Josh Klingler: Stopping the cheats or splitting the pie?
Welcome to the Luke Fickell era, or season, at Ohio State. Jim Tressel steps down with the Buckeyes, sending a shockwave through college sports. Fickell takes over on an interim basis for 2011, so prepare for a full year of speculation until a new coach is named. Every major program will be facing questions as to whether their coach is a target. What a distraction that could last 12 months. Meyer, Pelini, Dantonio, Stoops, Gruden, Saban … really anyone from the Top 25 will be on the rumor list, not to mention any red-hot assistant (or ESPN analyst / former coach).
There's also the rest of the fall out from “Tattoo-gate,” more of college athletics not so dirty little secret. Are we shocked that Ohio State had more players than originally reported getting extra bennies? We shouldn't be. Not everyone is crooked, but are we fool enough to believe that 'extras' aren't happening at most of the major programs in the country? And what will stop it? If stopping it is the goal, then simply paying players is not the answer. Even if Johnny QB is getting a $300 check each game, what is to stop a booster from slipping an extra $300? (I also find it comical that other coaches are now investigating local tattoo shops to see if any of this is going on their campuses, as if that's the real problem).
To me the goal needs to be defined. Are we really looking to end cheating behavior? Or is it just that everyone around college sports is feeling guilty all of the sudden for making billions of dollars off the backs of athletes? Is the goal to share the wealth or end the extras? This needs to be answered before any solution can be hatched.
Will the powers that be find themselves willing to cut loose non-revenue sports? If football and men's basketball make all of the money at most schools, why should they share? Do you pay every college athlete or just those that make money? It's a slippery slope that doesn't have anything resembling an easy fix any time soon.
Tags : Topics : SportsSocial : SportsPeople : Jim Tressel, Josh Klingler