Friday Mud reflects on college sports

November 11, 2011 | Drew Forrester

Friday Mud reflects on college sports

We’re all to blame.  We, all of us, let it spiral out of control.  ESPN told college football they had to start playing games on Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday.  Voila!, games appeared.  (Oh, the student-athlete’s academic work might suffer?  Well, he’ll figure it out in “study hall”.)  TV, the people who go to the games, the people who make those games happen…everyone has contributed to this downfall.

And, finally, it took this, the human violation of young boys at Penn State, for people to rise up and see big-time Division I college sports for what it is.

It’s no longer amateurs competing on the athletic field in exchange for an education that they likely couldn’t afford on their own.

It’s become nothing more than a game within the games – an ugly one – of who can beat the other, regardless of who gets in the way, who gets hurt, and who does right or wrong.  It has escalated into nothing short of an annual contest to see who can sell the most tickets for the highest price and who can gouge the advertisers for the most amount of money to allow them the courtesy of televising their athletic events.

And until we heard Jerry Sandusky’s name and the story out of (not so) Happy Valley, we snickered and chuckled at the back-room dealings and the cheating and the scandals and the free cars and the jewelry and the “D” on that test that suddenly became a “B” with one tap on the computer keyboard.

It’s become a badge of honor, as a college athlete, to get the 4-bedroom apartment on the 12th floor when there are only two of you from the team living there (“Oh, what’s that?  I can charge two other roommates $500 a month to live there and KEEP the money? Wow, I like that concept.”).  It’s cool to be the player on the team who washes cars at the local automobile dealership once or twice in the month of April and then drives around town in a sporty new BMW.  (“My brother hooked me up.  He’s a financial planner in Manhattan, taking care of his little bro.”).  Everyone chuckled privately when those goofs at Ohio State were so desperate for marijuana that they exchanged their tickets to the Wisconsin game for a bag full of weed.  (“Give those kids credit, they were enterprising young men…”)

You might have been one of those people who giggled when the news went public that another college athlete and his school were caught cheating.  ”It’s a dog eat dog world out there…I don’t blame him — a kid’s gotta get what he can, while he can.”

It’s all fun and games – this cheating and scandal in college sports.

Well, it was all funny right up until we heard about Jerry Sandusky.

Now, it’s not so funny anymore.

 

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10 Comments For This Post

  1. vreedy76 Says:

    Well said Drew. I have an uncle who passed away a few years ago that worshiped PSU and Joe Paterno. He’s probably turning over in his grave right now.

    With JoePa’s integrity in question now, what does that say about the rest of them, the ones we know are dirty? Not that they all are covering up slime like Sandusky, but they all cover up something. Hopefully some good comes of this and the microscope is put on college athletics. My thoughts and prayers go out to the ones who were taken advantage of and I hope justice is served to all involved.

  2. unitastoberry Says:

    Wait till they find out the missing DA (now declared dead) who originally investigated this case and somehow decided NOT to go to court, was paid off and then murdered when he decided to come clean with it. Just my opinion.

  3. Oriole85 Says:

    Drew,
    Well very well written article and even if I don’t like to admit you are right on many things you stated. College sports is a big business no doubt, but the public is largely guilty of letting that happen myself included. College Gameday is one of the best shows IMO. But I think we can all agree what happened at PSU isn’t common or atleast I hope not, way different than the victimless crimes of pay-for-play.

    One correction, FedEx Field where the game between Maryland and Notre Dame is taking place is Landover, MD not DC.

  4. Erich Hawbaker Says:

    I’ve been depressed for a week now over the Penn State scandal. But I don’t think that Joe Paterno is one of these guys you describe who “runs the school” and thinks that the rules are different for him. He was there long before that culture existed, and it grew in around him in my opinion. I simply cannot believe that he would knowingly participate in covering up child molestation. And it also really scares me how easily the media was able to put all the focus on him instead on the guy who was actually doing the molesting. I’m penning a post of my own on the subject, now that Barstool works again I should have it up soon.

  5. matt Says:

    amen

  6. Marty Mossa Says:

    I’m still shaking my head Drew. I can’t beleive it. Although not much of a college football fan, I always admired Joe Paterno and the Penn State Football Program. I remember cheering them on when they beat Miami in the Fiesta Bowl for the National Title in 1987. But when you put your own interests before young innocent boys; well I have no use for him. For me child molesters should be treated like stray dogs, throw them in large cage for life, lock it, and throw the key away.

  7. The "Armchair QB" Says:

    Speaks volumes about this country’s moral compass. The more details that surface in the Penn State scandal, the more apparent it becomes that the school and it’s hierarchy placed greater emphasis on protecting their reputation than the welfare of innocent children! Doesn’t get more heinous than that! The school’s football program deserves to be shut down immediately as many on the current coaching staff were probably aware of the coverup. Additionally, the program should be suspended indefintely. How dare those individuals place their interests above innocent children! What’s truly sad is that no amount of punishment will in any way compensate for the victims’ suffering……

  8. matt Says:

    WHOA WHOA WHOA, marty mossa. stray dogs are a product of neglectful humans. they deserve much better than child molesters and those who protect them.

  9. Tim Says:

    @Erich. If you haven’t already, read the grand jury report. The NUMBER of times that Sandusky was witnessed with young boys is staggering – showers, gyms, wrestling rooms, locker rooms, games, practices, coaches meetings, bowl games, pre-game hotel rooms – I lost count. Simply put – this guy seemed to ALWAYS have young boys around him. Lots of people knew this and failed to ask, apparently, “what’s wrong with this picture”?. JoePa is simply the most visible / powerful man (no, he’s not a god) to drop the moral ball. He ran State College, if not the entire state.

  10. tsnamm Says:

    @Eric, I disagree, Paterno DEFINITELY ran Penn State, the usual chain of command at most universities is head coach, AD, University President. At Penn State it was exactly backward ending at Paterno’s doorstep. Penn State put Paterno’s legacy, the football team, and winning above everything, including child molestation. Rumor has it that Sandusky was using his child “charity” to pimp out kids to rich donors as well….if so it’s even more heinous. Lets be honest Drew, college athletics is nothing more than a minor league for the NFL and NBA. If this kind of corruption is as prevalent as you insinuate, then a new system needs to be instituted. But I doubt it will ever happen.

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