Admittedly I had always been a fan of Ohio State's head football coach, Jim Tressel. He seemed like one of the last good guys left in college football.  In light of the recent allegations, it seems like we were all once again duped. However, as a Cajun fan, and a Coach Shipley fan, I'm always wary when all the blame is landed on the coach.

I'm not going to say that Tressel did not deserve his punishment. He did the crimes, and he deserves everything he got and will get in the future. However, I think it should be noted why Tressel is in trouble to begin with.

When the news of his infractions broke, Ohio State quickly leveed a Tressel a two-game suspension and tried to move on. The NCAA, the governing body in college sports, seemed content with the self-imposed two-game suspension, and were also eager to move on. As more facts came to light and the media pressure increased, the self-imposed suspension grew to five games. Once again, the NCAA seemed content with the punishment.

It was only when the media continued to press the issue that Tressel finally resigned.

The point is, while Tressel's actions were reprehensible and justifiably punished, throughout the whole process it didn't appear that Ohio State or the NCAA wanted to punish him, or to further investigate at all.

Consider that for a second. His organization, and the organization responsible for policing college sports, seemed more than willing to turn a blind eye to the infractions. Had media attention died down earlier, Tressel would have served his suspension next season, and all parties involved would have moved on.

I want to make myself clear, I am not calling Tressel an innocent scapegoat. However, why the NCAA is not under as much scrutiny (or more) than Tressel or Ohio State, is beyond my comprehension.

I'm sure there are many coaches in college football who would not have stooped to Tressel's level. But the fact that his actions were accepted by both his school and the NCAA speaks volumes for how broken the college football system is.

For the large universities in college football, the rules simply don't apply. This year, when Arkansas State was punished for rules violations, most Cajun fans cheered, happy with the short-term gain the Cajuns could receive.  We did not question for a second why a Sun Belt school is getting punished while larger universities appear to be getting away with murder.  While larger universities were receiving allegations of sex-filled recruiting trips, money handshakes, and straight up pay-for-play, it was ASU that received the ax from the NCAA.

At one time, college football was about the purity of the game. Young men competed without contracts for the love of the game.

This year, the National Champion gameship pitted the University of Nike vs. the University of Under Armour, while the Heisman trophy winner accepted his trophy under huge speculation of rules violations.

Meanwhile TCU, a team from the Mountain West Conference, finished the season undefeated without ever having the chance to play for a national championship.

So much for purity.

Sam Stokes is a senior in Media Advertising at UL. He plays guitar with T-Ray & Sam, and attends almost every Cajuns sporting event he can. To read more of his writings, click on his name at the top of this article.


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