Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Oklahoma State Scandal - Why Should I Care?

Why should I care indeed? This story could be written about any school in the country. Just so happened Oklahoma State caught the glare for some reason.

In the post-Penn State era, these scandals seem almost ho-hum and very low on my radar. Paying players vs. a school covering up pedophilia. Abusing drugs vs. administrators turning a blind eye to child abuse when told about it. What really matters in the grand scheme? Low-level incidents or true institutional failure and criminal behavior.

Nothing will compare to Penn State obviously but my point is that guys taking money and having folks pass their classes is nothing new. Where's the shock in that? Where's the newsworthiness in reporting something that happens seemingly every year? Are reporters playing Catch a Criminal or are we actually trying to change a system in the process. 

It's like police officers catching weed sellers and low-level guys while the bigger empire just replaces them with other folks. I’m not shocked by these things anymore. It's all a byproduct of a crooked empire where winning is always prevalent and more money is at stake, coaches, AD’s and boosters will do whatever it takes to win.

As Jason Whitlock* reminded folks on Twitter, the NCAA is a corrupt system. that breeds even more corruption among its universities. This story sounds like a bombshell but if you've already seen similar episodes coming from SMU, North Carolina, Minnesota, Ohio State, USC and other schools, it's nothing new.

So I’ll read the story and see how this new old tale of dirty recruiting, exchanging money and offering favors is spun. I’ll be more interested to see how the players get treated in the media and casual chatter vs. the coaches and institution. (My guy Forrest Lee takes a step further regarding the players dropping dimes on getting money.)

Stories like these often attract a slavecatcher mentality in fans/media to see who did what and castigate them instead of honest analysis that blames the root of the problem. If coaches and administrators messed up then I guess heads will roll but nothing ultimately will change. These stories will keep popping up like roaches.

It just reminds myself that scandals like these in the post Penn State era are going to bother me less. The greed, sexism, exploitation of young men and women and the rest are far more troubling wondering who got paid or who sold drugs or who cheated.

The true corrupt program.

The problem goes far beyond Oklahoma State. And until we talk about that, I really have little else to say or care about it.

*Whitlock also mentioned that co-author Thayer Evans could be compromised as a writer because he’s a proud Oklahoma fan. I remember Evans for his hit jobs on Cam Newton three years ago and that terrible SI article on Tyrann Mathieu with Pete Thamel so I’m already sketchy on trusting his reporting to be fair. Co-author George Dohrmann is a good reporter but with Evans named attached to this, I’m already not trusting this.

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