All sort of really interesting things have landed in my e-mail over the weekend but at the forefront seems to be Ohio State Football Coach Jim Tressel's resignation amid allegations that he violated various NCAA rules. I can't say that he did or didn't. What I can say is that he was a class act for the ten years that he coached the Buckeyes and I wish him well. I also wish Luke well in the coming season and I shall remain forever a loyal Buckeye fan and a pox on the fair weather ones.
I have had experience with the NCAA and its rules and know how that they rival the Justinian Code in complexity. My journey with them began in the spring of 1993 when my son started getting letters from various colleges (usually swimming coaches) asking him to come visit them. That summer we visited a few schools that he thought interesting. When he went back to school in the fall, I called the A.D. and asked him for a copy of the NCAA recruiting rules. He was astounded because no one had ever asked for them in all the years he held the position. I was astounded that no one had ever asked for them. I asked for them because over the years I'd read in the sports section about kids' losing out on scholarships because of recruiting violations and we didn't want the Dynamic Duo to miss out on a scholarship for some silly reason or another. He studied them carefully and kept us informed as interested coaches kept calling. The whole thing is crazy and I can see how kids -- a kid like Terrelle Pryor especially -- can get swept up in all the attention and make huge mistakes. My son wasn't in the big leagues but there were days when he came home and said, "If any coaches call tonight, tell them that I'm not here." Heck! I even got calls from coaches who just wanted to talk about what a great kid my kid was. I noticed one week that no had coaches called and mentioned it and Eric said that under NCAA rules, they weren't allowed to call that week. See what I mean?
I'm not making excuses for anyone. If errors were made, the guilty parties have to face the consequences. One of the rules I live by is this: If you're gonna play the game, you had better know the rules -- ignorance has never been a viable defense. Another is: The only really stupid question is the one you don't ask. That's the one that usually gets you in trouble.
Yeah, it's a mess in Columbus and yeah, Jim Tressel will be missed but we are the Buckeyes; we have been through a lot before this and we will live to fight another day (and win!). Here's the song that popped into my mind when someone asked me (me?) what we'd do without Tressel: