Has OSU Gone Too Far?

By Alex on December 13, 2012 at 2:35p

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Riggins's picture

I can see why they're doing it.  I wouldn't like it if I was a player even if I didn't have anything to hide, but when you look at what the Tatgate/Digeronimo stuff cost the university in terms of dollars/perception.... I get it.

btalbert25's picture

I honestly don't think it's going too far.  If players don't like it, let them play somewhere else.  I just got pretty much everything but a cavity search to get a new job at a local company here in NKY.  They checked my credit and everything.  I even had to show proof that I had paid an negative item off that was showing on there, and go a step farther.  They wouldn't hire me until I got the thing off the credit report. 
So, I say to the players buck up and do it.  Sucks we have to monitor everything you do but previous coaches, players and boosters made it that way.  If you want to play here this is what you have to do. 

GoBucks713's picture

If they want to be angry about the situation, yell at the guys that caused this issue. I am a big fan of personal freedoms, but when the university is paying your way to get an education, house you, feed you, and clothe you, they have the right to do this when it could cost them millions of dollars down the road.

-The Aristocrats!

hodge's picture

Ugh, this whole "totalitarianism" arguement annoys the hell out of me.  When you choose to accept a FULL RIDE SCHOLARSHIP to a premiere institution along with TOP OF THE LINE ATHLETIC TRAINING in your chosen athletic discipline, you're submitting your committed institution's rules.  
"Totalitarianism" implies that the situation is willed upon the subjects--and that they have no means of escape; that's not the case at OSU.  Any player can transfer/drop out whenever they choose (Big Hank's doing it right now, with good reason)--they choose to stay because other reasons (i.e. coaching, potential success, or love of school) far outweigh compliance's detriment.
That all said, I think that Doyel's article here is spot on.  Everyone wants to get on their soapbox and make the most Draconian assumptions and allegories that they can--even if said arguements are factually incorrect.  Again, Ohio State sells--and right now, they're selling because everyone who's not a fan absolutely despises them (losing big on a national stage multiple times over the past 6 years, along with the vitriol directed towards Tress and the Tat Five will do that); if we weren't going to these lengths in compliance, they'd be decrying our lax response to a "severe institutional problem".
Spare me.

btalbert25's picture

I agree, it's not as if the kids are being forced to come to Ohio State and being held here against their will(well except for the whole 3 year thing the NCAA and the NFL have going).  They are completely free to say no to Ohio State or live whenever the hell I want.  There are rules other students have to abide by.  Some campuses require freshman to live there.  I know one campus where if you were a freshman you weren't allowed to have a car.  So if you lived on campus and had one you had to park on a side street or something off campus.  Regular students on academic scholarship can lose that scholarship for a whole host of reasons.  I don't get the outrage over this with athletes.

hodge's picture

It's outrage for the sake of being outraged.  The news media figured out the beauty of punditry first, but it quickly spread to the sports narritave, as well.  The bottom line is that we don't just care about the facts anymore; we want opinions to go along with them.  It wouldn't surprise me if Dodd were to write a counterpoint in the coming days, so that CBS can cover both sides of fans' confirmation biases.

BucksfanXC's picture

I like upvoting you two for your great convo here, but I feel a bit like I'm tossing change to the Queen of England.

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

Denny's picture

Keep throwin' that change, man. She'll dance for you one of these times.


btalbert25's picture

You know, Mr Doyel has written a few nice articles about Ohio State in the last year.  Maybe he's coming over to the dark side after his thoughts after the 2009 Iowa Game.

Poe McKnoe's picture

Pretty sure Doyell doesn't have a side.  He'll always take the unpopular stance and dramticize it.

JozyMozy's picture

More often than not, this. He's one in a long line of sensationalist, over-the-top, cartoon character-esque pudits. He's a talented writer, no doubt...but after awhile, all of his stories start to read the same way.

Buster Hymen's picture

I'm pretty sure the coaches didn't bring that up in recruiting. Besides, accepting a football scholarship doesn't give the university license to spy on the players without cause. This is a power grab meant to deflect blame away from the university onto guys that HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE ORIGINAL PROBLEM.
This isn't going to stop illicit benefits, but it will create a sickening precedent that I guarantee the university will one day extend to all the students.

btalbert25's picture

A regular student trading their goods for tatoos and cash doesn't cost the university millions.

