College football teams sure are breaking the rules these days. From one day to the next there seems to be a college football program in hot water for some rules violation. This leaves the coach in a position where he is in front of the camera putting on his best poker face as he tries to give as much information as possible without saying anything.
The latest casualty of the situation is Ohio St.’s Jim Tressel. Tressel arrived in Columbus over a decade ago and immediately began a plan to take the Buckeyes to the next level and he was successful. Tressel’s plan reached it’s peak at the conclusion of the 2002 season when the Buckeyes claimed the national title after an overtime win over the Miami Hurricanes. Some nine years later, Tressel exits the program amidst the shame of rules violations and the lies that followed them.
Tressel was just another college football coach sweating it out after being tapped on the shoulder by the NCAA. Last year’s two national championship game participants, Auburn and Oregon have dealt with and continue to deal with NCAA probes into their practices. A casual observer of college football would be left to the conclusion that you don’t raise the trophy without breaking some NCAA rules. It seems that along with the raising of the well weighted Sears trophy each season, the victorious program should expect a letter from the NCAA about some violations before the beginning of spring practice for the next season. It’s a troubling trend but who’s to blame?
We could say that it’s the blood thirsty media in our country that sells publications and air time by putting out disparaging stories on those who are revered by most. Our culture has made a sport out of building up people and companies only to tear them down when they stick their flag in the ground at the top of the mountain. So it continues. The 20 or so teams that have a shot at all at the 2011 title should be preparing themselves for what comes after they achieve the ultimate. While the players are lifting weights, team counsel should be pouring through the NCAA rule books and checking out loopholes. Winning the the title is just beginning, the real circus starts after that. Don’t be surprised one year if you see the Sears Trophy filled inside with business cards from attorneys because undoubtedly, the holder of the prize will certainly be in some kind of trouble.