The NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell have (un)officially acknowledged that the NCAA is their minor league. The difference is the NHL, NBA and MLB have tossed the amateur façade out the window, but NCAA football is clinging to it like a man hanging out a 50 story building.
And why not? They get a ready-made, chiseled athlete with name recognition for free. All they have to do is stay in bed with the NCAA and not let any players turn professional until they have been three years out of high school. Wow, what a racket!
I’m no Ohio State or Terrelle Pryor slappy, but right is right and wrong is wrong. I love college and NFL football, but I just do not agree with the kids always taking the fall for an unjust system.
I just do not understand how, nor is it clear legally, how Goodell has the ability to suspend quarterback Pryor for five games based on trumped up, so-called “decisions that undermine the integrity of the eligibility rules for the NFL Draft.”
I’m confused. What NFL rules did he break to be suspended? None! Pryor did not do anything wrong by society’s standards. He was offered money for merchandise he owned. Be mindful that he did not steal anything. He capitalized on his fame. Is that really so bad? It seems like the American way to me.
Surely the NCAA and Ohio State have capitalized on Pryor, as evidenced by selling his jersey, selling VIP luxury suites, letting him play in the mega-BCS Rose Bowl, packing in hundreds of thousands in their stadium, putting his “unofficial” likeness in video games, selling, taking booster money, TV money, radio money, merchandise money, cable money . . . just like the NFL. However, the NFL with the same constraints pay its players millions? The NCAA and college programs implement creative financial bookkeeping, hiding money in different funds.
If the colleges make little money how can they pay coaches five or seven million to mentor amateurs? It takes me aback how so many kick the kids to the curb and not see the real picture. The schools, administration, talking heads everywhere (ESPN, ABC, NBA, ESPNU, et al) are making millions off these young men. This is America and capitalism — one should benefit from their gifts. Could you imagine Bill Gates not getting paid for what he does? It is crazy that so many dismiss the young people that make the media what it is.
So here we are, another young man is character assassinated because he got a free car in college. Where else but in this country would a person be labeled a cheater and bad person for driving a car? What if a student who was at OSU on an academic scholarship got a free car in exchange for an autograph? Would he get suspended from the lab in his physics class?
For selling items he owned and driving a car, people want to destroy this young man’s life and opportunity to earn a living. The NFL did make him eligible for the 2011 NFL supplemental draft, but he has to sit out the first five games of the regular season if and when he signs a contract.
The NFL is walking on a slippery slope by upholding a college suspension for a player who will be coming to their league. This is a dangerous precedent, especially if the league doesn’t keep doing it for future players who are implicated in college scandals. Do they go back and suspend everyone who played for Miami or North Carolina? What about Pete Carroll who left USC amid scandal and took a multimillion dollar deal to be head coach at Seattle?
The idea that Pryor “undermined” the process of the supplemental draft is ludicrous. He did nothing wrong. He was eligible for the draft but decided he wanted to stay in college. His head coach got fired and he had another opportunity to get into the NFL via this draft and he took it.
The tie between NCAA and NFL is un-American. I don’t see why the NFL cares what the NCAA does or says. How can the NFL enforce a NCAA ruling on a player who wasn’t in their employment?
Digital Daily Signup
Sign up now for the Michigan Chronicle Digital Daily newsletter!