Sep 182013
 
Pitt Logo - block lettering

pittblockOne thing that always strikes me about college players – they’re kids. And more often than not, they look like kids. Tyler Boyd is only 18 years old. And he looks it. When players do fantastic things on the field, we shouldn’t forget that they’re 18-22 years old. When they do stupid things off the field, we shouldn’t forget that they’re 18-22 years old.

That’s what seems to be forgotten by the sanctimonious preachers who lay invective on guys like Johnny Manziel. He’s a kid. He’s a douche but he’s a kid. He’s shouldering the burden of being the most public face of Texas A&M while also seeking to be a college student.

It’s all good and well that college athletes should face real consequences when they break the law, as any of us would. But that doesn’t make them special cases. That doesn’t mean they’re malcontents to whom we’re allowed to condescend, as though non-athletes are above reproach and stupidity and sometimes even, criminality.

Do you remember yourself at 18-22 years old? Yes, you were a stupid kid. But you didn’t have a national spotlight on you.

Sep 132013
 
Johnny Manziel in Kyle Field

When I was writing about the principle of punishing NCAA-member institutions for gross violations, I felt like I was just writing copy. The subject feels tired and although I got a few hits for the article, I kept thinking to myself that folks would just shrug their shoulders over Okie State and if/how much it gets punished for transgressions committed against the NCAA system.

The fact is that the NCAA reeks so much that the public doesn’t necessarily get outraged over these recruiting violations and pay-for-play scandals anymore. From Tarheel Blog:

Beyond the reporting aspect, there is a clear and palatable fatigue with the NCAA over the pursuit of these types of violations. When UNC’s scandal cropped up three years ago it, along with Ohio State shortly thereafter and USC just prior constituted the first major programs to really get serious NCAA looks in quite some time. Maybe there was some thirst for blood and despite everyone knowing the NCAA system was broken, seeing major programs run through the ringer was worth good sport and nice material. Then the Miami investigation began to play out. Initially there was public disapproval of Miami’s behavior but that opinion eventually turned when it was discovered the NCAA had engaged in below the belt tactics. Suddenly no one cared what Miami did since NCAA corruption, long simmering just beneath the surface, finally boiled over.¬† Overnight the NCAA truly became the villain losing whatever meager credibility it had left on the enforcement front.

I think the recent Miami scandal was really the turning point. We all knew the NCAA was corrupt beforehand but the ridiculous and underhanded tactics employed really brought it home. The NCAA succeeded in making Miami look sympathetic. The Miami Hurricanes, a program that was once so corrupt that SI ran an article calling for them to drop football. So corrupt at various times that even SEC teams looked clean in comparison. How unbelievable is that. I doubt that Miami didn’t commit those violations but if the investigating body can’t do its job cleanly, how are we trust its findings. Even the appearance of misconduct is enough to derail investigations.

Can you imagine SI running this cover article nowadays?

Can you imagine SI running this cover article nowadays?

Continue reading »

Aug 132013
 

Johnny Manziel and athletes like him are ruining amateur athletics.

Research conducted by Joyce Julius & Associates shows that the redshirt freshman winning the prestigious trophy produced more than 1.8 million media impressions, which translates into $37 million in media exposure for Texas A&M. [Source: TAMU Times]

Johnny_Manziel_in_Kyle_Field

Johnny Manziel is a disgrace

Manziel should be ashamed of himself. The media (over)exposure and scramble for money resulting from Manziel’s historic Heisman Trophy win is corrupting the pure and righteous ideals of amateur sportsmanship that Texas A&M has already espoused. How dare Manziel play so well that he generates all that money to which Texas A&M can’t say no.

It’s pretty evident that the sports performance of unpaid student-athletes is corrupting the pristine halls of academia. Texas A&M’s move to the SEC as well as all the conference realignment chaos happened precisely because its athletes’ revenue generation abilities have caused scrupulous University Presidents to lose their minds.

Not the converse. Never the converse. It’s all the athletes’ faults.