can we be honest about something here?

    Aren’t the gold pants kinda losing their value anyway?

    Buy low, sell high.

  8. Ummm. PSU has the exact same “Championship Memorabilia” and earned it by beating OSU at home. They sold it because it they knew in their hearts they were not the real Big Ten champs and it had no value to them. TRUTH

  9. I find it very laughable that the Keebler Elf look alike himself ( Colin Cowherd ) was throwing stones trying to compare these infractions to the likes of his beloved USC Trojans , and he kept reminding us today how many times he ran into the holier than thou Urban Myer in the hallowed halls of Bristol and raised some questions.

    I am sure the greatest player in College football( Timothy Teabag ) never ever….ever…..evvvvver took a 100 dollar…..or more handshake from the honest and squeeky clean SEEEECCCCC booster bretheren…….of course, that behavior is rewarded.

  10. sportsMonkey says

    @Homer: hence the “having some that no one would want to buy anyway” part. Who cares about the memorabilia from a second-rate Big 10 team? The only PSU merchandise I’d be interested in is JoePa’s soiled khaki trousers from the 2006 game. I think I’d get a ton of $$ for those on eBay.

  11. Let’s say I’m running around town with a stack full of monopoly money. One proprietor suggests I give him monopoly money and we’ll call it even. Cool. Man, this shit is like cash. Hey other proprietor, will you accept my monopoly money? Sure. Damn, good thing I got the never ending supply of monopoly money. The one proprietor gets a little late on payments. Then the big bad banks come and want their money, but they want real money, not monopoly money. Now the business doesn’t have any real money, just monopoly money. Well all the other businesses have monopoly money too. Yes, but their time to pay the bank hasn’t come yet.

    Moral of the story: Don’t buy shit with monopoly money.

  12. sportsMonkey says

    @Poe: zOMG you owe me a new keyboard. LOfreakinL. 😀

  13. Is it hypocritical for Craig James to throw stones our way……Mr. SMU / Pony express scandal himself…

    I mean he was spreadin the sh** pretty thick on last nights Poinsietta Bowl broadcast….

  14. Ridiculous. Appalling. This is what drives me further and further away from sport. It’s the system that’s allows kids to manipulate it. Shame on the NCAA for having these loopholes occur and not being proactive as it’s reared its ugly head again. I don’t know the answer. All i know is I’m disappointed in our boys, not just in my home state, but in just the game. What happened to the “game”? It’s has become something else…

  15. @ Ed

    Next thing you know, ESPN will have Andre Ware giving Jim Tressel sportsmanship lessons. Oh he already did that, you say? Good thing Andre Ware is a beacon in these dark times.

  16. Can someone cite the NCAA rule they say was violated? (Searching for “special benefits” in the NCAA Division I Handbook shows no results) How do you distinguish between selling a used textbook (bought with scholarship money) and selling a ring the school gave you?

  17. Who knows. It’s pathetic. Textbooks, rings, golden trousers…one would think after Clarret & Bush…well whatever. What’s done is done. Don’t hate the playa, you know the line.

    The problem is the system. Everything from the BCS all the way down to the infractions committee stink. It’s an arcane system that can only cater to the non revenue generating programs. The minute you enter Men’s Basketball & Football, it’s a whole new script that hasn’t been written. Fewer than 20 schools break even on collegiate sports. Yes, 20. It is grossly inappropriate for universities to even talk about paying student athletes when you look at that whole pie.

    It’s the perception of wealth in big-time programs as well as the commercialism that is driving the discussions about paying athletes which in my mind is the most ethical issue here. Yes, more revenue is a good thing, especially for our Bucks, yet that model can’t compromise the collegiate model when you look at the entire spectrum of college athletes competing in NCAA programs today.
    The fish stinks from the head, the NCAA is trying to protect that balance and as we see here on MSG and other blogs…they are doing a bang up job. Hmm, NCAA, FEMA, NCAA, FEMA…

    A change needs to occur. The NCAA needs to establish a new set of guidelines that is symmetrical and represents an even distribution of values and probabilities to prevent these problems from occurring in the first place. It needn’t be a case by case issue. It should be clear and to the point. Kind of like Jim’s wardrobe. Yet that data is skewed and thrown out as soon as money enters the equation. To me, the NCAA is no different today than from a common criminal.

  18. Well, so I know I am a bit late in my note here… I agree with the sentiment about espn wishing the worst for pryer and the Buckeyes…. I hate that station. So I have one comment and one question… First the question….
    If they sold these as Freshmen, isn’t that a bit sad that they didn’t even have a full year under their belts and they are selling items that are supposed to be special to most Buckeyes?

    Since ESPN has the big contract to carry NCAA football games and specifically bowl games, thAt they prosper from this contract isn’t then a fact that Mark May and patty Forde are hypocrites since they are on the payroll of Espn and they continue to rail on how Universities and conferences and bowls keep making big bucks and the athletes are pawns, that the universities make money on selling jerseys and tickets, etc… . To me that is e true definition of being a hypocrite….

  19. Let me get this straight, you need a class to tell you not to sell your Big Ten Championship Ring and your jersey?

    I knew you didn’t need to go to class to play football for the Buckeyes, but heh, maybe that should change too?

  20. GoBlue- How are all those extra practices and late night shredding paper parties going for you guys at scUM?

    Oh yeah thats right you guys are on probation from the NCAA.

  21. GoBlue-

  22. osubuckeye06221961 says

    Once again, one sees the omnipotent NCAA passing jundgment on yet another university, before getting all the facts pertinent to the case. And as has been the case far too often with ESPN, Mark May pontificates on how the “evil university” (Ohio State) allows its student athletes to commit a haneous and inexcusable crime of selling personal items (not to be confused with items that belong to the Ohio State University) not for there own benefit, but to help out their families, as they adjust to the costs associated with higher learning. A five game suspension? Are you kidding me? And yet the spectrum of media that circulated around Cam Newton and his father’s actions where played down, and in the end the almighty SEC dodged another bullet! Does anyone beside me see the unprecedented imparity being imposed by the NCAA? And as for you, Mr. May, you might want to think before you speak, or start looking for another job! I agree that the Ohio State athletes in question should have come forward to tell the university what they did, after they knew it could possibly be an NCAA infraction. Should they be punished? Yes, a game suspension at the most. It is clear to me that the NCAA needs to spend a great deal more time after this bowl season to deliberate and consider new rules that will encompass a broader area of issues, especially moral issues, and their respective penalties, should they be broken. Leaving these punishments to an otherwise broken governing body of the NCAA results in punishments being administered by preference, rather than by established guidelines, and further diminishes collegiate athletics to an even lower degree of degredation.

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