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We do live in a free country, right? Not according to the ridiculous NCAA
December 23, 2010 - Cory Giger
If you own something, you should have the right to sell it. That's called living in a free country.
Well, college athletes don't live in a free country. They live under the evil empire rule of the NCAA, which once again showed how out of touch it is with reality Thursday.
Terrelle Pryor, running back Dan "Boom" Herron and three other Ohio State players have been suspended by the NCAA for the first five games of next season for -- get this -- selling their own property. (They will get to play in the Sugar Bowl.)
Umm, we do live in the United States, right? And if you own the property, aren't you allowed to sell it?
Not according to the NCAA.
I realize a lot of people in this region hate Ohio State and Pryor, so you're probably thinking they got what's coming to them. But this isn't about the Buckeyes or Pryor at all.
Pryor reportedly sold his 2008 Big Ten championship ring, Fiesta Bowl sportsmanship award and gold pants the players earn for beating Michigan, and now he must repay the money.
Sure, he earned those items while still in college and on scholarship, but THEY BELONG TO HIM. Where does the NCAA get off saying a college kid can't sell his own personal belongings?
Is this communism we're talking about?
The players also apparently received free benefits from a tattoo parlor, and I have no problem with a small punishment for something like that. But five games for all of it? Come on.
I am not in favor of paying college athletes a stipend for many reasons, not the least of which is it would create an even greater divide between the haves and have nots of college football. Some schools could afford to give the 100th guy on the team a couple of hundred bucks a month, but many could not. Also, if you're going to pay football players, you have to pay every athlete on every team, and that would crush many schools.
If you can't pay players, then what's the harm in allowing them to sell personal belongings like championship rings? There's clearly a market for that kind of stuff, so I don't see any harm in it.
So while these players are getting suspended for nearly half a season for something that should be legal, Auburn's Cam Newton not only hasn't missed one game after his dad tried to sell him to schools for nearly $200,000, he also won the Heisman Trophy.
Penn State players are getting all kinds of swag from the Outback Bowl, like a $150 gift card from Best Buy and a watch. It's not a violation of NCAA rules for them to receive that stuff -- which is ridiculous, in my opinion -- but it apparently would be if they turned around and sold them. How does that make sense?
The NCAA has no concept of fair or reasonable. It is an out-of-touch organization that cares only about making money and cares little about its student-athletes' well being.
Now, as for Pryor's actions sinking to the low of selling a championship ring, etc., that kind of disrespect is just flat embarrassing for the Buckeye program. This guy is supposed to be a leader, but he has never developed into anything of the sort.
Pryor may have been the greatest thing since sliced bread coming out of high school, and he probably thinks he still is just that. Instead, he's given the program a black eye and probably lost a lot of respect from his coaches and teammates.