Chris Rock once said, “Men are as faithful as their options.” To expand on Mr. Rock’s insight, we can add, “Young men are as reliable in following NCAA rules on extra benefits as their options.”
The football Minnesota Gophers might have won less often than preferred over the past decade, but Minnesotans can take heart in the fact our beloved rodents have never been implicated in making regular visits to yachts overrun with hookers.
Admittedly, our other prominent footballers, the Vikings, went on such a cruise a few years back, although it was a boat not a yacht, and as true professionals, the participants paid for their own working girls.
The problem that has surfaced with the Miami Hurricanes is the tab was picked up by a crazed booster and felon-to-be, Nevin Shapiro.
The yacht rides and hookers are only a portion of what has now taken the lead as the most entertaining scandal in the history of college athletics.
In Minnesota, the maroon sweaters devoted to the Gophers can go “tsk, tsk” in Miami’s direction, and tell themselves it wouldn’t happen because we have young men of such character.
That could be correct, but I’m going with Chris Rock on this one:
It hasn’t happened in Minnesota, because there’s not an ocean nearby, and the yachts are few and far between, and our Ponzi schemers (such as Tom Petters) preferred to spend ill-gotten riches on items other than hookers and luxury items for college boys.
Of course, Charles Robinson’s exhaustive report on Yahoo! Sports has led to the usual bonanza of commentary on the hypocrisy of big-time college athletics, the hypocrisy of the NCAA, and blah, blah, blah.
This isn’t about hypocrisy. This is about reality.
And here’s the truth: For all the effort coaches might put into trying to keep the whole truth away from their bosses and the NCAA, their players put more energy into trying to keep away even half the truth from coaches.
I set up this scenario on Wednesday for a 26-year-old male who works in the Star Tribune sports department:
“Saturday’s game is over, it’s early in the evening and a several players receive an invitation to jump into a couple of SUVs and ride to the St. Croix, where waiting will be a large party boat that has attractive ladies paid to mingle and whatnot.
“The question is, how old do I have to be as a fan of that team to believe the players would turn down that invitation because it would be an extra benefit in violation of NCAA rules? Do I have to be 35?”
The 26-year-old thought and said: “You have to be older — at least 45. If you’re younger than 45, you dang well know they would get in those SUVs and go to the party.”
I’m much older than 45, and I know better than to believe a player would pass on a rules-breaking party for fear of being given a lecture by his head football coach.
The crime at Miami was that Shapiro was able to buy his way into favor with the administration and athletic program as well as the players.
You look at the photos that accompany the Yahoo! story, and the reaction is: “The U should have known this guy was a weasel just by looking at him.”
The ‘Canes should have run him off at first sight, rather than allow him to buy such favors as leading the team onto the field — twice.
Was it hypocrisy to let him do that? No, it was stupidity.