It’s cold. The roads are busy. Store lines are long. It’s late December. And the NCAA is corrupt.
Five players were found to have sold awards, gifts, and university apparel, plus receive improper benefits in 2009. In addition to missing five games next season, [Terrelle] Pryor, Mike Adams, Daniel Herron, Devier Posey, and Solomon Thomas must repay money and benefits ranging in value from $1,000 to $2,500. The repayments must be made to a charity.
Pryor has to repay $2,500 for selling his 2008 Big Ten championship ring, a 2009 Fiesta Bowl sportsmanship award and his 2008 Gold Pants, a gift from Ohio State. Adams, Herron, Posey, and Thomas are all required to pay lesser amounts for similar violations.
So they can’t sell stuff that was given to them? And how exactly are they supposed to pay back that much money? By receiving more improper benefits? But that’s not the real issue here. It’s that these guys are all allowed to play in the Sugar Bowl against Arkansas—a game with a $17 million payout for each team and countless sponsorship dollars for the NCAA.
Technically, the players are eligible for the bowl game because the NCAA “determined they did not receive adequate rules education during the time period the violations occurred.”
Education? Really? Then what the hell were the six full-time compliance officers employed by Ohio State doing?
Despite what the NCAA says, it comes down to the money—like it always does. If Pryor doesn’t play, ratings drop and sponsors get mad. If the NCAA could find a way to let Ohio State’s starting quarterback and number-one wide receiver play in one of the highest grossing, most viewed games of the year, yet still punish both of them, they were going to. Spineless.
But at this point, we shouldn’t expect anything less.