Buster Hymen's picture

So why should it be any different for athletes? The problem here is not that athletes were selling their own property, the problem is the NCAA has ridiculous stipulations designed to keep athletes poor.
The problem is at the top, where there are millions, not at the bottom, where there are hundreds.

hodge's picture

It's not a design to keep students poor, it's an attempt--flawed though it may be--to level the playing field between various schools.  
Imagine that you're a five-star recruit, one of the rare ones that's been swayed to play for your hometown (and non-elite) school.  Odds are that you were sold by a sales pitch, a commitment to star in an offense that would star you and only you, and give you an excellent shot to one day become an NFL draft pick.
Now, imagine if you were allowed to sell your own goods for profit.  When you visit an elite program with a well-funded and active booster network, the coach casually hands you a note with five phone numbers on it.  These five numbers correspond to the school's top-donating boosters, and are offering to preemptively buy your autographed gear (jerseys, helmets, school notebooks, anything) for $1000 a piece, and a lot more than that if you succeed.  Recruiting battles would turn into an all-out bidding war, and worse, it would be allowed by the NCAA.
I'm not saying the solution is perfect, nor am I saying that examples like the one above don't already happen; but you cannot willfully allow for exploitable loopholes like the ones that I just described--especially without any kind of latent threat for such behavior.

btalbert25's picture

I'm just saying this will never be applied to the general student population, because who cares if a regular student sells their science fair trophy?  On top of that, it would be WAY too expensive at a school with 50,000 students or so, for someone to be monitoring everyone's checking accounts. 
Athletes have rules they have to follow, when they don't follow them it costs the school a ton of money, that's why these rules are being put in place for the athletes and will never be put in place for the whole student population.

RBuck's picture

So glad I didn't read the comments on this article.

Long live the southend.

Denny's picture

It's only remotely unfair to those athletes who signed up before these processes were in place -- the rules got changed after they'd done their LOI (or started at OSU, for non-LOI types). Those who sign up for things with these rules in place get little sympathy if they complain.
It's creepy, and intrusive, but understandable. Problem with these sorts of things is they usually only get more invasive rather than going away over time.


Nick's picture

Yeah but they are taking it a step further and educating them about money, paying bills and balancing the check book (sign congress up please). That is a skill that most people don't have and should really be taught in high school. 
So yes they are making sure they aren't taking money but they are also doing them a service with some education (by the position coaches, not the compliance officers).

btalbert25's picture

Seems to me if the schools and coaches butted in a little more to the personal lives of these kids we wouldn't have so many problems. It's when the coaches turn a blind eye to everything going on when the kids aren't in the classroom or on the field that all the problems pop up. 

Bucksfan's picture

I think it's a good idea, but I'm not sure what it actually means for the future of Ohio State football.  I don't actually know if Ohio State players are getting paid cash while they're in school (MoC obviously was, if you believe him), but if they are and Ohio State is no different than any other big name school that does, then this could hurt recruiting.  A big name recruit might weigh Alabama vs. Ohio State and go with the school that doesn't spy on his account.
The reason I think it's a good idea is because it means Ohio State is showing that it's dedicated to changing not only the way that they operate, but perhaps provide a precedent for all other college football programs across the country.  If this is a successful program, then the NCAA might expect other schools to adopt this.  It could become a requirement in a sport struggling to define its amature status.
Then there's the fact that I honestly don't even give a sh*t.

southbymidwest's picture

It does make me feel a little icky, but I see why OSU is doing it. It is intrusive, but like BTAlbert and others said, a recruit can choose another school if he finds it to be too much of an issue. If a 5 star recruit is looking for a school with donors who will be willing to "help" him in school, he won't be as interested in OSU, and thus, not become someone who has the potential to pull this program (not to mention other players) down.

btalbert25's picture

At the end of the day it won't really stop any boosters from giving people money, it'll just do 2 things, first if a huge sum of cash is deposited(which would be really really stupid) the staff and compliance can say what the hell is this???? Then the kid will have to provide evidence of a Pell Grant or something like that.
Second, if a player is in trouble for taking illegal benefits Ohio State can correctly claim, well we monitor their finances, here's records of their checking account, we knew nothing about it!

Bolt's picture

Welp, it's official. We're damned if we do and we're damned if we don't.

NW Buckeye's picture

Exactly, just 6 months ago tOSU was drawing the ire of almost every college football fan for "failure to monitor".  Now that they have put in a plan to provide comprehensive monitoring the hordes are crying "invasion of privacy".  I think the majority of Buckeye fans understand these measures and, indeed, applaud them.  It may hurt us in recruiting, but maybe it will just help weed out the athletes who we really don't want here (those looking to take undo advantage of the system and put the University at risk).  
I personally do like that the actions tOSU are taking are very visible (like this one) and we can point out these as real positive measures to try to prevent anything happening like what we just went through.  

Tengauge's picture

Well I have to agree with this article. When I enlisted in the Air Force way back when dinosaurs roamed the plains we had to keep a money list of our cash by serial number. You got dinged if your list wasn't up to date. The Drill Instructors would be sure to be outside the door of a facility and if you went in and spent some money they would check your list against what was in your wallet as soon as you came out.
It was a teaching tool and no more. It taught us to be mindful of what we had on us and what we were spending money on.  I got dinged really hard because I had a $100 bill and bought something minor and didn't finish updating my list.  I think I received one demerit for every mistake. Yes it was my choice to enlist in the military just like it is their choice to come to Ohio State. 
They are trying to do like what my DI put into my head years ago. Is it a want or a need you are spending money on?  Needs come first and then if you have any extra you can put it towards a want. Some people spend money on the wants and tend to forget the needs like rent, insurance, etc. and then wind up behind the power curve. 

brglr14's picture

they need to do it. they need to make it clear to the recruit and the recruits parents what there doing and why. protects both sides. if they dont like it take your talents else where. there maturing as players and adults when they start here. i dont see a problem here. protects the player and the program.

