The NCAA, the bastion of morality in college athletics, has suspended five Ohio State football players for the first five games of the team’s 2011 season. The five players suspended include two of the team’s most talented players, wide receiver DeVier Posey and quarterback Terrelle Pryor. The NCAA’s ruling comes after an investigation that suspected players gave away autographs in exchange for tattoos, one of the few instances in recorded history that tattoos were bartered for something other than crystal meth.
Five Ohio State football players, including quarterback Terrelle Pryor, must sit out the first five games of the 2011 season for accepting improper benefits, the NCAA ruled Thursday.
A sixth football player must sit out the first game in 2011 for receiving discounted services in violation of NCAA rules.
All of the players be eligible for the Jan. 4 Allstate Sugar Bowl, however. –ESPN.com
But while the NCAA is indeed a cruel mistress, she is not the bitter, vindictive ex-girlfriend you briefly dated your sophomore year of college. No, the organization found out that the players sold various awards, including Big Ten Championship rings. Which makes sense, considering that they have plenty more of those bad boys at home.
Pryor must repay $2,500 for selling his 2008 Big Ten championship ring, a 2009 Fiesta Bowl sportsmanship award and his 2008 Gold Pants, a gift from the university for players on a team that beats arch-rival Michigan. Herron must repay $1,150 for selling his football jersey, pants and shoes for $1,000 and receiving discounted services worth $150. Posey must repay $1,250 for selling his 2008 Big Ten championship ring for $1,200 and receiving discounted services worth $50. Adams must repay $1,000 for selling his 2008 Big Ten championship ring. Thomas must repay $1,505 for selling his 2008 Big Ten championship ring for $1,000, his 2008 Gold Pants for $350 and receiving discounted services worth $155.
The players are eligible for the bowl game because the NCAA determined they did not receive adequate rules education during the time period the violations occurred, Lennon said. The NCAA also said that Ohio State did not receive a competitive advantage in the incident. –ESPN.com
According to Pryor’s camp, the sales were made so that he could help take care of his financially struggling family. When told of the suspensions, Cam Newton, annoyed that he had been reached for comment two days in a row by the same correspondent, continued to laugh and polish his Heisman Trophy.
The ruling has raised two questions that will become increasingly frustrating to hear about as the college bowl season continues: Should the NCAA change their regulations to give athletes appropriate payment for their services? And will Terrelle Pryor skip the suspension entirely by entering the NFL Draft this winter? This is a difficult decision for Pryor, due to labor disputes between the NFL and NFLPA potentially blacking-out the 2011 NFL Draft and football season. If that happens, God save my liver, because I will most certainly stay completely black out through the fall.