The NCAA put the Oklahoma Sooners on three years' probation and fined the school $15,000 for what it deemed as major violations within the program. Along with probation and the fine, OU was forced to forfeit all 13 of its 2009-10 wins and took away a scholarship. The majority of these penalties were proposed by the school after it reported violations by a former assistant coach while still on probation from the Kelvin Sampson phone call violations.
Now for a little diatribe. These punishments came down today and yesterday it was reported that Ohio State received a "failure to monitor" charge because a few players received $200 each from a booster. I am no advocate of cheating and think that responsible parties should be punished for breaking rules.
But in light of the other story that is permeating every conversation in America since the story broke this week, does anyone else feel that all these other issues are simply trivial. That trading a jersey for a tattoo, for calling a recruit or for a rogue booster to host a party for players is just not as important anymore? What used to be a big deal in my mind - and maybe many of yours - now seems like an afterthought.
I remember reading the Yahoo report on Miami and thinking that this was one of the biggest scandals in amateur sports. "How dare they."
I remember thinking that Ohio State was getting roughed up, not because of a crime, but because of a cover-up. "Tressel should have told someone."
Now I read the grand jury report on this whole PSU tragedy and it all comes into perspective. I really don't care anymore if a player trades a jersey for a tattoo. I really don't care if a coach calls a high school recruit during a quiet period. I really don't care about any of it. Because in reality these are all made up rules that, valid or not, for all intents and purposes don't have any lasting influence on the parties involved.
What we are reading about in State College, PA is horrific and is life altering to the victims involved. These kids lost part of their youth, and now, with some of the victims in their mid to late twenties are having to relive it all again.
So while I don't think we should live in the collegiate Wild West where schools are doing whatever they see fit, I just want us all to take a step back and prioritize significance.
Thanks for the time.
Black Shoe Diaries, the SB Nation PSU blog, is taking an active response to help raise money and awareness for the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN). See full details on their site.