Tuesday, September 6, 2011

'Lethal Enforcers'

Tressel lost Buckeye coaching job, now faces NFL suspension.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association is always going on about how they would like to get the pro element away from student-athletes so they can be a truly amateur establishment, but some recent decisions made by National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell appear as though the NCAA has requested aid from the NFL to enforce its own penalties.  The incident in question is the suspensions of former Ohio State University quarterback Terrelle Pryor and head football coach Jim Tressel.  Pryor was supposed to be suspended for the first five games of this current 2011 college football season for breaking NCAA rules (he gave game worn jerseys and other memorabilia in exchange for free tattoos) and Tressel also five games for having knowledge of Pryor's and other players' violations and not reporting it.  Pryor withdrew from Ohio State in the spring amid the turmoil of the situation and Tressel later resigned.  Since Pryor was not eligible for the NFL Draft (he withdrew from OSU past the deadline to enter the draft) he found his way into the NFL through the league's supplemental draft, but under a condition arranged by Goodell that he would face a five game suspension upon entering the league.  Tressel recently took a non-coaching position with the NFL's Indianapolis Colts and is now being suspended for six games due to his conduct at Ohio State.  But the big question here to me is why is the NFL enforcing penalties on behalf of the NCAA when the NCAA insists that it wants to decrease the involvement of the pro element in its sports? 
Coach Cal left UMass on pro-b, no NBA suspension.
Normally if a player has baggage from high school or college heading into a pro sports league, they are affected in that transition by maybe falling lower in a draft than they would have originally been selected or in some cases not getting drated at all.  But to be punished by the pro sports team for something the player did in college is absurd.  Did the New Orleans Saints suspend Reggie Bush when it was discovered that the Bush family received impermissable benefits from an agent during his time at the University of Southern California; a violation that subsequently led to USC being placed on four years probation?  Did the New Jersey Nets punish basketball coach John Calipari when the University of Massachusetts was forced to vacate wins when it was discovered Marcus Camby had been receiving impropers under Coach Cal's watch in Amherst? No and no.  The NCAA is becoming more hypocritical with each passing year and is losing a large portion of its fans in the process.  The problem is that student-athletes at big schools are really just buying their time before they can become pro athletes so they can get paid.  There is really no pride taken in being a student at the university, so as a result there is almost no remorse in accepting something that you know if caught will damage the reputation of that university.  Nonetheless , NCAA rules are NCAA rules and not pro rules.  Blurring the lines between the two only adds gas to the fire that college sports has been trying its damndest to quelch for decades now, and given the severity of its current state, will continue to blaze for decades to come.