Posted on 14 September 2013 by WNST Audio
Posted on 23 January 2013 by Brett Dickinson
So the story is the craziest, EVER, in sports history. Manti Te’o met a girl online, spoke with her on the phone every night, while she first recovered from a car accident, and then struggled with Leukemia. Te’o’s grandmother passes, only to hear hours later that Lennay Kekua, his “girlfriend,” lost in her fight to cancer as well, on the same day. Te’o went on to have the one of the greatest season of all-time at Linebacker, came in second for the Heisman Trophy and led Notre Dame to a National Championship appearance. Great story, not 100% true; which leads to an even greater story.
Let’s all be honest, nobody was hurt from this story, no one broke the law, no one died (well in real life at least). Yet sports journalists attached themselves to this story, condemned a 22 year old kid and questioned everything from his future, his integrity to his sexuality. No one would believe that this story could possibly be real, that Te’o was that naïve, that he did not do this for publicity.
Well, as more evidence has been revealed, we now know that Te’o did not have involvement in the hoax and was actually the victim in “someone’s sick joke (his own words).” Roniah Tuiasosopo admitted to creating the scam, apologizing to basically everyone he directly involved. Jeremy Schaap, probably the world’s greatest sports investigative journalist, sat down with Te’o and was convinced by his side of the story. And now Te’o has not only shown physical evidence to Schaap (text messages, Facebook messages, and tweets) but has given up his phone records to prove the thousands of hours he spent on the phone with “Kekua.”
This is not an unprecedented event; if the Catfish documentary (and now MTV show) has taught the world anything, it’s not to trust anyone on the internet. This same situation occurs every day to mass amounts a people in all walks of life. So when sports journalists basically called Te’o a dumbass, they insulted thousands of people who live with the same stress and embarrassment.
Now for those who are angry that Te’o lied and exaggerated the truth about a relationship with a female. Well, then you must have been cut off from society for I don’t know, FOREVER, because everyone has stretched the truth at some point of their life in regards to the opposite sex. He continued the lie because he did not know how to handle disappointing an entire fan base of not just Notre Dame, but football in general. At 22, no one can say they were mature enough to deal with that kind of scrutiny.
And while you are busy questioning Te’o’s integrity and trust, real life scumbags play each and every week, in every sport. There are thousands of stories the public let slide, by all athletes and celebrities, but the lies Te’o continued is where the line is crossed. This NFL season, players on several respected organizations, which many question whether he could be trusted to play beside, have been found as criminals on a regular basis, yet garner less attention combined, than Te’o, the past couple weeks.
Terrell Suggs drug his girlfriend down the street by her hair, in his car, in front of their children (this was after he dumped bleach on her in 2009); that story was not trending on Twitter. Jay Ratliff and Michael Turner both received DWI’s (that’s the more serious offense for being wasted while driving), when the NFL supplies a driving service for all its members, including players (a story we here about every year). Or when was the last time you heard the name Josh Brent; the Cowboys Defensive Lineman charged with manslaughter after driving drunk and killing his own teammate. How many Facebook posts were made about that? Dez Bryant was charged with assault after slapping/hitting his own mother, yet was praised for maturing in his third season. Michael Crabtree was just charged last Thursday for sexual assault; haven’t heard anything about the story since the 49ers made the Super Bowl.
Yet Te’o is the one that does not belong on an NFL roster. He lied about what he knew and when he knew it; by far the greatest crime in humanity. It is an absolute, if you asked any of those criminals about their situations; they may throw a couple of lies in their story too.
So in the end, I blame sports journalism for their lack of integrity in what has transpired with this entire story. They blew up the story in the first place (Peter Thamel of Sports Illustrated), without probably checking sources; Te’o didn’t go running to the presses with his personal life. And when Deadspin.com properly reported the twists in this tale, sports journalists were the first to again judge, without knowing the facts. It is time to not only get the priorities straight in this business, but start becoming accountable for the work not only in print but in social media as well. Grow up sports journalism, grow up.
Posted on 23 July 2012 by Brett Dickinson
Everyone knows all the details of the story. Sandusky was more than inappropriate with minors, Paterno and the Heads of Penn State did not to action as decent human beings and the university has lost all credibility.
Now the NCAA has felt the need to make their stamp on the football program; a program that allowed such monstrous acts. But is it really their fault; did the players, assistants, water boys, equipment managers, cheerleaders or the fans have any knowledge of this horrific situation? With the current sanctions against the school, the NCAA President, Mark Emmert certainly thinks so.
Paterno has already been fired, his legacy destroyed, his statue removed and lost his life over this ordeal. No one will argue that he deserved a more fair treatment from the community. But this punishment brought down on Penn State goes too far. Vacating wins off Paterno’s record to ensure he no longer holds the all-time record is one thing; taking those wins away from the kids who poured their heart and soul into the 1998-2011 seasons is simply unjust. Remove the head coach from books, do not remove the team.
