Don’t laugh at Ohio State …

Tuesday, June 7
June 7, 2011
Economic life of LA1 businesses in limbo
June 9, 2011
Tuesday, June 7
June 7, 2011
Economic life of LA1 businesses in limbo
June 9, 2011

There’s just so much passion around the world of college football.

It’s 100 percent why that sport is probably the most popular in the country right now.

You can argue the NFL is still more loved, but I’ve seen how lockouts affect popularity and I’ll take college football first right now, even though that’s a different argument for a different day.

With that passion comes a natural hatred toward virtually every school around the country that isn’t your beloved team.

And with hatred comes a skewed, biased-driven way of viewing the sporting world, which is never more apparent than when a major program like Ohio State is caught red-handed in the midst of NCAA violations, which came to a head when their coach Jim Tressel resigned in the face of the allegations.

On one end of this spectrum are the Buckeyes’ fans, believe me, there are millions splattered across various pockets of the country. These people are worried sick this week about their program and its long-term health and sustainability in the face of what is sure to be scholarship and probably postseason sanctions against the team.

These are the people that are downplaying the incident, claiming that Tressel was just doing “what any father would do,” and was protecting his players.

These are people who are pleading to talk radio hosts that the Buckeyes should be levied fewer penalties when the NCAA lays out judgment, because the school took responsibility and got rid of the perceived problem, Tressel.

Granted, Tressel resigned and wasn’t fired. Let’s also forget that the school was only going to suspend him for two games when these allegations came to light.

They are blinded by love and see the world through scarlet colors, much as you probably do purple and gold.

They see the story the way they want to see it. Again I repeat, passion.

On the other end of the spectrum is everyone else, the non-Buckeye fans. This group is just as delusional as the first and they are the group I’m here to address today.

For whatever reason when another school gets in trouble with the NCAA, we feel the need to laugh, poke fun and take pride in their grief.

We tend to puff out our chests and claim that the little guy is the cheater and that our college football team is the holiest of the holy and would never commit any sort of recruiting violation.

My message to this group, of which I am also a part of, is this: Your program isn’t holy. It just hasn’t yet been caught.

And guess what? All of the people laughing at Ohio State now just might be the people getting laughed at the next time the knife falls on a major program.

In the past half-decade, the NCAA has nailed to the wall a few of the biggest problems in college for bending the rules.

Let’s look back and peek at a few of the people who were doing the laughing and where they currently stand.

Auburn and Tennessee.

Laughed at Alabama when the Crimson Tide was placed on probation in the early 2000s for allegedly using boosters to influence recruits. Although they played the “cleaner than clean” card at the time, the Tigers and Volunteers are both currently under investigation by the NCAA and are awaiting penalty rulings for their own alleged misdealings, which include pay-to-play plans in Auburn and “a failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance within the football program and failure to monitor the activities regarding compliance of several assistant coaches,” at Tennessee.

Alabama is currently back on top of the college football world and has since won a national championship. Who’s laughing now?


Laughed at conference rival Southern California when the NCAA busted the Trojans for their misdealing with Reggie Bush, which led the program to being stripped of 30 scholarships and two years of postseason in football. The Ducks are currently under NCAA investigation for allegedly making large payments to trainer Willie Lyles in exchange for a commitment from blue-chip prospect Lache Seastrunk. No penalties have been levied, but again, who’s laughing now? The Trojans certainly might be. Despite sanctions, they are picked by most to be a preseason Top 10 team in 2011.

And lastly:

Ohio State.

Laughed at hated rival Michigan for admitting “major violations,” which saw the school dock practice time and scholarships from itself after they allegedly practiced and worked out for longer than the NCAA allowed. Alas, the Buckeyes’ comedy tour didn’t last long as the current revelations tie close to two dozen players to a Columbus tattoo parlor where players allegedly sold their memorabilia for cash. That memorabilia may just be worthless soon, anyway, as analysts expect the Buckeyes to have to vacate wins from the past half-decade. The Wolverines, on the other hand, have a bright new coach and look to be close to taking the lead over their rivals for the first time in about 10 years. Like in all of the other instances, they are the ones laughing loudest now.

So the message is simple. College football is predominantly dirty and betting odds say your team is, too.

Don’t laugh when someone else gets in trouble.

That just means it’s closer to being your turn.

Then, you’re going to be the one being laughed at.