It’s a tad long, but you really should go read the article about bag men in the SEC over on SB Nation.
While it specifically talks about SEC schools, I think we all know this sort of thing goes on all over the country. It maybe goes on a little more down here in the South, because I have noticed in my time here that there is a certain attitude about sports in general, but especially college sports. It can best be summed up in the phrase “If you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying”.
Let’s face it, do you really think ‘Bama fans care if the program is clean as long as they keep winning national championships? Most don’t. They don’t bother with the self-righteousness that some fans of other schools have. They know there’s probably some payoffs happening, and all kinds of other illegal activities, but they don’t care.
Fans up north like to pretend they care, and that their schools are clean. They’re not.
Look, I’ve seen the southern attitude toward college sports over the last few years, but I lived in Columbus for about 25 years, and went to school at Ohio State. You’ll never convince me these same kinds of payouts weren’t happening there. When the Columbus Dispatch can run articles talking about athletes coming out of the ghetto and getting a college education, and you see these same kids on campus and driving around town in nicer clothes, and much nicer cars than the middle class folks who are in Columbus, that money is coming from somewhere, and it’s not all in memorabilia sales.
So this Fall, enjoy the start of college football season once again, I know I will. But let’s not pretend that anyone is clean. This is big, dirty, business, masquerading as amateur athletics.