Why are those individuals being punished for the terrible acts of a select few? 111 times, a unit of student-athletes took the field together, yet those 111 times are no longer recognized. How can Mr. Emmert look any of those players in the eye and say “this problem is partly your fault, you do not deserve to be rewarded.” Did these people do anything wrong at all? Nothing about this controversy was a football program violation; it was a university violation by its strongest contributors. The legacy of those at fault are now destroyed, like you intended NCAA, but at the cost of thousands of innocent bystanders.
Bowl Bans and scholarship reductions only punish the future of a distraught community. Penn State could rally around Bill O’Brien and a team that stands up in the face of adversity. Instead, they are hindered by monsters of the past; monsters that will have absolutely no relation to the incoming class of Nittany Lions four years from now. How are the current staff and players supposed to help this program move forward? The NCAA has set up O’Brien to fail.
And that is the only the first part of the sanctions. The NCAA is also stealing $60 million from the University. Why do they feel entitled to this money? What did they exactly do to deserve this jackpot? Even if they do not take a single dime of that fine (which is highly unlikely with their checkered past of greed), a nice tax break is in order for the mass amounts of charitable donations planned. Emmert wants PSU to become a haven for sexual abuse awareness; $60 million would certainly be good start to developing that program.
For a “legal” matter, the NCAA certainly has stuck their nose in, and returned winners. The NCAA’s power is limited to making a fair culture for all sports programs to compete, not to destroy a program over a legal matter. The University of Miami Football program has repeatedly been caught cheating (a department the NCAA is supposed to focus on), yet they will still return next season basically unscathed. Cam Newton led Auburn to a National Title, while it was proven his father was paid by the university for his “son’s services.” Where were you then Mr. Emmert? I recall Reggie Bush returning his Heisman trophy for the same exact situation. Worry about issues you are supposed to handle; let the government handle the rest.
Who do you think you are Mark Emmert? Who do you think you are NCAA?
Posted on 21 July 2012 by andrewtomlinson
With new accusations the University of Miami Hurricanes football program broke football recruiting rules it is clear the NCAA has to do one thing over the next year and that is grab hold of their football programs.
It seems like the past year has been one black mark on college football after another. First it was the University of Miami scandal featuring illegal benefits and boosters not following rules. Then, it was Ohio State’s turn with players reportedly trading jerseys and memorabilia for tattoos and other benefits that led to the ousting of now dirty coach Jim Tressel. Following OSU was the breaking of the Penn State Jerry Sandusky scandal and finally we arrive back at The U. It has come full circle in the last year and while some scandals may have been left out, it is clear the NCAA has a problem.
Some people may say every college program violates the rules and it may be true in some fashion. At some point though, the association designed essentially to make sure players actually go to class and get a degree instead of just playing amateur athletics, has to bare down and say enough is enough. There are penalties in place to make sure other institutions take notice and follow the rules instead of continuing to blatantly ignore them. The NCAA is in a precarious position of risking the ability for the sport as a whole to function as extracurricular activity instead of essentially being a non-college athletic sport.
The Jerry Sandusky scandal and the fact Penn State University was reportedly unable to face “the death penalty” because the acts that were committed didn’t break any real NCAA football rules, highlights what is wrong with the current standard. In a world where young adult athletes are fed the fabrication that they get one chance, the NCAA seems to continually give the institutions multiple ones. At some point the powers that be in college football need to stop worrying about how to get the most money out of the bowl system and need to spend more time making sure teams can play in the bowls.
We are entering into yet another season where a major college football team will be ineligible for a bowl, with Ohio State University picking up where USC left off from the Reggie Bush fiasco. If that is what the NCAA views as an acceptable way to punish teams, the I’d hate to see the way they punish their kids for taking their car out for a joy-ride. By NCAA punishment precedent, a joy-ride would probably earn someone a timeout. Southern Methodist University got the death penalty and by all accounts it seems like it scared programs straight for a few years and it is time for the NCAA to scare the new crop of NCAA rule breakers into line.
Penn State, while they didn’t break football regulations, clearly broke many rules when it comes to safely carrying out a football program. They endangered the staff, the university, the NCAA and the players on the team, not to mention the numerous kids Sandusky came into contact with. The football team ran the school and Joe Paterno had more power than the president, if that doesn’t scream “loss of institutional control” nothing does. If the NCAA were to make an example of Penn State and say a new era of discipline has started, you better bet a lot more schools would think twice before they let a booster take a kid out to dinner, let alone overlook United States law.
If the NCAA does not start to assert its authority, we are going to continue to see schools think they are above the law and conferences who seem to not care at all. College football is an endeavor for young adults to partake in outside of earning an education and it is a luxury for a University, not a necessity. Sure, you can argue the kids who are there now shouldn’t be punished for the actions of those before them. Yet, if no one is ever punished no one will ever learn and college football will continue this self-destructive cycle.