Being a little late to the Tressel-bashing party, I can't help but feel like this whole thing is just an idiotic charade put on by the NCAA to maintain what they feel as "preserving the integrity of the game." A quick background on the matter, five Ohio State players (including DeVier Posey and Terrelle Pryor) sold their 2010 Rose Bowl memorabilia last year and purchased tattoos in exchange for the items. As it turns out via an e-mail, Tressel knew about the situation when he scolded them this January for putting the well-being of the team at risk. Conveniently enough, all five of the Ohio State guys involved in the situation were not suspended for the Sugar Bowl, a game in which the Bucks pulled out a squeaker in the last moments.
Because Tressel failed to notify the athletic director or anybody in the NCAA that matter (Tressel pled ignorance in saying he didn't know what the chain of command was), he was suspended for two games, but asked that he serve the same penalty as that of the players. The Sweater Vest will now miss four non-conference games (two being against Miami and Colorado) and the Big 10 opener against the Michigan State Spartans.
Big whoop. Does anybody care? Sure, the preaching that Tressel did during the press conferences before the Sugar Bowl to the players looks absolutely silly in light of these revelations. Here Tressel was, behind his feigned sense of dignity, telling the players that they need to make up for this mistake all the while being aware of the entire situation. So basically, he lied. A pretty slimy thing to do if you ask me.
However, the bigger issue as I see it is with the NCAA. Tressel lied for sure, but I take offense to the fact that the NCAA is creating these imaginary crimes and then basically forcing people like Jim Tressel to weave their way through the loopholes. Let's keep in mind, Dez Bryant didn't entirely get suspended two seasons ago for hanging out with Deion Sanders; he was suspended for lying about it. Why did he lie? Because of what he thought the NCAA Storm Troopers would do to him if he told the truth.
It's ridiculous in the first place to have this prohibition on selling materials. It's theirs; let them sell or keep the items if they wish. Even though they technically broke the rules, I don't care if they lie about it because this rule is completely inane and illegitimate in my eyes. The reason it is completely inane and illegitimate? Well, that would probably be because the NCAA makes so much money off of the backs of their student athletes. It's true that you may as well be paying student athletes (on scholarships) so that they don't wind up tens of thousands of dollars in debt and coming out of it with an education, but that's another matter for another day. The point is, the players are kept in a non-profiteering stranglehold and restricted from benefiting themselves, all the while the NCAA makes a ton of money and jersey sales, ticket sales, and all that jazz.
Questions? Links? (Insert Corny Joke About Being Mad About Something I Wrote)? E-Mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org