After the Heisman presentation, I thought I'd check out Pony Excess, because I remember the announcement by the NCAA placing SMU under the Repeat Violations punishment, otherwise known as the Death Penalty. I remember when the SWC was a good football conference. And I remember when Houston rolled up 95 points against a hapless SMU squad in their first year back.
Despite ESPN's best efforts to make some of the people look like innocent victims, I had very little sympathy for anyone involved, perhaps maybe the kids at SMU who stuck with the program during the suspended seasons (those who didn't get paid) and those joined after the program restarted. (Still think it was absolutely classless what Houston did to them in 89 - but hey, they got there sanctions a few years later).
What surprised me was SMU's decision to recently begin to welcome back all their former players, particularly those from the era of widespread paying of players. Despite the NCAA exposing the reality that the school knew what was going on, the show did it's best to try and make it seem like the only villains were the boosters. Yet a large number of players took money, and continued to take money after the first and second sanctions!
Eric Dickerson wouldn't go on record as to what SMU had to do that got him to sign (though an assistant coach claimed they paid off the gold trans am), and yet here was the university openly contacting him and inviting him back years later! It seemed as if the past was just forgotten, and athletes, many of whom admitted they were getting paid were now suddenly back as a part of the family. Worse yet, many of them seemed upset that they'd been kept a way from the program for so long. There seemed to be no remorse for what they'd done. In some cases only frustration that other schools weren't penalized the same way.
I don't feel sorry for the student athletes who KNEW the rules (and they know the rules) and took money, went to SMU and continued to take money even as the school was put on probation.
As it applies to Michigan, it reminded me that those implicated with Ed Martin should remain away from the progam. I'm glad that Webber, Taylor, Traylor and Bullock are not part of the program. They knew what they were doing, they did it anyway, and in Webber's case, he's never admitted he broke the rules and what he did was wrong (at least in the eyes of the NCAA). There are consequences and I'm glad Michigan continues to exhibit some consistency here.
Curious to see what others thought who watched Pony Excess.