Andy Staples, riding off into the sunset on his high horse

Talk about your false equivalences, dude.

… Thanks to the events of the past month, you’ve forfeited the right to the moral superiority you’ve enjoyed over the SEC. You can be as good as the SEC on the field, but the human beings in the Big Ten’s premier athletic department are no better than the human beings in the athletic departments at the football factories in the SEC. Yes, the SEC oversigns, and that’s highly unethical. Yes, SEC programs have players who commit NCAA violations, and that’s highly unethical.

Well guess what? Ohio State also has players who commit NCAA violations. Five of them played Tuesday, and Ohio State wouldn’t have won without them.

Five players sold memorabilia to a Columbus tattoo artist for cash and ink and got caught. For their crimes against the NCAA, they were suspended five games.

“Crimes”? Seriously?  Where is the NCAA prison located, exactly?

Anyway, there’s a big difference between what went on in Tatgate and the other bête noire Staples cites, oversigning.  The latter may be distasteful, but it doesn’t violate any NCAA rules.  Of course, we shouldn’t let that get in the way of painting a conference with as broad a brush as possible.  Or in pretending that this is the first time that questionable behavior has been tolerated – **cough**Maurice Clarett**cough** – at a Big Ten bastion like Ohio State.

Ah, but that righteous indignation feels sooooo good.


Filed under Big Ten Football, Media Punditry/Foibles, SEC Football, The NCAA

31 responses to “Andy Staples, riding off into the sunset on his high horse

  1. Mike

    This is not much different than the time the Big Ten Commisioner proclaimed something like this, after one of his programs lost yet another BCS game to the SEC; ‘ the SEC programs might beat us in football, yet we are clearly superior as they are doing it with guys too dumb to get into Big Ten programs.’

    Top to bottom, the Big Ten does have very good academic programs and tough entrance requirements. Better than the SEC overall I surmise. But the tougher entrance requirements are for the non-athlete student body. I am pretty sure that the academic requirements for football players are similar at both conferences


  2. JBJ

    Did anyone see Pryor’s response at the end of the game when the reporter asked him about coming back next year? “Alright”. What?

    “Buckeyes coach Jim Tressel said all five pledged to return to school next season to serve the punishment.”

    Bets anyone?


  3. Go Dawgs!

    Thank you for bringing up Maurice Clarett. I get so angry every time some Ohio State fan tries to paint OSU or the Big Ten as a bastion of “doing it the right way”. Such garbage. What I don’t understand is why when Alabama or Southern Cal get caught playing ineligible athletes, they have to forfeit wins. Ohio State? Absolutely not. And now they get to KEEP PLAYING them in bowl games! Think that Ohio State could have won last night without their five ineligible student athletes? Me, either.


    • Go Dawgs!

      And since we’re talking about shattering the illusion of Ohio State’s shining innocence, how come nobody brings up Andy Katzenmoyer? OSU kinda set the standard for academic hijinx with that one, didn’t they? The Big Ten’s just like everyone else, they’re just more smug about it.


      • Go Dawgs!

        And I just saw that Mr. Katzenmoyer himself weighed in below, so, well done.


        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          The real villain in this is the NCAA. What “deal” did they offer UGA regarding AJ Green? They just slapped a 4 game suspension on him (and UGA) summarily. Why does Ohio State get to pick and choose which games it can have its players sit? The NCAA is completely devoid of integrity.


          • Don’t forget that Ohio State has appealed the five-game suspension and is hoping to have it reduced to four. If that happens, McGarity ought to go nuts over it.


          • AmpedDawg

            Because OSU was playing in a BCS bowl game on a Tuesday night with nothing else on and the WWL would have gone ape shit if Pryor and 4 other key players were suspended and watered down the game for television viewers. I think that it likely would have been the same if it would have been another marquee team like Florida, Bama, Southern Cal, or Texas caught up in Tatgate.


  4. orlandodawg

    In Pryor’s defense, I don’t think he even heard the reporterette’s question. Of course, that interview alone should dismantle any notions of Big 10 academic superiority among its football players. Like, knowwhutImean, man?

    On a somewhat related note, is Michigan still practicing 30, 40 hours a week?


