Recently, five Ohio State University football players were suspended by the NCAA. No, not for the BCS Sugar Bowl tonight, but for five games most notably next season!
The players to be suspended are significant contributors for the overrated Buckeyes, including quarterback Terrelle Pryor, leading rusher Daniel Herron, No. 2 wide receiver DeVier Posey, All-Big Ten offensive tackle Mike Adams and backup defensive end Solomon Thomas.
Ironically, Pryor sold his sportsmanship award from the 2008 Fiesta Bowl, along with his 2008 Big Ten championship ring. Most deplorable to Ohio State fans with common sense, is that he sold his “gold pants.” This gold charm (revered by Buckeye Nation) depicting a pair of football pants, is given to all players and coaches following a victory over the rival, University of Michigan. He must also repay $2,500 for selling the three items.
Herron must repay $1,150 for selling his football jersey, pants and shoes for $1,000 and receiving discounted services worth $150. Posey must repay $1,250 for selling his 2008 Big Ten championship ring for $1,200 and receiving discounted services worth $50. Adams must repay $1,000 for selling his 2008 Big Ten championship ring. Thomas must repay $1,505 for selling his 2008 Big Ten championship ring for $1,000, his 2008 gold pants for $350 and receiving discounted services worth $155.
A sixth player, freshman linebacker Jordan Whiting, who received a discount on tattoos, must sit out the first game of the 2011 season and pay $150 to a charity.
Ohio State Athletic director Gene Smith concluded a news conference by addressing the issue with a lame joke, at a time when this is not a joking matter. “We might," he said with a smile, “hire a tattoo person and put them in the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.”
Are you kidding me?
Buckeye fans are in denial, actually forgiving the players of their actions. I feel sorry for them. They really just do not comprehend the situation.
Sources close to the players stated that the reason they sold their materials were to support their families. Because of this, they had no choice, but to commit significant rules violations and receive improper benefits, while also having enough time to get inked up.
And then the NCAA did not suspend the players for the Sugar Bowl because they “did not receive adequate rules education during the time period the violations occurred.”
Buckeye fans…your program is corrupt and you should be embarrassed by what’s come of your once proud institution.
Head coach Jim Tressel has built an incredible program that truly honors Ohio State traditions and history. He has instilled pride into Buckeye Nation. Tressel was once of high morals and integrity. He’s won a national championship, wins Big Ten Championships, and most importantly, he doesn’t lose to Michigan.
However, Tressel appears to be just another commoner in the NCAA trash. He has the opportunity to right the ship. He should bench the five players that committed violations and prohibit them from the stadium. In doing so, he would take a stand for his university and program.
By not allowing these players to play in the Sugar Bowl, Tressel would send a loud, prominent message to all of college football that he is a true leader and Ohio State is an elite program for more than just football. He would set himself apart from the trash by breaking away from the norm, putting right before wrong.
I don’t expect he will do so. I expected more from Coach Tressel and of “The” Ohio State University. If he allows those players to play, he will be just another lackey in the NCAA, placing monetary considerations over honor, respectability and integrity.