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“For the love of money is the root of all evil”

August 22, 2011
Weirton Daily Times

So, college football and men's basketball is about to implode?

No one should be shocked.

Whether it's USC, Ohio State, North Carolina, Oregon, Miami, Auburn, WVU, Florida State, LSU, Oklahoma, Tennessee or, name a college, all I hear is "it happens everywhere."


If a team like San Diego State is doing it, they stink at it and need to bring more Nevin Shapiro's into the program.

Same goes with Duke, Kent State, Temple, Rice, New Mexico State or Wyoming.

Ohio State is thankful the University of Miami is having its problems because it has knocked the Buckeyes off the front page across the nation when it comes to a football mess.

How about all the "good" news that will come out of that game on Sept. 17?

Anyway, I digress.

This is not a football issue or a basketball issue or an NCAA issue.

This is a human behavior issue.

It's really that simple.

And, the large albatross tied around the neck of that human behavior is money.

Cash. Payolla. Green.

"For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows." - 1 Timothy 6:10

Maybe Gordon Gekko said it best in 1987 - "Greed, for lack of a better word, is good."

Or maybe Rod Tidwell's remark in 1996 - "Show me the money" - is rather appropriate.

Shapiro is serving a 20-year federal prison sentence in his $930 million Ponzi scheme. Some say since the 42-year-old lied and cheated more than 50 people, no one should think he is telling the truth about all the gifts he allegedly gave to more than 72 former and current Hurricane football players.

After all, once a liar, always a liar.

At the heart of the matter, though, is money.

"For the love of money

People will steal from their mother

For the love of money

People will rob their own brother

For the love of money

People can't even walk the streets

Because they'll never know who in the world they're gonna beat

For that mean, oh mean, mean green."

- O'Jays, 1973

At the heart of the matter in all of this is money.

The best high school basketball players in the nation are being toured around by AAU coaches, who are looking for some sort of payoff with that talent.

Not all AAU coaches are like this mind you.

But, one tainted, all tainted?

How do college coaches figure this out?

How do college football coaches get through these type of coaches who put on 7-on-7 passing scrimmages for the best of the best?

Answer: They don't.

"But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content." - 1 Timothy 6:6-8

People cannot be content with what they have.

Terrelle Pryor could not be content with being the guy with Ohio State. He wanted more.

He will now go into the NFL in today's supplemental draft and, after serving a five-game suspension, will get paid.

Greg Aiello, public relations spokesman for the NFL, said in a tweet: "On Pryor, we are not enforcing NCAA rules. We are upholding our own eligibility rules, which have never been based on the notion that a college player could choose to violate NCAA rules, obtain declaration that he is ineligible for college fb, then enter the NFL draft."

He later reiterated in a tweet: "Our draft eligibility rules are not based on notion that a player can break NCAA rules to get tossed out in order to enter NFL."

In the end, Pryor gets what he wanted - to be an NFL player making a check. How long he stays in the NFL is up to him.

Will he be JaMarcus Russell, Donovan McNabb or Andre Woodson?

Only time will tell.

College scholarshiped athletes whine that they cannot get a job like a normal student for spending money.

Yet, the normal college student is not getting a free $150,000 college education.

The normal college student does not have a per diem, a housing allowance or free gear to wear anywhere and everywhere.

Pryor's attorney, David Cornwell, said during an interview on ESPN's "Mike and Mike in the Morning" radio show Friday morning that, "The NCAA's amateurism rules are oppressive and absurd. The idea that the participants in athletic competition are amateurs, even though they generate billions of dollars is just absurd. I don't think we should accept it in this country anymore. We need to do something about it."

Oppressive? Really?

Oppressive means "burdensome, unjustly harsh or tyrannical (oppressive king); causing discomfort by being excessive, intense, elaborate (oppressive laws); distressing or grevious (oppressive sorrows)."

Does that really sound like a college athlete on a full-ride scholarship?

So, here's a place to start to clean this thing up.

All freshmen are ineligible to play collegiate athletics.


All student-athletes must stay in school three years before being eligible for professional sports.

High school athletes may not be recruited until after the end of their junior years.

College football coaches talk about how agents are a problem on campus, well the same can be said about a college football coach recruiting kids during a season.

Agreed, they are not a problem in the way of agents seeking to sign a client, but they are still a distraction to high school players and their coaches during the season.

Coaches are to be suspended for a year, without pay, if caught breaking the rules. Those coaches may not be fired or may not resign from the institution during that year so that the university may get a head start on recruiting a new coach.

University presidents and athletic directors will get the same punishment as the coach.

That's a start.

(Mathison, a Weirton resident, is the sports editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and can be contacted at

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