It was Memorial Day 2011, the unofficial start of summer. We could’ve spent the day doing what normal people do on holidays – drinking and watching a Matthew McConaughey marathon on TBS.
As soon as the news hit in the morning that Jim Tressel had finally given up the ship at Ohio State, college football addicts knew their holiday was ruined. With the imminent release of the exposé from George Dohrmann – who has won a Pulitzer Prize, don’t ya know – that took down the Sweater Vest, we had been sentenced to a day full of “refresh.”
And then when Sports Illustrated finally delivered the goods almost 12 hours after The Senator had fallen on his sword, it was all so undeniably… Um, what’s the right word here?
If you needed any convincing that Tressel is a lying phony fake of a fraud, you should have got what you needed. Come on, though. Those of us who don’t sleep with a Brutus the Buckeye pillow figured that out long ago.
If you were looking for a compelling case that OSU players have little compunction about breaking NCAA rules, you got that, too. Those tattoo sleeves adorning the arms of the Buckeyes’ big uglies will probably haunt Gene Smith’s dreams all the way to the unemployment line.
Yes, Tressel and Ohio State are undoubtedly in hot water with the Association. As a fan of the sport who enjoys watching fair competition, I’m behind this 100 percent. I’d like to feel like teams are matching up on a somewhat level playing field.
Still, when all was said and done, I felt like I was being told that I should be upset about something that barely registered on my “little sensor.”
What did the Ohio State players involved in Tatgate do wrong by trading their own personal memorabilia for some ink? We’re not talking human trafficking here.
Ultimately, this only becomes a problem within the context of the NCAA’s rules and objectives. And what’s the purpose of those rules, exactly? What greater good do they serve?
So you’ll have to excuse me if I can’t muster up any manufactured outrage about a kid trading his shoulder pads for a new car. Sounds like a sweet deal to me.
Want real outrage? Think about how much time and money gets wasted chasing these scofflaws down.