26 May 2011
I’m a businessman. By my own standards I consider myself an entrepreneur and a capitalist. I believe in free markets. I believe that the value of something is only determined by the utility that the individual places on it and the amount of funds they are willing to part with in order to acquire it. Being a capitalist is my ethos. I am not “me” if I am not a capitalist. You know what else defines “me”? Being a flat out, unbridled, sick to my stomach before every game, addicted to Tums & Bloody Mary’s, no holds barred, Scarlet and freakin Gray “Buckeye”. That is also my ethos.
We often attempt to define what it means to be a Buckeye. Everyone has their own prerequisites. Everyone has their own standards. But one thing I think we can all agree on is that being a “Buckeye”, and not just a fan, means that we strive to promote the prosperity of the University and the Athletics program. Agreed? Call it the “Tao” of being a Buckeye, if you will.
Following the Buckeye path is, for all intents and purposes, a simple one but does not come without responsibility. For example, I hold all Buckeyes responsible for not sabotaging the University or Athletics program. Maybe some of you don’t. Maybe you think it’s perfectly fine to call yourself a Buckeye and sabotage the program. Me? I see it differently. So it’s possible I’m the crazy one here. I could be some misguided fool who simply thought that being a Buckeye DID NOT mean that I could do whatever I want to harm the program and blame the compliance department for not being good enough to stop me. So I apologize in advance for the post if that is the case. If I’m not misguided, then why on God’s green Earth are we compromising our players, coaches, administration and basically the entire University?
Let me explain. 2011 has started off as an absolute awful year for Buckeyes. We’ve got issue with players trading things in for money and tattoos. We’ve got players being accused of getting deals on cars. We’ve got players accused of getting improper housing benefits. We’ve got players being accused of getting improper benefits for specific vacations. Let’s forget about whether or not any of these accusations are legitimate. Let’s forget about whether or not this happens anywhere else. Instead, let’s focus on the parties involved and their actions. In every single one of these instances there has been 1) an OSU athlete and 2) a business or individual. Now, the players are either getting their punishment or are about to. What about the punishments for those individuals or businesses? They aren’t breaking any laws. The NCAA has no jurisdiction over them.
I can see where casual fans can sit back and only hold the players and University accountable. But Buckeyes, I can’t see how we can accept that. These businesses and individuals know that when they are giving an improper benefit that this is exactly what is happening. They know they are compromising the player and the program. They are knowingly damaging this institution for what? For some paraphernalia or some field passes? Or maybe even something as simple as getting the occasional inside information? Who doesn’t want to be a message board hero anyway? Does the end justify the means? I’m wondering if those individuals are deliberating that right now as they see their player’s names negatively posted across headlines on a regular basis.
I, for one, am not just going to hold the University and the players accountable. I know the NCAA has that taken care of. What I care about are YOU, Buckeye Nation. I’m going to start holding you accountable. If I so much as see your dealership, tattoo parlor, car wash, shoe repair, babysitting service or even taxidermy mentioned in a media piece, you will never get my business again. Maybe the NCAA can’t hurt your wallets, but I can do my part. And I will. Because like I said, being a Buckeye is my ethos. I can understand you wanting to make a Buck. But I will not sit idly by and let you get away with single handedly compromising the integrity and future growth of our program. I’ll gladly see every single one of you burn to the ground before I watch The Ohio State University suffer.
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