I dont know karate but i do know crazy and i'm not afraid to use it.


Hoody Wayes's picture

OSU has gone too far.
This is a warrantless search. And, it presumes guilt. I would not be surprised if the Department of Education reviews this policy.

Denny's picture

The presumption of guilt absolutely gives me pause here, but as someone else said it's a damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don't type situation.


BucksfanXC's picture

I wouldn't think football players are a protected class. It's almost like your employer has the right to search your bag if you bring it to work. The AD/Compliance isn't really a state actor or law enforcing in this scenario either. Therefore, warrant not required. It's more like a consent issue, and I agree with Denny, grandfathered players might have a slight case (but not really) and new players have no argument.

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

Ultrabuckeyehomer's picture

Disagree that a public university's officials are not considered state actors for purposes of constitutional analysis.  constitutional violations are not limited to law enforcement contexts, obviously. However, I agree with you in that it is a consent situation.  If it is a policy that you willingly consent to, no problem at all.  You must have a subjective expectation of privacy that society is willing to accept as reasonable ... here, with the policy in place and known to those affected, you could not have an expectation of privacy - therefore, no fourth amendment protections.
As a defense attorney, my knee-jerk reaction is uneasiness.  But, not outrage unless the university desired to expand the policy to encompass the entire student population.

BucksfanXC's picture

To me it's like taking a job with government and them requesting a credit report. Ya they're a state actor, but that's beside the point. You want something from them, a job (or football scholarship) and they have the right to protect themselves from hiring deadbeat, dishonest, crooks so they are just doing their diligence.
Obviously what goes on in a student athletes's bank account can greatly affect the AD/football team. They have no legitimate gripe.

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

pcon258's picture

from a fan's perspective, this is a good thing. avoiding tat-gate style issues in the future, etc etc. 
if I were a recruit though, this would definitely be something to consider. If I'm looking for a tiebreaker between two schools, this might be it. If I were a current player, who didn't sign up for this, I'd be in Urban's office complaining the day I found out

captain obvious's picture

from a young Gs perspective gotta find me a contraceptive
you never know she might turnin em man and same time be burnin em man
sorry I blacked out
I think its going overboard and if you dont think agents, boosters and players could easily beat the system then you live in fantasy world

I'm a friend of thunder is it any wonder lightning strikes me

Dean's picture

I can't get too worked up about it at this point.  If it became an NCAA-wide rule, I'd be pissed, but as it stands, it's just part of choosing tOSU over other schools that don't do that.  If a guy is willing to pay that price, so be it.

theDuke's picture

interesting article. Nice little spin on it that this is doing the atheletes a favor by teaching them life skills (which I agree with). Cue the Bobs talk with the NCAA, "So...What is it you'd say you do here again?" 


elaydin's picture

Why are we linking to Greg Doyle articles?  Who next, Matt Hayes?  Dennis Dodd?  ugg

buck-I.8's picture

Bianchi? Mark May?

J.Mo's picture

Agreed... Doyel is one of the worst...

spqr2008's picture

Any outrage I have is at the NCAA, who incentivized policies like this one because of their arbitrary and terrible enforcement techniques.  I mean, OSU gets a bowl ban for two admittedly bad amateurism violations, and UNC gets away with classes made to keep STUDENT-althletes eligible?  It's as if the NCAA only cares about themselves getting all of the money, and really doesn't mind if any of their student athletes graduates with a real degree.

rdubs's picture

I agree that this feels a little bit off, but it is going to get much more intrusive with the new NCAA rules holding the coaches more accountable.  They have millions of dollars riding on a bunch of imature kids not taking a couple handouts.  The coaches will definitely push the compliance office to do whatever it takes to keep the NCAA off their backs.

AndyVance's picture

The flip side of the Doyle piece is this one, citing the practice as the "hallmark of NCAA totalitarianism." While the natural-born conservative in me scoffs at government overreach on a regular basis, the OSU checkbook concept bears one distinct characteristic that separates it from "totalitarianism:" the men have a choice.
Let's face it, collegiate athletics are a choice, an optional activity. For that matter, going to college is as well - we only mandate compulsory education through the secondary level in this country. Given that, the situation is simple: if you want to play ball here (and get a scholarship to do so), these are the rules. If you don't, perhaps some other team will be interested in your services.
If high schools were to attempt this level of "intrusion" into the lives of their students, well...
Bottom line is, the anti-Buckeye establishment media had a field day tearing apart Ohio State's compliance efforts and the culture that "allowed" the Tatgate scandal, et. al., to occur. Now they're having a field day griping that Gene Smith's antidote is worse than the poison. Sorry boys, can't have it both ways (oh wait, you're sports writers... of course you can!).