  5. Russ

    Could Arkansas have gift wrapped that game any nicer last night? I must admit, I love seeing Petrino with his constipated look on the sidelines, but I still wanted to see them win.


  6. Hey let’s not confuse Ohio State with the entire Big Ten, please. That’s a pretty easy distinction to make, and outside of some practice hours, no on else in the Big Ten is even being sniffed at in terms of these kinds of things.


    • Irwin Fletcher

      Are you freaking kidding me?

      Just because Michigan and Minnesota got HAMMERED in a different sport, doesn’t mean it doesn’t count. Clem Haskins, anyone? Fab 5? Plus, I’m certain Minnesota had rules violations under Holtz.

      Lawrence Philips? Or are we going to play the ‘even though we raided another conference to take one of their original schools, it’s not about the money, it’s about academics…and their priors don’t count on our record’ card?

      Pull your head out of your self-proclaimed, better educated a$$.


  7. Andy Katzenmoyer

    Au contraire Senator.

    The Big 10 is the lone major conference that places academics above athletics.

    The Ivy League and the Colonial Athletic Association wish they could be as solemn and scholarly as the Big 10.


  8. Will Trane

    Hey Staples rave on. OSU played Arkansas. Frankly, they were the 4th best team in the SEC, and even that can be dsiputed. Do not think they beat a Florida and for sure not close with Bama, Auburn, and Mississippi State. What happened to Pryor and group now puts the rest of the NCAA members on notice in sunshine about what they suspected before. The OSU and the Big 10 are too cozy with the NCAA. Let’s see how many of those 5 hit the field next year. Same with Newton.


    • The Alabama team we saw in the Cap One Bowl would have cleaned OSU’s clock last night.


    • Mike

      Arkansas beat both LSU and MSU in the regular season. They lost to Auburn and Alabama, but had a better SEC record than Bama.

      I agree with the Senator that the Bama team we saw in the Cap One Bowl would have crushed OSU, but even though Bama DID beat Arkansas, Bama also lost to Auburn, USCe and LSU.


  9. Ausdawg85

    Maybe it was the sweater vest, or the whole PR machine of the L&L/Big 11+ conference that had me believing that Tressel had some class and integrity. My bad…Leaders would have suspended those kids without NCAA contortions (please let it be true that JoePa would have?). In his post-game interview, he defended player Pryor et. al. by saying it “…was the right thing to do for the SENIORS and OTHER kids on the team.” Guess getting everyone more trinkets to sell is vesty’s top priority.

    My gawd…Spurrier is looking more and more classy as the years go by.


  10. Esteemed Senator,
    Longtime reader, first-time commenter. I think you missed the point of my column. It was directed at the folks in Big Ten land who think the SEC is the nexus of all that is unholy. Well, the Big Ten’s marquee program needed to cut a deal to allow some NCAA rule-breakers to play to beat an SEC team in a BCS bowl. So it’s time to turn off the holier-than-thou faucet in the Midwest.

    If you’re mad because I painted the SEC with a broad brush, I’m sorry. The conference has earned its reputation — and I say that as the graduate of an SEC school who played football in college.

    You happen to be a fan of one of the league’s more up-and-up athletic departments, so I can understand if you don’t appreciate being lumped in with the others.

    Oh well, enough self-defense. Keep up the good work, and feel free to call me out whenever I deserve it.


    • Andy, I appreciate the gracious response (not to mention I’m flattered you even bother to read here).

      I got the point to your column, but I disagree with your putting the Big Ten on a pedestal in the first place. I also don’t see how you can place oversigning and Tatgate on the same legal (as opposed to moral) plane. There are NCAA regs against the latter, but not the former. Like it or not, that’s a crucial difference.

      By the way, since I’ve got your attention, I just want to say as a faithful reader, this is one of the best suggestions I’ve ever read for college football. It’s too brilliant to have a chance, unfortunately.


      • Puffdawg

        SB, I wanted to wait to reply to Andy above to give you a chance at rebuttal, but…

        Aren’t you thrilled to find out that there are actually people in Montana who read the blog! Clearly you fit in as a “king” of college football blogging!