NCAA, media display hypocrisy with criticism of Tressel

Published 2:19 am Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The allegations against Jim Tressel are true.

Yes, he screwed up.

But as the NCAA investigates this molehill that has become the college football version of Watergate, who is investigating the practices of the governing body of collegiate athletics?

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The words “honesty” and “integrity” have been thrown around lately as though the NCAA actually practices what it preaches.

Those words mean nothing to these monarchs. Ask Elliott Porter (former LSU recruit) what he thinks of the honesty and integrity of college football. If you can’t get him on the line, call Nick Saban and ask him how many NCAA-approved lies he has told to secure recruits at Alabama.

Of course, he’ll say “none” even though the evidence says “tons.” Ask Les Miles the same question if you can catch him.

But this is a game about honesty and integrity, right? It has absolutely nothing to do with cold, hard cash.

Didn’t the NCAA allow the five suspended “Tattoo Gate” Buckeyes to compete last January against Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl? Where is the honesty and integrity in that decision?

I can tell you where the cold, hard cash is. And I can lead you toward the hypocrisy.

According to a recent report in The Columbus Dispatch, even if the Buckeyes are stripped of their season for knowingly allowing ineligible players to compete, the win against Arkansas still counts.

I’m not the sharpest crayon in the box, but how can a team who could conceivably be winless once stripped of their season manage to win a major bowl game?

Oh, I know. It has something to do with honesty and integrity…..and a whole bunch of greenbacks.

ESPN is leading the charge to have Jim Tressel fired. Pat Forde is on his soap box throwing his usual darts. Big fish from Buckeye land such as Kirk Herbstreit, Chris Speilman and Robert Smith are also on board. Granted, all but Forde actually care about the integrity of the university.

But is this situation indicative of the person Jim Tressel really is? Or is this a media-induced witchhunt?

Tyler Whaley walked on and then fought and scratched his way into a starting role as a fullback for Tressel’s Buckeyes a few years ago. Ask him about Tressel’s honesty and integrity. Better yet, ask his mother, Tammy. Both revere the man because, in their eyes, he is the epitome of these two traits, and then some.

Then ask Cam Newton’s dad to tell you about how his son ended up at Auburn. How is the NCAA coming with that investigation? Ask Gene Chizik about this “honesty” and “integrity” thing.

Again…where is the cold, hard cash?

Look at Tressel’s recruiting record versus nearly any coach in the SEC during his tenure. He doesn’t lie to recruits, promising scholarships that he will eventually take away when a better player comes along. He sticks with the ones he makes promises to. And he wins with them every single year.

I’m not intentionally bashing the SEC to prove my point, just stating verifiable facts….and trying to say that the NCAA is, at best, Judas.

When it comes to human lives, Jim Tressel will not cheat.

But the NCAA rules allow those without “honesty” and “integrity” to cheat.

And, in the case of allowing those Buckeyes to play in the Sugar Bowl, they bent the rules…which in most circles is called cheating….simply for the money the matchup guaranteed them and their sponsors.

So, who is investigating the so-called “honesty” and “integrity” of the NCAA? Will ESPN call for any of their leaders to be fired?

Billy Bruce is a contributing columnist.