Emails in on Dez Bryant & NCAA
The new emails are in, and Dez Bryant is the overwhelming topic.
Jordan: “A lot of people are using the Jerrell Harris/Alabama case as precedent to the Dez Bryant case. If I read correctly, Harris lied to compliance officials at the University of Alabama, not to a NCAA investigator. It was also the university that gave the ruling that Harris would be suspended for six games (the NCAA accepted that punishment and everyone went on their way). Though it is for the most part precedence, the situation was not handled in the same manner by the university. Would Okie State have been better off telling the NCAA that Dez lied and he was suspended for the next x-amount of games rather than saying he is suspended indefinitely and we want to reinstate him, basically putting the onus on the NCAA? I would have to agree that none of this would have happened if all parties involved just kept their mouths shut, but I think Oklahoma State (and, to be fair, the majority of universities) is ethically above doing something like that. Okie State has gotten burned by the NCAA before and knows it does not want that to happen again. I think self-reporting infractions is admirable, but it might have been a better situation for OSU to come up with their own reasonable punishment. I found it quite curious that the NCAA did come out and rule on the situation at a time like this. OSU is back in the spotlight in the national media since the loss to Houston (that’s just because they are playing Texas). There is going to be a prime-time football game on ABC/ESPN2 in Stillwater. The NCAA just threw the game announcers a gigantic bone if there is ever a slow spot in the game. I agree that the NCAA makes decisions for self-preservation. It just seems like someone made a huge PR blunder in the announcement of the Dez ruling. An argument against the NCAA is a lot easier if there is a ruling as opposed to a slow-play on a ruling (or in their case, information gathering).”
I just don’t believe in NCAA conspiracies. Did you see the committee that will decide Dez’s appeal? Associate athletic directors from Miami and Ole Miss. Faculty rep from Utah State. Athlete from Wisconsin. Associate commissioner from the Big Ten. People like that. The NCAA is not a star chamber. The NCAA is made up of people from member schools. I don’t believe you can get people like that to conspire. And it’s a good point about the timing. Some say the time was meant to hurt OSU. But the timing in truth makes the NCAA vulnerable to criticism.
Lewis: “Do you think OSU can beat Texas AND the NCAA Saturday? Can you imagine Dez Bryant’s punishment being given a player from Notre Dame or Ohio State or Michigan or Penn State? It hurts the kid but it severely handicaps his school and team.”
Yes, I think OSU can beat Texas, and I don’t think the Cowboys are playing the NCAA. Yes, the NCAA hands out punishment like this to athletes from most every school. I just think this punishment was over the top.
Wes: “I think you’re right on with the Dez commentary. These college players are still only kids who are growing up. They’re going to make mistakes. I feel like they came after Dez. It must have been an intimidating experience to say the least. They certainly were not trying to help him help them understand the facts. I believe that young adults such as Dez should have the right to some sort of counsel if the NCAA comes around asking questions. The NCAA should have to, at the very least, go through the compliance people at the university before they may speak with a player. It’s a completely different ballgame investigating teams and programs than it is to single out young men who hadn’t done anything wrong at that. The NCAA headhunters do no favors to the college sports when they pull stunts like this. The NCAA leadership probably felt the need to ‘cloak itself in righteousness.’ It will not get rid of the foul odor left behind.”
I don’t know what counsel or compliance people Dez had available. And I know he did wrong multiple times. But I agree that the entire system is set up to help everyone but the individual athletes.
Cecil: “I’ve always liked you, but we have usually disagreed about the NCAA. Bravo for speaking out against their ludicrous decision on Dez Bryant! The NCAA is an organization that has lost touch with reality and whose leadership is drunk with power. The member schools need to take charge and completely overhaul the infrastructure or someone from outside - Congress or the courts — will eventually do it for them. And the result will be a train wreck for college sports.”
But as I’ve said, there is no empirical power called the NCAA. The NCAA is made up of those people we talked about. People who are on the job in Arizona and Louisiana and West Virginia. It’s possible that the NCAA is off track, but it’s not because anyone is drunk with power. Overworked, perhaps, but not drunk with power.
