Whitlock on Tressel - good for a laugh

Submitted by michgoblue on June 1st, 2011 at 11:25 AM

For those interested, take a look at Jason Whitlock's recent article re: Jim Tressel.  This is as close to a defense of what Tressel did as I have seen, and it is laughable.  Basically, JT didn't "really" do anything wrong - it is all the NCAA's fault for basically having rules, and so what that JT lied to the NCAA.

For those who are not familiar with his writing, he is a typical media blowhard, who likes to take strong positions and hear himelf speak (on paper).  He did write a great piece on Hoke being the right guy for Michigan a few days before Hoke was hired, but that was just about the only good thing that he has ever written.


EDIT:  The "Whitcock" reference was an honest to goodness typo - freudian, perhaps, but still a typo.  I never do the 12-year-old MLive thing, so my apologies. 



June 1st, 2011 at 11:33 AM ^

...that he is also a very strong proponent of paying the student-athletes, so his opinion on this should not surprise anyone.  Hopefully this, combined with the OP's synopsis, saves someone five minutes of their life.

His Dudeness

June 1st, 2011 at 1:57 PM ^

That's bullshit for two reasons:

A) The "L" key is nowhere near the "C" key.

B) It was in both the title of the OP and the body of the OP.

If you are going to lie at least make it better than a 5 year old telling me he didn't shit his pants.


June 1st, 2011 at 6:06 PM ^

I don't get the hostility.  For some reason I had Whitcock (which, by the way is not an entirely uncommon last name as I have a co-worker / friend with that last name) in my head.  I don't personally care enough about MGoPoints to go back to a post that I made, edit it, and then create a lie to explain my edit. 

You really need to relax a bit.  You usually are a good part of the discussion here, but lately you are just looking for a fight with just about anyone.


June 1st, 2011 at 11:52 AM ^

I hate the guy too, but we don't need to make a joke aimed at 12-year olds about his name. Hasn't he reached Sharp status yet? Can't we just delete threads the minute his name is posted on the board? The consensus that he is the living, breathing, newspaper version of a troll will never change. He is never relevant in intelligent conversation or insightful commentary.

Benoit Balls

June 1st, 2011 at 11:36 AM ^

he's not necessarily wrong here. Not so much as it relates to Jim Tressel just being the latest patsy, but as it relates to the NCAA being deplorable. I think he took the plantation analogy a bit far (as in, assuming his readers were too stupid to pick up on it so he whacked us over the head with it a few times), but overall, his message was more about the corruption of the entire NCAA.  Tressel is now a radioactive paraiah who is being torn to pieces in the media. That same media should be following up their reports on Tressel and how horrible he is with how gawdawfully corrupt the NCAA is, but they don't , because of the money the NCAA brings.


I'm all for some Tressel and tsio bashing, and I love having a front row seat for all of this, but the man has a valid point.


June 1st, 2011 at 11:50 AM ^

I disagree. No matter what industry, Tressel's actions were deplorable (leaving out what Pryor % Co. did). In the MLB, if a HC watched Barry Bonds shooting HGH and did nothing, he would be in a lot of trouble too. If a clerk received information about a potential conflict of interest for their judge in a case he was working on and sat on it, it would be a big deal.

Ultimately, Tressel did not get into trouble because players sold property; he got in trouble because he failed to follow a very basic rule of being a professional anything: when there's a problem that you don't have the authority to solve (or there's a major conflict or something), you need to alert those who do.

Benoit Balls

June 1st, 2011 at 2:01 PM ^

did I say Tressel's actions were not deplorable? What does a manager in MLB willfully ignoring one of their players injecting steroids have to do with the price of HGH at Balco?

All I was saying is that Whitlock's point was that the media was missing the mark again, making it all out to be how Tressel is such a bad guy, while they willfully ignore the corruption that permeates the NCAA, because the NCAA is who butters their bread.

So, not sure why you are disagreeing with me telling me what Tressel did was wrong and the reasons why. I never stated anything to the contrary.  It appears you are disagreeing with a point I never made.

Unless perhaps you are disagreeing over what the intent of Whitlocks article was? 



June 1st, 2011 at 2:05 PM ^

Hmm...with the clarification of this post it looks like I just read your original one incorrectly. The way I read your first post was something like "yea, what Tressel did was bad within the lines the NCAA has drawn, but Whitlock is right (or is at least on to something) saying that those lines are incorrect".

I didn't mean it as an attack, just discussing a topic that, like you say now, apparently didn't exist. +1 for your troubles.


June 1st, 2011 at 5:58 PM ^

There are plenty of arguments against paying players ... and I have yet to hear these media guys provide solutions for the following predicaments ...

1) Pay being the same for all athletes on the team, scholarship, non scholarship, starter, scout team, all american, all conference, suidical kitten starting at quarterback

2) 14 FBS schools made money last year on football (if you exclude money from student fees which is the correct way to make this calculation). Therefore, over 100 schools will lose more money. Do the schools making money get to pay their players more? Who pays for this additional money?

3) What about all other sports in the athletic department? Do you cut women's sports that provide no revenue and some of which are very expensive to run (Women's basketball and women's softball) and severely violate Title IX? Or do you just eliminate all other men's sports not named Football or basketball? Who would Michigan play against in hockey (because the MAC schools in the CCHA would be cut instantly). 

The point is, Tressel repeatedly lied to these kids. If he was truly concerned for them, he would have discussed the lesson in life where sometimes you are exploited but in reality, it helps you have a better chance at a more profitable NFL when you are ready to play, not when you are some 18 year old, baby fat possessing kid who's had poor coaching and technique until college. 


June 1st, 2011 at 11:36 AM ^

I don't mind the article much.  I agree with the overall point he is making, I just don't agree with him seemingly trying to sweet what Tressle did under the rug as it was no big deal.


