May 31, 2011

Ohio State and Student Athletes

Ohio State and Student Athletes.

Well it has finally hit the fan. OSU has been in trouble before with much the same scenario. Buckeye legend Woody Hayes in the fifties got the university in trouble by giving his athletes loans to make rent payments and other incidental expenses needed to remain a student athlete. Woody got caught but he survived and coached on until his demons got the best of him and he lashed out physically at one of his opponents players in a moment of peak which started his last days at his beloved OSU as coach.

Not to belabor the facts of aid to student/athletes, nor try to ignore the wrong doing, because it is indeed a breaking of the laws of the NCAA, but a problem we do have.

We have athletes who are the prime movers of millions of dollars into the till of the athletic department hence the university itself. Enough money is generated each year to build new buildings, endow scholarships to aid future doctors, scientists and a full range of worthy fields of endeavor.

The amount of money generated just from OSU paraphernalia such as hats, sweaters and God knows what else as long as it has the OSU logo on it would range in the millions.

Who are these student/athletes who have the sporting abilities needed to bring his chosen school to such national attention that wearing a hat with the schools logo on it adds cache to the wearer. It validates the wearers ability to pick the best team to be associated with.

These people who can move a hundred thousand people each Saturday into a stadium to watch his every move, to cheer his good moves, or groan and commiserate with ill fortune when it might happen. These are the student/athletes who for the price of one paid for scholarship enable the university to rake in untold millions. The student/athlete who throws his body one hundred percent every day with the guarantee of a college degree if he finishes, or a broken body for the rest of his life if he doesn't. A professional career is the carrot dangled for the super achievers, but they are for only a few. For most it is a memory of what might have been.

For these student/athletes it is incumbent upon the governing bodies of college sport and its universities to find an equitable solution for these young men who give their all for their sport and for an impossible dream of what might be to enable him to compete honestly and to enjoy the fruits of his labor.

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