Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Jim Tressel Undone By Greed


     By now, you have probably already checked out the SI.com story on Jim Tressel and his long list of wrongdoings dating back as far as the 1980's at Ohio State and Youngstown State. If you have not, I strongly recommend that you follow the link that I posted yesterday on this blog and read it before you move on with this story. After reading, come back and read the rest of this post.
     What was in the article was not shocking, but then again, I am hard to shock. What was in the article was disgusting. It was Chicago styled politics and graft at its worst level, with everything from no show jobs to rigging raffles after forcing low income kids to buy tickets for prizes that they would never win. It was "discounted" cars. It was drugs and alcohol involving felons. It was all of that and more.
     Gene Smith basically lied when he told the media and Ohio State supporters that the wrongdoing was limited to a select few athletes. It was far more than that. It was multitudes to the higher numbers of current and former Buckeyes who were involved in illegal activities that lesser men have gone to prison for. If Gene Smith honestly believed that the issues were as limited as he said, than his investigation into the issues were a sham, and I have to honestly believe that he spearheaded a shortsighted investigation on purpose, because in his heart of hearts, he had to know how much deeper the involvement went, even if he didn't have it in black and white sitting in front of him.
     Sports Illustrated changed all of that yesterday afternoon when they posted their nuclear bombshell on their website. The print version is available in their June 6th copy. Read it and let it soak in. It is everything that has gone wrong with big money, major college sports in this country. It entails everything that has come to harm the sport that I love along with so many millions of Americans across the country. It seems that in our love for the game, we have pushed the level of competition to the level where it has become a must to cheat to win. The pressure to win promotes this sort of behavior to get the best players to come to your school, so that you can keep on beating your rival. The truth of the matter is that half of these kids should be nowhere near a college campus, because they are not there to learn. They are there as mercenaries to push the cause, to push the earnings, and to push universities to pay huge money to scumbags like Jim Tressel and Bruce Pearl.
     Tressel didn't quit yesterday to help Ohio State save face. He quit to save his own sorry ass. He quit simply for the fact that sanctions have to be coming as a result of all of this. When USC had their appeal denied last week for engaging in a string of improprieties, the Trojans and the Pac-12 stood up on the pedestal and cried from the highest mountain available "what about Ohio State?" And their cries were justified. If the USC investigation was centered mainly on Reggie Bush, what must the penalties be for Ohio State when the wrongdoings were so much more spread out? How hard must the NCAA hammer down on the BUCKeye program as to match the hammer blow that the Trojan program has taken? I say that they have to use the biggest hammer that they have to swing short of the death penalty.

     It seems that with what we now know, Tressel's issues date back to when he was an assistant under Earle Bruce in the mid-80's. How was it that nobody knew what this guy was all about? Enough people certainly know that could have outed him years ago. How did he get away with it for so long? He simply found ways to pay off the people that knew what he was up to. He gave people jobs, and sometimes, they were jobs that these folks didn't even have to show up to. He used a rabid fan base as an intimidation sort. Even now, people are speaking on terms of anonymity, simply because they fear reprisals from the Ohio State Football Community. It would seem that a fan base of a major college in America has taken up the mantle of becoming the local mafia, and people are afraid to speak against it.
     What unraveled Tressel in the end was that he severely underestimated the stupidity of today's young street thug. It seems that modern BUCKeyes like Maurice Clarett and Terrele Pryor and others were simply just too public about what they were doing. It was ignorant and stupid, brazen and callous. Pryor, at his height of severe arrogance, even drove a car that was far beyond his means to the team meeting on Sunday night where Tressel announced to them that he was quitting.

Photo compliments of Yahoo.com
See the above link for story.

     It is now time for the NCAA to act. They have all that they need to move on sanctions against Ohio State, so let the sanctions fly. The only thing that you need to know at this point is that Tressel felt compelled to quit at the mere mention of the SI article and what it entailed. If it were that bad, and as you can see it is, than the NCAA no longer has a chance to turn a blind eye and allow self governance here when it comes to sanctions imposed.
     On the topic of self governance, it should be outlawed altogether at this point. The NCAA has gotten away for a long period of time with acting like an American Idol judge. Rake in huge sums of money without having to actually do anything when push comes to shove but flap your gums and name drop and look important. The time has come for the paper tiger to grow some actual teeth. The NCAA for years has started investigations, and then walked away after a school has slapped themselves on the wrist with a feather. No more. Ohio State and others have lacked institutional control, where the NCAA has lacked control of the institution. The NCAA is as much to blame as anyone else, because by failure to act, they have actually promoted this kind of behavior all in the name of making money. It has to stop now, or they risk losing people to the cynicism that most Americans have been lost to in everyday life.
     The NCAA, by not taking a tougher stand on cheaters and wrongdoers has created a culture of ugliness. Ohio State and USC basked in the glory of the lawless landscape. USC is now paying a price. Some say that it was too harsh, while I say that it was not harsh enough. Now is the time to hit Ohio State like they mean it. The NCAA has a duty to follow through on this and make a meaningful dent, and it has to be as harsh as the law allows for to make a statement, and for the NCAA to finally be able to show that they are serious when it comes to compliance.

     I have to wonder at this point as to where all of the apologists have gone to. When I wrote my Jim Tressel rant back in January (it's available in my archives) I was villainized by a large group of people. I was called an ass, and was essentially told that I knew nothing and all of this would come to pass. Where are all of you now, I wonder? Who was right and who was wrong? If I am to be villainized for shouting out for what I see as wrong in the sport that I love, than I a gladly take the mantle of "Darth Fucking Vader". I refused to minimize my thoughts on the matter because the NCAA and the individual institutions have got to be pushed to do better. They have to be pushed to be better from a standpoint of doing the right thing by their students, their alumni, and by young people everywhere who look up to these programs.
     This is a lesson for youngsters everywhere who think that acting like thugs and sweeping wrong things under the rug is benefical to them. After a while, the dirt builds up, and people start to ask questions about the mound under the hallway carpet. This was as ugky as it gets in America today. What happened at Ohio State is not just about sports, but it is what is pervasive in our society around us. It is why we have people walking our streets acting like they can treat people with indignity and rudeness, with arrogance and deceit. Until now, they have been allowed to act in such a way, because it is uncomfortable to stand up and take a stance against such things. The NCAA has got to be pushed to fix this issue, and we as a people have to demand better behavior from our society, and when it gets bad, we have to take a stand.
     Now I know that I have gotten off on a rant here, and I have taken a turn with this that you may or may not have seen coming, but enough is enough. Are you not tired of having had your head pissed on only to be told that it's harmless rain? The BUCKeyes and Jim Tressel, along with his ass kissing administration consisting of Gene Smith and Gordon Gee have been doing just that. Tressel jumped ship. Gee and Smith should be pushed off the plank. Tressel should be banned from coaching on the amateur level for life. Smith should be working a gas pump and hawking slurpees, because damn, he's oblivious and a bad liar. Gee should just head off to retirement, because he is essentially a bad clown in a cheap bowtie.
     In closing, I was right to post what I did in January. Those of you who took the same stance, you were right too. Those who spoke against us were wrong. Those who backed your BUCKeyes and your coach and your administration were wrong as well. Your perfect "Christian" coach was not so much perfect or "Christian" at the end of the day. He was human and he was greedy, and now it will cost you all because you ignored the warning signs in the road all at the benfit of winning. You won't be winning much when the hammer falls, so I hope that you all enjoyed it when you could. And enjoy the hits that are sure to come, as the show isn't over yet.

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