Friday, December 21, 2012

It's come to this: Ohio State now micromanaging player bank accounts

Ohio State: A school with too many bad checks
Published on USATODAY NCAAF | shared via feedly
OK, pop quiz. Which of the following organizations asks its labor force to open personal checking accounts with the help of office superiors, submit individual financial budgets for workplace review and allow supervisors to monitor private, after-hours spending habits in the name of -- ahem -- “financial literacy?”

(A) The Central Intelligence Agency
(B) The Ohio State University football team

Pencils down. Believe it or not, the correct answer is “B.” (Though “A” might have helped the CIA catch notorious mole Aldrich Ames a bit sooner.) According to a recent report in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Ohio State now “strongly encourages” student athletes to obtain bank accounts with the help of school officials, who in turn set budgets and keep an eye on spending. In fact, football players reportedly aren’t even allowed to suit up unless they agree to let assistant coaches snoop on their personal finances.

 Ok. We understand Ohio State University's gunshyness when it comes to NCAA violations related to players potentially receiving improper benefits from boosters and tattoo shop owners. After all, the league's committee on infractions imposed a set of stiff penalties for the TattooPalooza scandal, which included fines, scholarship reductions, a show cause order on Jim Tressel and a postseason ban that may have cost the Buckeyes a shot at a national title this year.

But look... If players are going on the take from OSU boosters, they're not depositing checks in their bank accounts and leaving a paper trail. They're dealing in cash and other virtually untraceable means of compensation.

So this whole bank account budgeting and spending monitoring thing smacks a little too much like an Orwellian attempt at control. You either bring these kids along to follow the rules and trust them to do so, or you don't.

Ohio State doesn't.

I wonder how many other FBS schools have such programs in place?