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The NCAA—a governing body of rules and regulations for college sports, has again been tarnished by its flawed system of vigilance. Unsurprisingly, imprudent judgment, a term that can be so easily entwined with college sports, has again led to scandal. This scandal, like all the previous before, will surely set off a firestorm of questions pertaining to how the NCAA can successfully regulate and prevent such prevalent illegality within college sports. This time the scandal that has besmirched college sports involves the football program of Ohio State.
Over the past two weeks, allegations accusing the Ohio State football program of committing NCAA infractions have been swirling sports media airwaves across the county. These alleged NCAA infractions stem from 2010 allegations, which have, emerged more fully in the past two weeks. The 2010 allegations accused Ohio State’s star quarterback Terrelle Pryor and other Buckeyes’, of dealing memorabilia to a tattoo parlor in Columbus Ohio in exchange for money. The tattoo parlor was inadvertently linked to a federal drug trafficking investigation. The incident was looked into during an 11-day investigation, during which, Pryor and four other players were slapped with a 5 game suspension for the start of next season. At the time of the investigation, Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith who must be eating his words right now, stated, “there are no other NCAA violations around this case”. The re-emergence of these violations, come on the heels of an anonymous former friend of Pryor’s being mentioned as a source in a report by ESPN’s Tom Farrey and Justin Gubar; the report, accuses Pryor of receiving large sums of money for memorabilia signings back in 2009-2010. As Farrey and Gubar write in their article, the former friend said the signings for cash, “occurred a minimum of 35 to 40 times, netting Pryor anywhere from $20,000 to $40,000 that year”. The former friend also referenced how much the Ohio State quarterback was paid for each signing, telling Farrey and Gubar “Pryor was paid $500 to $1,000 each time he signed mini football helmets and other gear for a Columbus businessman and freelance photographer, Dennis Talbott”. In addition to giving explicit details about the signings for cash, the former friend also provided transparency of Pryor’s relationship with the Columbus community, saying he would receive, “thousands of dollars in free food at local restaurants and convenience stores, free drinks at bars and free tattoos”. The former friend, also mentioned Pryor having, “access to free loaner cars from local dealerships”.
Unfortunately for Ohio State, in the midst of these allegations, the football program has already lost head coach Jim Tressel, who has been alleged with covering up these incidents’ of signings for cash and who’s resignation last week, marks the loss of not only fan favorite in Columbus Ohio, but also sparks questions about how the team will do moving forward. Also sparking questions about the team moving forward is the decision of Terrelle Pryor, not to return to Ohio State University for his senior season. Tressel and Pryor will surely be missed in the Buckeye state, as both have been a huge part of the Ohio State football teams success; Tressel has a staggering winning percentage of .828, while Pryor has an equally astounding winning record of 31-4 while a at Ohio State.
News of NCAA infractions get reported so frequently; they really should not surprise anyone anymore. Week after week these stories come out and they don’t seem be coming to a halt anytime soon. The following questions need to be answered; what should be done, in order to thwart the omnipresence of illegality within college sports? Secondly, if the omnipresence of illegality can’t be addressed acutely enough, then might it be best for the rules to change? There are countless examples of College sports teams that have Blemishes, when it comes to NCAA infractions committed. Most of the infraction within college sports involves a paper trail of money going to college players. NCAA rules specifically prohibit players from soliciting money or signing contracts in order to receive money. Despite this, college players have not thought twice about leaving money on the table, even if they are offered it illegally. One-day people in charge of college sports will hopefully realize, that the floodgate of scandals will not cease until players get paid their lump sum of money.
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