Thursday, December 23, 2010

PRYOR, BUCKS PUNISHED PERHAPS BECAUSE NCAA DIDN'T GET A CUT?

Terrelle Pryor was one of six Ohio State players suspended by the NCAA on Thursday. (The Buckeye Times/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell)
Shockwaves were sent through the Ohio State football community when the NCAA announced six Buckeyes received suspensions for receiving improper benefits.

I want to make it clear that, according to the NCAA rulebook, players cannot receive preferential treatment as a student-athlete. I totally understand why the players received punishment for their actions because a rule was broken. But does that mean the rule is a viable one?

The real issue is the filthy greed that the NCAA possesses over its student-athletes.

It’s no secret the NCAA makes an outrageous amount of revenue at the cost of the student-athlete. The NCAA is a large and extremely profitable institution that has made it legal to refuse pay to its work force. You can’t stroll Ohio State’s campus without seeing at least one Terrelle Pryor jersey, which costs $59.95 at the official team website.

Does Pryor see one penny from that transaction?

Not a chance.

Sure, the NCAA can sell player likeness to EA Sports for the popular NCAA Football franchise, but will Dan Herron receive a check in the mail?

No, sir.

Dan Herron
(TBT/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell)
My biggest issue with the decision to suspend Pryor, Herron, DeVier Posey, Mike Adams, Solomon Thomas and Jordan Whiting is the complete disregard for the players eligibility in the Sugar Bowl. If what these guys did was wrong and they had broken a rule, shouldn't the proper punishment include sitting out the Sugar Bowl?

Apparently not, considering the NCAA is set to profit on national stage based on the marketability of a player (like Pryor) in ad revenue and ticket sales. Based on the explanation given by Kevin Lennon, the NCAA vice president of academic and membership affairs, it sounds pretty clear to me that the possibility of the NCAA losing revenue from these suspensions just wasn't in the cards.

The NCAA policy allows suspended players to participate in a bowl game if it was reasonable at the time the student-athletes were not aware they were committing violations, according to a statement released.

The NCAA cannot honestly believe that these six Buckeyes were clueless about potential violations for selling memorabilia, can they?

Whether they will ever admit it or not, it's all about the cash for the NCAA, but heaven forbid if a player looks to sneak a little on the side. How hypocritical is that?

But I’d like to look at this issue as a fellow Ohio State student. I just wrapped up my first quarter as a Buckeye. I receive student loans that cover the cost of all of my classes and books, so nothing is coming out of my pocket at this point in my life to pay for school, which can be compared to having a full scholarship like the majority of football players.

It’s hard enough to live as a broke college student, but to be a broke college student with no income is poverty in its fullest.  I know guys who eat Ramen noodles twice every day because they take too many classes to hold a job.

Nonetheless, being broke should not give these guys reason to knowingly break the rules. They committed misconduct and punishment is rewarded properly. The NCAA, though, completely ignored a Sugar Bowl suspension for these players because, in the end, they would have lost revenue.

It’s a joke to think the NCAA makes millions of dollars off of these athletes and then drops its lofty hammer when these kids try to make a dollar.

Maybe the NCAA would have handled this situation differently if, for example, Pryor’s dad had sold his son’s gold pants.

I guess we'll never know.