First off, I think Jim Tressel knew that his players broke the rules, and I think he lied hoping that the issue would go away. Once the issue came to light he owned up to what he did, because he had nowhere else to turn. With that being said, is anyone surprised? This is the state of collegiate athletics. It’s a system based on the exploitation of individuals that are denied the opportunity to profit off of their skills (The only other place you see this sort of system: The Black Market, Prostitution, Black Market Prostitution, and AAU Basketball. But that’s a different column). Big time college sports are dirty, and when you’re in a dirty industry it’s hard to be clean and successful. Just ask Randy Shannon of the University of Miami what a clean program gets you (fired, in case you’re wondering).
Ohio State publicly reprimanded Jim Tressel yesterday in a press conference. They suspended him for 2 games and docked him $250,000. To someone this might be justice. I just call it hypocrisy. The very players HE covered for got a five game suspension, and Tressel only got two? At the same time isn’t it also hypocritical that Terrell Pryor and the tattoo five get to play? But then again, this is the spoils of collegiate athletics. It was also hypocritical that Cam Newton got to play last season, win the National Championship and a Heismann Trophy? And while we’re at it lets sprinkle a little Reggie Bush scandal in there. The entire scope of college sports is hypocritical. So, can we please stop the farce that is, “College Student-Athletes” and start paying these young professionals.
There is too much money involved in college sports to call it amateur athletics. Even Don King thinks college sports are immoral (okay, maybe his vote doesn’t really count, but still). There needs to be a union to represent these players. I propose the idea of giving players the option of a scholarship or cash (I’m talking straight cash homie). The amount of money would be collectively bargained through the union. If players opt for the cash, then they would forfeit the right to all amenities normally supplied by the university including tuition, books, and housing (I’m talking about being a straight pro homie).
However, until changes are made, these are the rules. Jim Tressel violated the rules, and should be punished. You can suspend him and his sweater vest for the entire season, but it’s not going to fix the problem. You have to end this idea of amateur athletics, and start compensating players. Now excuse me I have to wire some money to Thad Matta.
-Kortney Shane Williams
Comedian and Writer