Former Ohio Statewide receiver Ray Small told the school’s student newspaper that he sold Big Ten championship rings and other memorabilia for cash and got special car deals as an athlete during his playing days.
The Lantern reported that Small, who played for the Buckeyes from 2006 to 2009, said “everyone was doing it” on the team.
Obviously, it looks like Ohio State broke the rules. And they’ll be punished. But I’d imagine stuff like this goes on everywhere. When I was in college, I remember watching an episode of MTV’s College Life that featured Wisconsin basketball players. These dudes had nice cars and their dorm room had practically every video game system on Earth. Old school Segas, X-Boxes, you name it, they had it.
Am I saying they got their stuff improperly? No. And hell, I could be misrembering the episode (forgive me, as I was in college). But as Mark Titus said in his post explaing his post:
But having said all of that, any OSU student in the past five years could tell you that a lot of the football players drive nice cars (since most of the people who asked me about the scandal weren’t ever OSU students, I figured that this would be something they would like to know). You’d have to be blind to not notice it. I didn’t exactly say anything that tens of thousands of people on that campus haven’t already noticed themselves.
I certainly noticed.
As for for whether it’s wrong or not. Meh. I dunno, these are 18, 19 year old kids who have 100,000 show up to watch them play every Saturday (which brings in a ton of money for the university). The local media obsesses about them. They have practice all the time, they’re only allowed certain jobs. Small talked about how he sold Big Ten rings to help pay for rent and stuff. So also they get car deals… meh.
Should I be more angry? Would I be more righteous if it happened to another school? I dunno… maybe? I’m more disappointed than angry, but I’m mostly indifferent. I don’t think Ohio State is particularly noteworthy in this regard, but everyone has to pay the piper at some point. You don’t stay on top in college football without a little bit of scandal (if you ain’t cheatin, you ain’t trying).
The fact that all the Ohio State players were allowed to play in the bowl (re: money making) game is the biggest farce of all. Yes, Ohio State broke the rules. Jim Tressel lied about it. Not much else I can say to that. But if these rules were so important, if it gave them such an unfair advantage, why were they allowed to play in the biggest game of the year?
The whole thing stinks.