Don: “I read between the lines and feel something is missing. Did Bryant do something other than this and it’s not being brought up? Is the NCAA being vindictive toward OSU? The NCAA declared an Oklahoma State baseball player (Andy Oliver). He lost a year of play. Oliver sued the NCAA and the court had him reinstated. Later he sued the NCAA for money damages and collected $750,000 dollars as a settlement. Bryant is spoiled from athletic prowess and, conversely, is scared. He wants to escape the poverty cycle. Can he pull it off? He waits. Bryant’s baggage: He visited Deion Sander’s house. Any young black male would want to do that! The NCAA asked Bryant if he had visited Sanders’ home. Since the NCAA asked, Bryant assumed he had done a wrong. He said he had not visited the house of Deion. More than once, he lied. This is Bryant’s crime; he lied! It turns out, it was not wrong for Dez to visit Deion. If it is not wrong for Bryant to visit in Deion’s home, why did the NCAA ask? More than once they asked. Is this a setup? Is it a setup to punish Oklahoma State over Oliver? The NCAA wants to make college sports pure as the driven snow. Is the NCAA pure as snow? Or do they pick who the pick on?”
The Dez Bryant and Andy Oliver cases are not related. The idea that Dez is retribution for the Oliver case is silly. No one set up Dez Bryant. He set up himself. He did this to himself. All I’m saying is a little mercy is warranted.
Chris: “The true lesson of the story is not ‘to tell the truth.’ The lesson is ‘don’t speak to them.’ Reggie Bush hasn’t. The NCAA has been investigating USC for four years. I realize that Dez had eligibility remaining. However, I would have an attorney present everytime the NCAA came calling. I think Dez should sue the NCAA. Not for the money. He’ll make plenty in the NFL, but for the vindication. Just to show that the NCAA is not absolute power.”
Not talking certainly is a reasonable means of response for schools. But I don’t know if athletes with eligibility remaining have that kind of option. And of course Dez would have been better off with an attorney. But not knowing enough to have an attorney is what got him in such a mess in the first place.
Josh: “The exact same thing crossed my mind when I read the official suspension, that this was a witch hunt. How this organization can start it off by saying they have ‘reinstated’ a student athlete is beyond me. It spews hypocrisy, and it shows this organization is a farce. To quote Gundy, ‘it makes me want to puke.’ I am just glad OSU still has Zac Robinson, Russell Okung and that great offensive line. Hopefully they’ll get Kendall back, too. They still have a chance to beat Texas and win the Big 12 South. I am going to focus on that.”
I don’t like spin. I don’t like people telling me something when the truth is opposite and apparent. That’s my biggest beef with the NCAA in the Dez case. If they declare no mercy, OK. But if they declare they’re doing him a favor, I’m calling bogus.
Brad: “Something is driving me crazy. I continue to hear these radio hosts blast the NCAA on the Dez Bryant delay. Please remind everyone of the following. Oklahoma State, NOT the NCAA, suspended Dez Bryant. If OSU felt that Dez did little-to-nothing wrong, then they would be playing him now. Obviously, those in the know understand it would be too risky for OSU to activate Bryant’s status. There is something much more severe to the story than the young man got nervous and fibbed to the NCAA three times. He just stopped by to go on a jog with Deion? Are you kidding me?”
Hey, I believe the Deion story. There might be something more to it, but I believe it could have happened the way they said it did. College kids are starstruck over superstars. Some superstars - Deion at the top of the list - remains a jock-sniffer who can’t bring himself to leave the spotlight. I can buy that. You’re right, OSU suspended Dez. But not necessarily because they believe something else went on. They suspended because he did break NCAA rules, he lied to investigators, and that by rule makes him ineligible.
Mildred: “Would it be possible for your sports department to run legal background checks on the NCAA officials playing god with a young man’s college career? Let’s see if they are squeaky clean. If there’s anything there, publish it in your paper.”
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