I have held back from discussing the OSU scandal. I have been biting my tongue and I realized, this is my outlet so I'm going to say what I want to say and I don't care how anyone feels about it.
I read an article on SI yesterday and I agree with him. Let me start by saying this, I'm a Buckeye fan thru and thru. Seriously, my dad refers to Michigan as the State Up North. When my brother considered going to Kent State instead of Miami, my dad said those are Michigan colors. Why would you want to go there? Not Kidding! So, I will stand by them thru thick and thin. I have friends that are Michigan fans. When they start talking trash or bashing my beloved Buckeyes, I will defend them, to an extent. Because, in my opinion, arguing OSU/Michigan football is like arguing about politics or religion. You aren't going to change the other person's opinion, so what's the point?
Here's the deal. People act like they murdered someone. They got discounted tattoos, sold their own awards (which I think is incredibly wrong. It is their "property" yet the NCAA owns it?), got discounted or free cars and who knows what else. Why does everyone act like the same things aren't happening at every university across the country? Don't tell me Cam Newton wasn't getting perks from businesses in Alabama or Sam Bradford didn't get a discount somewhere in Norman, OK because he just won a big game. I guarantee it happens everywhere. Did Terrell Pryor get more than the average player? Did he take advantage of his "celebrity" status in Columbus? Was he going to milk it for everything it was worth? Maybe so. I don't disagree with you there. He was wrong. Because there are players out there that follow the rules and do as their told.
Should Tressel have reported the allegations when he first got that email back in April. Yes. I don't disagree with anyone there either. He was wrong. But, I wasn't in his position. Who knows if my feelings would be different if I was sitting behind that desk. I expected him to step down. I really did. I just think it's sad that "The Tressel Era" ends in this way. When we look about at Tressel's reign at OSU, will people remember the fact that Michigan hasn't beat Ohio State since 2003? I hope that eventually that is what people see, not the scandal that brought him down. Michigan fan, Buckeye hater, whatever...you cannot deny that Jim Tressel and the Buckeyes have dominated Michigan for 6 straight years. I wish Tressel well. I think he is a great guy that made a poor decision and he will forever pay for it.
Yes these athletes get to go to college for free or at a discounted rate. They should be appreciative of that because the majority of the students at their university are going in debt with each course they take. With that being said, the athletes also have a talent that has gotten them where they are and I think they deserve their scholarship. They work hard, not saying the average student doesn't. But, I believe there are added pressures on a college athlete. One day you are playing football in a small town in Pennsylvania, the next day you are the leader of a college football power house and everyone is looking to you for the big win. That has to be stressful. I don't know if I could handle it. So, I give my props to those athletes.
The NCAA benefits from these athletes; the university benefits from these athletes. People aren't buying the #2 jersey for no reason. They're buying it because the QB Pryor wears that number. Maybe his name isn't on the back. But, the little boy down the street is telling his dad he wants a Pryor jersey so dad buys him #2. So, the athletes compensation is their scholarship? Ok. That's great. But, most of the time that scholarship doesn't cover all of their expenses. They can't get a job. Football, Golf, Swimming, etc...that's their job. How do they have time for anything else? So, the athlete decides to sell a few things with their signature on it. Maybe gets a discount on a tattoo they wanted. Drives a car that they didn't pay for. I don't agree with it. But, at 18 years old if someone offered me those same things, it would be hard to turn them down.
Bottom line, I don't agree with what the players did. Can I blame some of them for what they did? Not really because I think I would have been tempted by some of the same things. Am I sad to see Tressel go? Yes. Definitely. Is Pryor leaving a good thing? Most definitely. I think it was the right thing to do. Will he end up with a pro-career? That's still to be decided. I think he is immature and was never really sorry for doing what he did but him leaving is the best thing for OSU. You can hate him or not. I wish him well and in the end he is the one that has to live with what happened. You can hate Pryor if you want. But, it is what it is. Let's move forward. I'm looking forward to seeing what Coach Fickell can do this season and I have a feeling this team just might surprise everyone.
Sorry for such a long rant!