It never seems to amaze me at the hypocrisy of the NCAA's ruling body. Yesterday, five Ohio State players were found to have sold some items (Big 10 Championship rings; jerseys; game pants). Four players (including QB Terrelle Pryor) were suspended for their first five games next year, and one player was suspended for just one game next year. BUT...they're all allowed to play in this year's Sugar Bowl. Mark May, if you haven't seen or heard, gave the strongest comments yet against the NCAA, saying that if it was the Mallett kid from Arkansas (who is a stud...saw him in person against the 'Cocks this year) or anyone in the SEC, they would be suspended for the next game instead of next year. So, why did the NCAA allow Pryor and his teammates to play in the Sugar Bowl? The NCAA said the five players did not know they could not sell those items because they thought they owned them. Why wasn't Cam Newton punished any further (he was ruled ineligible for 24 hours the week of the SEC Championship) for his Dad shopping him around? The NCAA said Newton had no knowledge that his Dad was shopping him around. Funny, because if you read the Sports Illustrated article on Newton from this past Fall, he said that when it came down between Mississippi State and Auburn, he let his Dad decide for him. So, the NCAA punishes student-athletes for selling items for personal benefit, but want their star athletes available for big-time bowl games to make sure they make them the big bucks. Here are some great examples of the NCAA hypocrisy.
1. Former Ohio State QB Troy Smith was suspended for the 2004 Alamo Bowl and 2005 season opener for accepting $500 from a booster.
2. Georgia WR A.J. Green missed the first four games of this season for selling his bowl jersey to an agent for $1,000.
3. Former Oklahoma State WR Dez Bryant was suspended the final ten games of his senior season for TALKING to Deion Sanders.
4. Two UNC players were ruled ineligible this year for accepting jewelry and travel accomodations ranging from $5,000 to $6,000.
I know there's more, and we could go on for days, but yesterday's ruling just proves that the NCAA could be the biggest scam organization in America. My favorite quote from yesterday came from Ohio State's AD, Gene Smith: "We have a lot of fans going down there (to the Sugar Bowl). You have a lot of people who are committed to this bowl game." Of course, he said being suspended the first five games of next year was punishment enough. He also said the university wasn't explicit enough to the players that they could not resell any of this stuff. Sorry, not buying it.
I'm anxious to see what my fellow Terp fans think about this.