Trick for teams is to not get caught
Everyone does it, but the trick is to not get caught.
That is the mentality that goes around the sports world from college to pro ball.
USC, Alabama, Auburn, Georgia and North Carolina all know what I’m talking about, especially when it comes to college football.
The New Orleans Saints are finding out just what it means to get caught doing something against the rules, just like the New England Patriots found out a few seasons ago.
Punitive measures are taken against teams that break the rules, but they are never enough to really stem the tide of infractions.
All they do is make teams better at hiding things.
I contend that every major college football program and several NFL teams cheat in some way.
The only reason they will quit is if they get caught, and only a few programs at a time are ever caught and punished.
I know that every SEC football team pays players. I know that because it’s not just the SEC that does it.
The problem is that college football players cannot have jobs, so how does the NCAA expect them to have money to get by?
The answer is that schools pay players. This is illegal, obviously, but I’m not sure that I even care if they do.
Some of the paid players across NCAA football need that money to eat off of. Sure there are exceptions, but so long as one person uses illegal benefits for necessities, how can you blame them all?
The NCAA inadvertently promotes paying players by not allowing them to have jobs.
That means that 120 football programs have players that can’t work for spending money or eating money.
Schools with a football program need players, and those players need to be happy and fed to stick around.
So schools pay them. It makes sense when you take it out of the context of a rules violation.
What is not acceptable to me is paying players and or families to have someone come to a specific university.
Players also shouldn’t get cars, access to women of ill repute or things like that.
That isn’t right.
But when it comes to money that allows some players to get by, I don’t have a problem.
The Saints crossed the line with their bounty program, but don’t think that they are the only team that does/did it.
They just happened to get caught.
J.R. Tidwell is sports editor for The Franklin County Times. He can be reached at (256) 332-1881, ext. 31.