June 1, 2011 at 8:08 PM EST - Updated June 24 at 6:19 AM
The once great Ohio State football program is in disarray.
Its coach Jim Tressel banished, its star quarterback suspended for part of this season and probably also headed out the locker room door, and all because of some tattoos received by several players in exchange for team memorabilia but against NCAA rules, something Coach Tressel knew but deliberately failed to report to the University.
Now, we're not defending Tressel here or the players, rules are rules, but let's face the facts. The NCAA rules, which bar any form of compensation for student athletes in the name of amateur purity, is an increasingly indefensible hypocrisy.
Big time college sports is a multi-billion dollar business now with universities reaping huge rewards on the talented backs of athletes who are prohibited from accepting any gratuity much larger than an ice cream cone.
Instead of meting out punishment for violations of its archaic rules, which is happening with increasing frequency, the time has come for the NCAA to find a new way for the reasonable above-board compensation of college players.
A system that would protect the honesty of the games, but also establish some fairness and common sense in the world of collegiate sports.
Write and let me know what you think. I'm Bill Applegate.