NCAA Football

College Football Weekly Recap: Tressel, Clowney, Nader, Iowa

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Each week during the off-season we will be doing this feature that will simply be called "This Week In College Football". We will cover the biggest news and stories of the past week and give some opinions and analysis.

In addition to covering the weekly happenings we also do a weekly roundtable where we discuss varying topics and we give several opinions on each topic. If you haven't read it yet then check out this weeks roundtable, it's all about the Big 12. There isn't a ton of news out there this week as spring practices are just gearing up and teams are trying to stay under the radar but here are a few newsworthy items....

Jim Tressel

We have already talked about Jim Tressel these past two weeks. You can read about our previous thoughts and opinions here and here. Since he was willing to cover this situation up, I've wondered what else he could be covering up. Well this week we found one answer. One of the excuses Tressel gave for covering up this information and keeping it from his employer and from the NCAA was that he was honoring a confidentiality request from the person who gave him the information. The Columbus Dispatch found out that he didn't treat the "confidentiality request" very confidentially. He forwarded the information to Ted Sarniak, who is a mentor for Terrell Pryor (Ohio State's QB and member of the "Tattoo Five"). The more this situation gets looked into the murkier it gets. By keeping Tressel, Ohio State has already told everyone that wins are more important than integrity. The interesting questions know are what else do we find out that Tressel did (or didn't do), what will it take for Ohio State to part ways with the Sweater Vest and what will the ultimate suspension be that is handed down by the NCAA for Tressel. This situation is far from over.

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Jadeveon Clowney's Interesting Voyage In Columbia Nightlife

On Friday morning at about 2 am the top prospect in all of College Football was being handcuffed by a member of the Columbia Police Department. Apparently Clowney and another future Gamecock Gerald Dixon were out at a Columbia bar, the Salty Nut, around 2 am. Shortly after that Clowney was stopped by the cops and briefly detained and handcuffed but was then released. According to Steve Spurrier it was a case of mistaken identity. Here's my problem with this. I don't know Jadeveon Clowney or claim to know his motivations but he is walking on a slippery slope right now. He is the number one recruit in all of college football so he needs to understand that he has a target on his back. As a high school senior if he is out in the bars in Columbia on a Thursday night I think he could be a problem once he gets to campus. I don't mean a problem in terms of being a "bad kid" but I mean a problem in terms of getting caught up in the distractions, nightlife or doing something that puts him in a bad situation where he makes a bad decision. In this age of twitter, facebook and social media everybody has access to a cell phone that takes pictures and word spreads about a zillion times faster than it did 10 or 20 years ago.

Ralph Nader's College Football Proposal

Consumer Advocate and former Presidential Candidate Ralph Nader is calling for the elimination of college athletic scholarships. Our friends over at In The Bleachers discussed something similar to this recently when they interviewed Steven Salzberg, a professor from the University of Maryland, in one of their recent podcasts (if you are interested in this subject then that's a must listen).  Nader wants to replace college scholarships with need-based financial aid. Nader says that this will help restore academic integrity to college sports and also help reduce a "win-at-all-costs" mentality in high schools by reducing the incentive of college scholarships. I don't believe that the actual proposal has been released yet so I will reserve judgement until I am able to read that in it's entirety. But, it feels like this proposal would severely impact a lot of student-athletes who use athletics as a means to get an education and to better their life. And that is a bad thing.

Iowa Releases Report

Iowa released a report this week on the 13 Hawkeye players that were sent to the hospital with rhabdomyolysis. The report states that the players conditions were not caused by drugs or supplements. Workouts like these had been done in 2004 and 2007 successfully so there was no reason not to believe that they could be done this year. However, due to the results the football program will abandon this squat lifting workout and improve their reaction time in responding to players if they become injured or ill after a workout. Iowa also noted that communication must be improved between the strength coaches, trainers, team physicians and players. Hopefully everybody learns from a situation like this because it's a scary situation when 13 kids are hospitalized and it's not one anyone wants repeated.