A former basketball player at THE Ohio State University has some questions over what he sees going on in the football program.
I frequently crossed paths with a bunch of the football guys for a variety of reasons (stayed in the same dorm as some of them during my freshman year, went to same place for our training table meals, had a bunch of mandatory athlete meetings with them, some of them hung out with my teammates, etc.). And in crossing paths with them so frequently, I can offer this analysis: While I donâ€™t really know anything about the whole tattoo ordeal, Iâ€™m almost certain that there was something shady going on with the car dealer. In fact, as the news of the free tattoos and sold merchandise or whatever came out, I kept telling my family how funny it was that they were getting busted for tattoos and gold pants when I was pretty sure they had been getting serious discounts on cars for years. Again, I have no â€œinside informationâ€ and really only know what the general public knows. But it doesnâ€™t exactly take top notch detective skills to figure this one out. Anyone who spent any time on Ohio Stateâ€™s campus while I was there could tell you that there were an unusually high volume of brand new Dodge Chargers driving around on campus, and just about all of them had tinted windows and rims on the outside with Ohio State football players behind the wheel on the inside.
Now, I understand that thereâ€™s a chance these guys all paid the same price for their cars that normal citizens like you and I would pay, and I honestly hope that they did. But my intuition has told me for years that something is off. Iâ€™m not sure how much the monthly scholarship checks the football team got were for, but when I was on my basketball scholarship for my first two years at Ohio State, I was only given $1,100 a month. That might sound like a lot of money at first thought, but you have to realize that these checks had to cover the monthly cost of rent, utilities, food, gas, entertainment, tattoos, trips to the strip club, bottles off the top shelf, weed, hookers, blow, and â€“ on top of all of that â€“ child support. I wouldnâ€™t necessarily say I struggled to pay all my monthly bills, but as you can imagine, I sure as hell never had enough of a cushion to afford a $400 monthly car payment either.
Can you say, â€œlack of institutional controlâ€ anyone? Well the alumni in the comments sure canâ€™t. I have never understood the American loyalty to the alma matter. You saw the same with Pete Carroll and the legions of USC supporters who could not accept the NCAA charges and I wrote previously about my disgust with Tom Osbourneâ€™s actions. The facts are looking like Jim Tressel ran a dirty program, lied about it, and yet no one at OSU wants to do anything about it because â€œcoachâ€ wins football games. What a system.