Tuesday, May 31, 2011

It Happens . . . and So It Goes . . .

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:

Gooooooooo Buckeyes!!!!!

Happy Blogging!



  1. I think that in the big school football programs there is far more pressure on the head coach to win than on an NFL head coach. Therefore violations.

    You were very astute,Kay to get the recruiting rules.

  2. Sigh... I loved My Fair Lady and Audrey Hepburn.

  3. You were smart to get the rules. I think a lot of parents have the attitude that since the school gets punished for breaking the rules then they don't have to know the rules cause the blame doesn't fall on them. My hat is off to you for caring about your kid :)

    The NCAA rules have crawled up their own you know what. It needs a total make over.

    And I agree with you, he was a good coach, its a shame for you guys to lose him. The fair weather johnsons are abundant in everything now. I have no respect for fans or people like that.

    Here's to a great year for both of our teams. We play you guys this year :)

  4. Coach Tressel will land on his feet somewhere else, because he is an excellent head coach.

    It's a shame that major college football has become what it is today. Overpaid coaching staffs pursue wins with a zeal that makes rules violations almost inevitable.

    I think it starts with the big money (the root of all evil?) and we ought to put the blame where it belongs--with the college presidents. If they had the courage to rein in compensation for coaches, athletic directors, and players, we might have a chance to return to something approaching amateur sport. Sorry, but Coach Tressel's predicament touched off one of my favorite rant topics.

  5. That’s a sad story to lose a long time coach but that’s life, you can’t help the changes every time. The thing they must do is to move on and find another better coach. And focus to the team’s goal.

  6. I hope the new Coach is a Smash-Hit! And that your Buckeye's have nothimg but 100% WINS!

  7. Good post Kay.. I sometimes think "sports" especially college football is more about "big business"(money) than sports

  8. LOL @ Kay, I love Audrey too.

  9. The news about Coach Tressel has been all over the newspapers and sports shows. He'll probably land somewhere else if he was that good of a coach. More importantly...your Buckeyes will probably do just fine with the new coach.

  10. GFB: I just did what I had to do. My then husband lost his job and there was no money for college.

    Kay: Me, too!!!

    LTTS: Thanks but my son is the one who really studied them which is good because he's a college coach now and you can bet he plays by the rules.

    Dick: I agree completely -- long may you rave!!! My son is now a college coach and you can bet that his programs play fair.

  11. Yet another game of Wack a Mole involving college football. Corrupt coaches, corrupt administrations, and, mostly corrupt alumni. And, don’t forget the bowl game systems. There is SO much money involved; I find it amazing these kind of stories are not a daily feature. At some point, the NCAA should simply admit the College Football in NFL lite, and just pay a nominal fee to the players. Consider it the Minor League of the NFL. The kids get exposure. and MAYBE an education, the schools get the big bucks from TV and tickets, and the NFL gets a good look at future players.

  12. I admit I know nothing abt. Tressel or the NCAA. I think colleges and universities should get OUT of the sports business. Sure, intramural sports and Division III sports help kids in a lot of ways, developing self-discipline, teamwork, etc. But there's no legitimate reason for universities to support a minor league system for the benefit of the NFL, NBA, NHL ... and the TV networks. It's a system that rewards a very few people, at the expense of all those athletes who don't get a contract and don't get an education either. And in the process it corrupts the institutions it claims to help, while distracting people from the real mission of an educational institution.

    Let's do something really radical. Let's make sure our universities teach kids math and history. Let's make sure they help kids develop their skills, learn new languages, and acquire the training they need to compete in the world economy.

  13. Dick: I agree with you! Also, it involves alumni who support winning teams and, very often, give student stars sumptuous gifts. Even at Kent State, one of my friends showed us a brochure a one of the pro teams sent her fiance who was only a junior at the time -- can you imagine the mail a kid like Terrelle Pryor gets? Temptation can be hard -- especially for a kid from a very poor family.

    It's not that way in Division II &
    III and the non-revenue sports.

    PHS: See what I said above. But it' isn't that way in sports like soccer and swimming. And in Division II & III, it more like high school. The pressure isn't so intense. I think it's why they were so put off by the Div. I schools.

    Sightings: I think you're taring all programs with the same brush. My kids' grades were monitored by their coaches and freshmen had mandatory study table. And they had part-time jobs, too.

    I am grateful for my kids' scholarships, etc.; they paid for college when we were worried that we couldn't send them as my ex had been down-sized and jobs were thin on the ground here (and still are). Their aid packages included academic and athletic scholarships, grants, and the ubiquitous loans. Their combinesd tuition, room and board, etc., was 50K a year and our income was a lot less than that. See what I said to Dick and PHS. Rotten apples make a big stink when most programs are doing their best to provide a decent educational experience.

    My son wouldn't have the job he has today if if he hadn't been a 6 time All-American swimmer in college and he wouldn't have met and married his lovely wife.

    Naomi: It's only football and it's a shame that a few give t5he honest ones a bad name.

    Joe: Only in Division I. The small schools like Ashland, Kenyon, et al do just fine.

    Dakota: Indeed!

    Joy: I know -- I'm not a fair weather fan!


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