In September of last year I blogged about Reggie Bush returning his Heismann Trophy amidst the scandal of him receiving impermissible benefits which was in violation of an NCAA rule. My point then was that these would be NFL professionals should know the rules and strictly follow it. Not only does it make sure that your name, school and championship is not tainted by any scandal but it sets what you can be in the future. There will be monetary benefits as well as fame and these things can easily corrupt a young man. And if they are not guided properly this practice that may have started in college may go on in their professional life.
Last December NCAA suspended Ohio State quarterback Terelle Pryor and four others for the first games of the 2011 season and suspended one other for one game. They violated the NCAA rule that states they cannot sell memorabilia such as jerseys, championship rings, and trophies while they are still in school. The rule against selling sports gear while playing NCAA is quite new since it has just been added after players from the University of Georgia were caught selling a jersey and some championship rings on eBay in 2003. Again, these football players are flouting rules even when they are just in college. Can you imagine what they might be doing once they have the fame, the endorsements, the money and the women?
What was worse about this is the fact that Ohio State coach Jim Tressel found out about it in April from an email that was sent to him but never reported it. He was suspended for two games and was fined $250,000 but NCAA is still investigating the matter and might impose steeper sanctions against Tressel. Coach Tressel was publicly reprimanded and apologized Tuesday night, saying he had let some people down. And I have to add that he not only let down the people of Ohio but more importantly his players because he had a wrong idea of protection. He did not report because he was protecting his kids knowing they would be taken out of the game. The point is these players know that there is a rule against selling sports gear like championship rings, uniform pieces, “gold pants” charms, and awards but still they did it. Then they should be accountable for what they did. Not doing anything about them breaking the rule or any wrong doing is sending other people, especially kids, the wrong message. It would seem that it is but right to keep quiet about broken rules so that they would not be punished.
The NCAA is increasing their enforcement and a lot are getting caught by it and thus there has been a deluge of scandals over the past year. There have been criticisms over some of their decisions but players and coaches alike are starting to realize that NCAA does have an idea of what’s going on and they have better ways of getting information these days.