Ohio State Football players Mike Adams, Dan Herron, DeVier Posey, Solomon Thomas and Terrelle Pryor have been suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season. Jordan Whiting is suspended for the first game.
The students were accused of receiving a host of improper benefits, ranging from tattoo discounts to proceeds gained from sales of championship memorabilia. The violations of NCAA rules regarding student-athlete improper benefits began occurring well before the start of the 2010 season, so each of the athletes involved (or at least some of them) have been ineligible to play all season long in 2010.
Compare this to the AJ Green case. The Georgia standout receiver sold a jersey on Ebay and was forced to sit 4 games in the current season.
Compare it also to the Marcel Dareus case. The Alabama standout defensive lineman accepted improper transportation benefits from an agent and was forced to sit 2 games in the current season.
But compare it as well to the Cam Newton case, in which Newton exploited a loophole in the NCAA regs to remain eligible by claiming not to know that his father shopped him around SEC schools for a cool one-eighty large.
Want to know how the Ohio State players got off with no 2010 sanctions and no vacated wins?
“We didn’t know that was against the rules.”
The NCAA eligibility staff’s pathetic willingness to accept the ignorance defense makes the organization a toothless whore. Student-athletes, their parents, extended family members and “handlers” are now free to represent those players however they want. Just make sure Junior has plausible deniability. The players are also free to use their reputations and sell all their bling and swag to the highest bidder. Just give’em the puppy dog eyes and say, “I didn’t know that was wrong. I’m so sowwy.”
The NCAA had a chance to get it right after the Newton fiasco. They have screwed it up again, and have made fools of themselves all over again.