Looters (and other pond scum)

June 1, 2011

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It happens every time there is a natural disaster, and it’s happening in Joplin, Missouri.  As people try to put their lives back together, looters are looking through the rubble in search of anything that might fetch a few bucks.  Other than declaring open season on looters, I’m not really sure how this problem can be fixed.  If you’re stealing from people in the aftermath of a tragedy, you truly have no shame.  In the aftermath of the Iowa floods in 2008, there were instances of people the copper from inside homes.

Jim Tressel finally stepped down as the football coach at Ohio State.  He’s not the first football coach to cover up NCAA violations, and he’s not the first to lie to the NCAA about it.  However, in this case there was a smoking gun, and you can’t let one guilty person off simply because you have insufficient evidence to prove that other people are guilty.

The athletes are definitely no angels in this situation.  They should have known better.  However, they are young, and young people make mistakes.  The smart ones learn from those mistakes.  I’m certainly annoyed at the way the NCAA watered down the punishment by having it start AFTER their bowl game.  The players will miss relatively unimportant early season games.  Want to make suspensions less predictable?  Throw the names of all a team’s opponents in a hat and randomly choose which games a player will be suspended for.  It might be Central Southeast Ohio A & T … or it might be Michigan.

I’m sure some Buckeye fans will blame Christopher Cicero for the imminent collapse of the program.  Cicero is the Columbus lawyer who emailed Tressel to make him aware of the fact that his players were interacting with a known criminal.  For those Buckeye fans who feel that what has transpired is the worst that could have happened to the OSU football program … you are wrong.  The worst thing that could have happened was having a player getting mixed up in something really bad an ending up dead.  Put yourself in Cicero’s shoes – if you said nothing, and someone ended up hurt, could you sleep at night?  I know very little about Cicero outside of the OSU scandal, but if this is an indication of how his moral compass orients, I’d hire him as a lawyer if I needed one.  He had the best interests of the kids at heart.

And perhaps the mos bizarre pond scum incident from the past few weeks – Dominique Strauss-Kahn, head of the International Monetary Fund, sexually assaulting a hotel maid in his New York hotel room.  Strauss-Kahn was expected to be a leading candidate in the French presidential election.  Even if he were able to flee the country, I’m not sure how he expected this incident to remain hidden.  This wasn’t some anonymous rapist – it was really easy to figure out who it was – the registered occupant of the hotel room.  Goodbye job, goodbye French presidency, goodbye freedom.

The Ohio State Saga: Tressel Resigns

May 31, 2011

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On a day with relatively no sports news, Jimmy “the Vest” Tressel decided to proclaim his resignation from thuh ohio state university as their football coach.

Nothing like picking the day that we honor America’s heroes of military service to slip into the night – – because of your dishonorable actions.

The real issue here is not what the Buckeye players did that was wrong, it was the fact that the head coach knew about it, then lied that he knew about it, and then took another year to basically confess his problems. More strangely, he waits another 3-4 months from when the entire charade completely blew up earlier this year. But, he waits until NOW announce that he is stepping down? Why the wait Jimmy?

Coming clean earlier would have avoided a lot of embarrassment for the University, and its program. It would have also given the Athletic Director a chance to do a broader coaching search and perhaps look at other interested candidates. That is no longer a possibility with the Spring football camps wrapped up and summer conditioning well under way.

Ohio State will have a number of players sit out the first 5 games of the year to start the 2012 season due to them essentially trading autographs and memorabilia for ink. That is right. Tattoo em up boys with a alleged drug trafficker….Classy.

A number of other players are still under investigation and could face yet to be determined disciplinary action. More investigation into sold bowl and conference championship rings and sweetened deals to purchase cars from local dealerships have the boosters squirming in their overpriced seats at the Horseshoe.

Amazingly I have not heard an apology from Tressel to date. The Vest in his owns actions cares so much about his players that he would cover up infractions and cares so much for the University that he felt that keeping the head coaching position any longer would be an unfair distraction. How about a simple – “I am sorry” from the former head honcho.

The next weeks should be more interesting as further details unfold. Ohio State has to appear before the NCAA infractions committee in early August. Maybe the club should have done their homework and recognized that this was not Tressel’s first tussle with allegations. While coaching at powerhouse Youngstown State, talks of improper recruiting were in the air. Tressel left those allegations while they were still under investigation and went on to be the head coach at Ohio State.

No where to slip to this time except the golf course for Tressel.

Until next time,

Stay classy Columbus!