With each passing day more details emerge regarding the Ohio State football program and unique methods of rewarding their student-athletes (and/or Jim Tressel’s efforts to keep the lid on such). The Columbus Dispatch’s Bob Hunter bemoans the local attitude that he sums up as “when your favorite school commits a violation of any kind, it’s ‘an isolated incident’ or ‘an unfair rule’ or ‘not that big a deal.’”
• If you break the rules and get caught, it doesn’t matter whether the rule is fair or anyone else is doing it. You commit the crime, you do the time. If the other guys get caught, they will also have to pay.
• This story is not being overreported. Those who broke the rules created this story, not reporters.
• Some national columnists and commentators probably have gone a little overboard with their glee over Ohio State’s troubles, but that goes with the territory with any team or program that regularly wins. In college athletics, Ohio State is a lot like the New York Yankees. It has more money and resources and wins a lot, so it is ripe for criticism when it fails.
• If Ohio State fans sometimes feel as if everyone is against their Buckeyes, it’s because it’s mostly true. Non-OSU fans are like some members of the national media. If you were an Indiana football fan, would you feel bad about what’s happening at Ohio State?
Lest every Buckeye football player be tarred as someone accepting illicit benefits from Columbus used car dealers, there’s a report that one such establishment sold a 2003 Chevy Impala to a member of the Ohio State squad for $9100 — more than the car’s blue book value at the time.