In any just world, the NCAA would’ve been deep-sixed decades ago for the corrupt, usurious cartel it is. The fact that the game’s best player will have his college career destroyed because he couldn’t afford to take someone he loves to a bowl game that paid $40 million to each team is the last ludicrous arrow in the NCAA’s quiver of justice—a concept as capricious as it is inept.
If previous investigations have taught us anything, it’s that Ohio State was foolish to self-report. Teams that self-report real little reward for their attempt at integrity (you may judge the sincerity of that attempt as you will). What we know is that the best answer to any NCAA investigation is to start with the Bart Simpson approach:
and then transition to Miami’s famous “Da ShapirU” defense:
Humor aside, this is perilously close to the truth. The best defense against the NCAA has been to simply refuse to cooperate until the House That Emmert Built bungles things to the point of it all sort of collapsing under the weight of its own rancor and lethargy.
Of course it doesn’t take a genius to see that the NCAA has a PR nightmare on its hands. The recent vote to allow players to profit from their efforts as football stars is not a magnanimous windfall to student-athletes as much as it is an admission that the NCAA and universities have owed these players compensation the whole time. Just as women’s suffrage was not a gift to women but a righting of a long-standing wrong, the admission that players are eligible for compensation is proof that they’ve always deserved it.
For the NCAA to now attempt to destroy the best player (and top-ranked team in the game) over something they’ve now admitted is a player’s due is a dicey gamble at best. Moreover, to do so over what appears to be a repaid loan used to get a player’s family and/or girlfriend to his 9-figure bowl game is almost an impossible sell.
But make no mistake—sell it they will. Granted, they couldn’t sell the doping of Clemson players, or the fake classes at UNC, and flat out gave up on Evan Shapiro’s floating brothel for Miami players. But Chase Young will go down, and OSU with him. He’ll never wear a Buckeye uniform again.
When that happens, it may finally be the push for major schools to abandon the NCAA altogether. The idea isn’t a new one, for sure, but one whose time has perhaps come. Because at this point, what is the NCAA good for anymore?
of course I have a personal interest in OSU and the continued play of Chase Young. No hiding that personal bias. But at this point, fans of any team would be hard-pressed to defend the indentured servitude the NCAA has used to enrich itself—notably at the expense of the kids it’s plowed under in a hamfisted quest to maintain the charade of amateurism.
If nothing else, let the death of Chase Young’s career be the final straw that spurs major university athletic departments to abandon whatever the NCAA purports to be in 2019.