Tressel “Resigns:” NCAA Needs Rules Changes
As we all know by now, Ohio State head football coach Jim Tressel was asked to resign and complied. Tressel was forced to resign after lying to the NCAA about his players, most notably star qb Terelle Pryor, receiving improper benefits such as cars and tattoos. Tressel also knowingly withheld information about his player’s wrongdoings from the NCAA. A recent Sports Illustrated article noted that as many as 28 Ohio State players from 2002 til present day received free cars from a nearby dealership as well as traded or sold memorabilia like rings, trophies, equipment, and jerseys in exchange for tattoos. This is just the information on the surface, but I’m not going to dive any deeper into the situation in order to avoid repeating what I’m sure many of you have heard a million times by now. Instead, I’m going to talk about why I think the NCAA needs some rules changes.
First, let me preface this argument by saying that I am in no way advocating that major universities use their prestige, stature, and power to cheat during recruiting by promising money, gifts, or any other benefits in exchange for a player’s commitment. I am also not vindicating Jim Tressel’s actions in any way either, he knew his players were receiving illegal benefits as well as selling merchandise and chose to turn a blind eye to the situation and lie to the NCAA. All against the rules. But, let’s look at the real issue here, which is that the players got into trouble because they sold and/or exchanged memorabilia for cars, tattoos, and money. Really?! Why is that against the rules? People have been trading things for other things from the beginning of our existence. Before currency came into existence people traded things like beads, fabric, food, spices, gold, anything and everything in exchange for something else. Both parties were satisfied, just like in the case of the Ohio State players. Now if the players chose to attend Ohio State because they were told that they could receive benefits such as cars and tattoos then that is cheating because the coaches and other recruiters are trying to gain an unfair advantage by promoting illegal benefits. If that wasn’t the case though then why is this any different then the trading that has been going on from the beginning of time. Players should be allowed to trade or sell their memorabilia, it’s their possessions. If Terrelle Pryor wants to sell or trade his Ohio State jersey, championship ring, or equipment in exchange for a tattoo or anything else then who is the NCAA to tell him he can’t, it’s his jersey, his ring, his equipment. Ohio State and every other major university is allowed to use their athletes’ images and stature to market their school and their team as well as make a filthy amount of money, and yet the players aren’t allowed to promote themselves or utilize their resources. How is that fair? This argument has been and will continue to be a very touchy but important topic in collegiate athletics, and I believe the NCAA should look to make some changes.