 Also, don't fall into the trap of finding someone a good journalist only because you agree with them, or a bad one because you disagree with them.   (Not saying that Whitlock is a good or bad writer.  Simply making an assumption based on your line about finding his positive michigan article so good.)

Twisted Martini

June 1st, 2011 at 11:40 AM ^

Way too many people profit from the current system to want to change it.  I agree 100% with Whitlock, but that doesn't excuse what Tressel did.  You can either work to change the system (he didn't) or play by the rules (he also didn't).  If you get caught you will and should suffer the consequences.  And positioning yourself as a paragon of virtue and integrity while lying to cover up your rule breaking makes it worse.


June 1st, 2011 at 11:42 AM ^

"Whitcock"? Come on.

Also, I don't think he's particularly wrong. College football as a whole is an industry designed to make money off of largely free labor (or, cheap labor, given what they produce) and to be a free farm system for the NFL. It's just what it is. I was never that upset about what the Tat5 did (selling their own stuff? Heavens!). Tressel, in Whitlock's view, is a guy who saw college football for what it was and was canny enough to sell it to the general public as something else. I don't get the sense that Tressel is being excused here (he shouldn't be) - Whitlock is saying he's just not very remarkable, which I'd tend to agree with.

That seems fairly accurate to me.


June 1st, 2011 at 12:01 PM ^

See what I wrote below - how many of these kids are interested in the education. Less than 40% of drafted baseball players go to college. If the NFL had the same system, and they didn't use college as their minor leagues, how many kids do you think would still be playing NCAA football? They're being compensated with something likely more than 1/2 of them don't care about.


June 1st, 2011 at 12:02 PM ^

But then go ask the question to John Wall's mom. Unless the parents you have to question are parents of high profile athletes who would have jerseys in MDen (or wherever for other schools) that comparison doesn't make a lot of sense.

My girlfriend is a scholarship softball player, her parents are grateful for her scholarship money. However, she also brings in a lot less then gets paid out to her. It's not so great looking from the other side.


June 1st, 2011 at 1:15 PM ^

Yea the last point was just saying that she has it really good (not as good as you originally said, but good), but people like John Wall, Denard Robinson and Andrew Luck don't.


June 1st, 2011 at 11:57 AM ^

If the NCAA were seperated from minor-league football (IE, Football had a baseball-style farm system) how many of these kids do you think would be in college? If it's anything like Baseball, we'd guess..30%? 35%?

Personally, I don't see how "compensating" someone with something they have no interest in is the same.


June 1st, 2011 at 12:41 PM ^

if you feel as a student athlete that you're being "exploited", then don't accept the scholarship.  No one is forcing you to play football, and it's not a right.  If you think you're that good, then hire a trainer, sit out the 2 years before you can declare, then start your "rightful" employment getting paid for what you know how to do.


June 1st, 2011 at 1:45 PM ^

If football were to do that and create a minor league system to manage players and one could draft kids out of high school would it be better for the kids? My point is how many of the kids in the minor leagues make it to the MLB? I found 18% from here: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_percentage_of_minor_league_baseball_players_make_the_major_leagues

Here is a list of the salary breakdown: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_average_minor_league_baseball_players_salary 

First year player makes 850/month and then its negotiable, with a first year AAA guy making 2150/month and then it becomes negotiable. Assuming 9 months, that is 7650 first year and 19350 for AAA first year. Obviously, as you become better that allows one to negotiate better deals for more money, but I seriously doubt it ever approaches really high numbers unless you are a guy bouncing back and forth from the MLB and minor leagues.

If kids are getting 50,000-60,000 a year from scholarship value plus the value of having a college degree then that seems a better value. Plus, you get the benefits of being on a college campus, playing in competitive historied leagues (well not all) and being in an environment which is supposedly isn't supposed to have the pressure of a professional system. Yes, these kids might not want to be in college, but this system seems just as good as a professional minor league run by the NFL. If some more of the revenue were to be redistributed to the players that would be great, or maybe EA and other corporations profiting on college athletes should have to funnel that money back to college athletes.

Disclaimer: maybe football has more money to pay minor league guys (owners are stockpiling profits).


June 1st, 2011 at 12:02 PM ^

A couple questions:

Scholarships for instate players are cheaper than out of state players. Do you think the fact that out of state players are getting paid more than instate players will hurt recruiting? It doesn't seem fair.

I had a partial academic scholarship. Why did it feel like I wasn't getting paid?


June 1st, 2011 at 12:54 PM ^

You may not get directly paid, but let's say instead of the partial scholarship you were instead paying full-price; would your lifestyle not be different if you didn't have $3,000 (or whatever amount) essentially being given to you each semester? 

I bought a TV half-off recently.. Did it feel like I was paid $500? No.  Did I have $500 more to spend or do what I wanted with? Yes.


June 2nd, 2011 at 3:59 PM ^

The Athletic Department pays the University the price of the scholarships. That's where all that money goes, and why the idea that people are just getting rich on the backs of players isn't the case.  Now, there are schools that don't make a profit, and some get some help from the University to pay for the Athletic Department. But U-M's AD is self-sufficient, and pays the cost (at an OOS rate) for the scholarships of all their athletes. Which is why any argument "I have a say in what the Athletic Department does, my tax dollars support them!" is false. No public monies go to the AD. They pay for all their own stuff, from scholarships to building to salaries.


June 1st, 2011 at 11:56 AM ^

because it would drive a truck-sized hole in any pretense of amateurism.  If you want to junk that myth and start paying the players, we can discuss that reform.  In the meantime, letting the players sell "their" apparel, trinkets, etc., that were given to them specially as members of the football team is essentially indistinguishable from paying them.