Tag Archives: NCAA

Ohio State Didn’t Run Up The Score And Other Thoughts on the First Ever College Football National Championship Playoff

I had no idea there are so many people that can’t stand Ohio State Head Coach Urban Meyer. Multiple Meyer critics vented their ire on Facebook, claiming he ran up the score last night as the Buckeyes scored a touchdown that increased their margin of victory as time was about to run out. Final score: Ohio State 42, Oregon 20.

True, when Ohio State scored that final touchdown with 28 seconds left to play, there was virtually no way Oregon could come back to win or tie the game; there just wasn’t enough time. A kneel down would have been safe and Meyer would have avoided his critics. But I don’t see it that way. I can’t read Meyers’ mind, but here are a few points for the critics to consider:

1. Ohio State came into this game viewed by many, including this writer, as not deserving of making the playoff bracket. Many of us felt that the Buckeyes’ leapfrog of TCU was unjustified. If there was any shred of that disappointment remaining, the exclamation point touchdown at the end of the game should have erased that.

2. Ezekiel Elliott is a beast. Watching him run reminded me of watching Earl Campbell some 30-plus years ago. He ran with power. He was dominant. Every fan clad in crimson wanted to see him bust through the line one more time. So did I.

3. Cardale Jones, the Buckeyes’ third string QB, played like a starter – which makes sense because now he is. Or, at least, he was for the final three games of the season. He will likely be back on the bench next year as the two ahead of him heal from their injuries and are ready to play next season. Why not let him play this thing out? In any event, the Buckeyes’ depth at the QB position is impressive and should make for an interesting offseason.

3. Not only can Ohio State put the recent internal adversity behind them for good, they are a young team. Most of their starters will return next season. I believe that final touchdown was more about next season than this game. In allowing his team to finish the game playing at full throttle, Coach Meyer set the table for next year. I think that was a great coaching move. That’s why Meyer is a winner.

4. The critics I’ve heard are not Duck fans. I perused the media this morning seeking commentary on Meyer running up the score. I didn’t find any. I think the Duck fans get it. The sports media gets it. Critics will be critics, I suppose.

I still think TCU should have had the number four spot in the playoff bracket. Would they have prevailed? We’ll never know. But what we do know is Ohio State beat a very good Alabama team and stifled the most prolific offense in college football to win their way to a national championship. It was fun and exciting to watch. After all, what would the BCS have given us this year? Most likely Alabama vs Florida State. Yawn.

Ohio State played a heckuva game and beat a solid football team. And, no, they didn’t run up the score. Congratulations, Buckeye Nation!

Pay for Play in College Athletics?

Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel. Photo credit: Wikipedia

Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel. Photo credit: Wikipedia

I’m hearing a lot of chatter these days about the exploitation of college athletes, especially those in the upper echelon of exposure in the major sports programs. Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel is the latest centerpiece in the discussion. It is time the NCAA consider some rule changes.

First, let me be clear: I do not support direct “pay for play” in college athletics. The upper echelon athletes are already compensated for play via generous scholarships. Depending upon the school, the monetary value of these scholarships can reach well into six figures – money that most students must pay for the education they receive.

With that said, there are circumstances under which college athletes should be compensated:

  • Athletes should be compensated for their time when the university asks them to attend events not directly related to their athletic endeavors. For example, if the athlete is asked to appear at an alumni fundraiser to drive attendance and contributions at the fundraiser, he should be compensated for his time.
  • Athletes should be allowed to profit if their name and/or image is marketable. Johnny Manziel was suspended 1/2 a game because he allegedly sold his autograph to an autograph broker. This is capitalism at work! If his name and/or image is marketable and the school isn’t damaged by the activity, he should be allowed to sell his autograph or image and be compensated for it. This principle should also apply to Olympic athletes.
  • Athletes should receive a share of profits derived from the sale of licensed apparel and other items bearing their name or likeness.
  • Athletes should be allowed to consult with agents or other professionals for these endeavors. There are sharks in these waters, therefore there should be a qualification process for such professionals to protect the student athlete and ensure legality and objectivity.
  • If they don’t already, colleges and universities should have professionals on staff for the purpose of counseling and advising athletes and other students on how to deal with their new-found fame.

I am an enthusiastic fan of college athletics. We fans root for our teams in the same manner in which we root for our favorite professional sporting teams. College athletics generate millions of dollars for their schools, and when an institution is blessed with an athlete of Johnny Manziel’s ability, the income increases even more.

It’s time to review the rules. College athletics is big business. It’s time to let the athlete share in the profits. It’s time for change.

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