Good Thing the Game Doesn’t Count

Good job, Buckeyes.  Good Job.

Big news out of Columbus today as rumors are beginning to run rampant concerning the Buckeyes and possible NCAA rules violations. 

According to reports, several Buckeyes received free tattoos from a Columbus tattoo shop in exchange for their autographs.  Among those believed to be involved in the signature bartering are quarterback Terrelle Pryor and running back Dan Herron.  While there has yet to be any proof that wrong doing occurred, it is quickly spiraling into a huge national story.

Should the Buckeyes be found in violation of NCAA rules, there is a very strong possibility that those who took part could find themselves suspended for the Sugar Bowl on January 4.  This would be a huge blow for a team that is looking to get the SEC monkey off of it’s back against Arkansas.  Losing Pryor would be the biggest blow for the team because he is the most integral part of the OSU offensive attack.  Losing Pryor immediately makes Arkansas the favorite and there is very little in the way of evidence to think otherwise.

Of course, OSU is already in spin control.  OSU’s athletic director will be meeting with the media today to address the situation.  Terrelle Pryor also came to his defense last night on Twitter stating explicitly “I paid for my tattoos.”  Thanks for the reassurance TPeezy2.  I’m not worried at all now.

As bad as things may look for the Buckeyes right now there is a silver lining to all of this.  The Buckeys are playing in a BCS bowl game.  There is no way that the BCS, NCAA, or sponsors are going to allow key players, specifically Pryor, to be suspended for the Sugar Bowl.  No Pryor would remove any and all interest in the game.  Less interest means lower ratings, loss of ad revenue, and would render the game itself meaningless… not that it isn’t meaningless to begin with, but I digress.  My point is that greed will prevail and the Buckeyes will get either a slap on the wrist, or “further investigation will be needed” and suspensions won’t occur until the beginning of next year when OSU plays one of their powder-puff non-conference opponents.

Regardless of how you come out on this, it points to a much bigger issue that keeps showing its ugly face year after year.  The issue of course being that everyone is getting rich off of college athletes except for the athletes.  If they attempt to profit in any way from their fame or who they are, the NCAA comes down on them like none other.  Fact of the matter is that this case against the Buckeyes isn’t even that bad, at least in my opinion.  Free tattoos for a few autographs… really?  That’s a big deal?  I just don’t see it.  Whether or not you agree with me is up to you.  All I know is that they could have done a lot worse things.

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