October 25, 2014

Medina
Mostly cloudy
53°F

Commentary: Selling, telling and yelling

Thinking about going garage saling and picking up a few cheap vests, so let’s Rick-o-chet around the world of sports and get outta here:

There are a lot of subplots, yes, but the whole Jim Tressel saga boils down to one thing: If he had done the right thing to begin with, he’d still have his job. Really, folks, it’s that simple. …

Tressel not only failed to go to his superiors more than a year ago when he first got word his players were trading memorabilia for tattoos, he also failed to divulge he had information when the transgressions became public knowledge in December. …

On top of that, Ohio State allowed Terrelle Pryor and Co. to play in the Sugar Bowl, a decision that looked horrible to some of us then and appears abominable to most now. …

As for the argument that “Everyone in major college football is doing it,” three questions: 1. Do you really know that for sure? 2. Isn’t that overused talk radio “defense” basically an admission of guilt? 3. And, finally, as my dear mother used to ask when I told her all my friends were doing something or going somewhere, “If John and Bob jumped off the bridge, would you?” …

I know a college football coach can’t possibly control what his players do off the field, 24/7, but he can control what he does. Right? Right?? …

The testimonials from many former Tressel players are admirable, to be sure, but that doesn’t change the fact he messed up, big-time, in at least this instance. …

As for the side argument that college athletes should be paid, please note that out-of-state tuition and room and board at most major universities runs upward of $25,000 a school year these days.

That’s more than $100 grand over four years, more than $125G over five. Not bad compensation, if you ask me. …

Suppose big-time athletes — or all athletes, for that matter — are one day given stipends for participating in college sports. You don’t think there are going to be some who still take more on the side? Is that legal? Illegal? And do you give Pryor or the hot shot future NBA player the same stipend as the gymnast? That system would be much worse than the current one, people. …

I’ve got it: Let’s just not have any rules at all! …

OK, this is getting way too heavy for a typical Rick-o-chet, so let me take this opportunity to point out I can now spell Jan Vesely, Bismack Biyombo and Jonas Valanciunas without looking their names up. Donatas Motiejunas, I’m working on, but there’s still more than three weeks until the NBA Draft. …

Speaking of the draft, if there’s any truth to the rumor of the Cavaliers using their trade exception to take on the contract of Detroit’s Richard Hamilton and getting the Pistons’ No. 8 pick, then buying out Hamilton and trading the Nos. 4 and 8 picks to Minnesota for the No. 2 choice, I have another suggestion: Consider retaining Hamilton, don’t make the trade with the Timberwolves and keep the Nos. 1, 4 and 8 picks. …

If you’re a draftnik, you understood all that. If you’re not, never mind. …

While we’re on the subject of basketball, the Tressel saga was a positive in one way: At least temporarily, it helped some people forget You Know Who and the Miami Heat are in the NBA Finals. …

The Indians entered Tuesday — anyone else struggling to figure out what day it is this week? — having lost five of their last six. Is this the beginning of the end, or is it just one of those bad stretches all teams go through over the course of a long season? …

At the moment, I vote for the latter, but today is June 1, so right now we can be way more positive Pat Shurmur will be a great coach, all the draft picks will be superstars, the NFL lockout will end, a couple top-tier free agents will be signed and the Browns will win the Super Bowl. …

On a totally unrelated subject — I know, you’re thinking “Are any of these subjects really related?” — it figures that we finally get some great weather now that the high school spring sports season is coming to an end. …

Speaking of the end — and another completely forced transition — I’m out.

Contact Rick Noland at (330) 721-4061 or rnoland@medina-gazette.com.