Leave the OSU players alone already

When I was a senior in high school, Mother sat me down for a talk.  “Let’s talk about college.  You can go anywhere you want as long as you live at home, work for your father, and pay for it yourself.”  Then the discussion was over.

I went to a high school where the only student anyone ever recalls getting into Harvard had an overpowering fastball and was All City pitcher.  Most of my friends either commuted, as I did, or attended one of the state universities away.

All of this came to mind this week, with headlines blaring that Ohio State athletes may have sold memorabilia earned while playing on its teams.

Media reports indentify one of the alleged violators as ex-Ohio State football player Ray Small.

Small said he used the money he got to cover his typical costs of living.

“We have apartments, car notes,” he said. “So you got things like that and you look around and you’re like, ‘Well I got (four) of them, I can sell one or two and get some money to pay this rent.”

I find it hard to criticize a player for converting a championship ring to cash for things like apartment rent or car payments.

Re car payments, on completing a four year degree commuting, I moved East to attend graduate school.  It was in a leafy, New England town graced with both a state university and an Ivy League college.  In the days when a VW bug was under $2,000, there was in the town a Porsche with license plates reading COORS.

I don’t think the Porsche came from playing football or throwing an overwhelming fastball.  I begrudge neither the beer scion’s free ride through an Ivy, nor my classmate’s fastball which got him into Harvard.  Incidentally the former baseball pitcher is a named partner these days in a very successful law firm.

Nor do I think that anyone should come down hard on a kid who sells his championship ring to pay the rent.  He earned it, he sold it, he spent it.  Leave him alone already.


Incidentally, I hate Ohio State.