After the NCAA took the wholly unprecedented move of fitting the square peg of principles into the round hole of college football (probably could have thought of a different round hole where the NCAA could stick it), we are left with a few salient thoughts about the circumstances of the Rebels going forward, the legitimacy of the NCAA, and the sneaking suspicion that in some past life Johnny Vaught embarrassed the Norse god of mischief in some drinking game. Most of "our" thoughts are "borrowed" from our Tweeps, 'cuz the Twitterverse is a-flutt-uh y'all.
Anyway, almost certainly minus one Samoan, it's about time to move on, so we are exorcising our demons after the jump.
Well, this isn't exactly how I envisioned it, but I do feel vindicated in my prediction that the whole Masoli thing wouldn't work out
Bardwell is right where all of our friends at NAFOOM went in the moments after this broke: "we should have known."
Our friend, Godfrey, deftly tweeted:
A little more clarity in the NCAA's release - they're basing this on Masoli escaping "disciplinary actions" at Oregon. In essence, the NCAA's case re: Masoli is to prevent disciplinary "bail jumpers." If so, they should shut down the entire FCS division.
Or else, transferring is only available to criminals and chemical deviants that are ready and willing to flush their career down the toilet. This is the kind of hypocrisy that ought to drive even crusty, old State fans to bang their keyboards until the Clarion Ledger boards are downright unreadable. The only difference between Jeremiah Masoli, who followed every black letter rule the NCAA placed in front of him, and Darius Barksdale (or for that matter Ryan Perriloux), who followed every black letter rule the NCAA placed in front of him, is that the rule allowing transfer to FCS almost certainly kills an athlete's chances at making the NFL, so that the athlete and his bad behavior are not a P.R. black eye for the NCAA. You have to kind of wonder whether the a boatload of Puritans and everyone responsible for the Spanish Inquisition are looking down thinking, "Geez, lay off the kid." What it comes down to is that the NCAA doesn't care if young men (maybe whose best shot at success is their athletic talent) are closer to "thug" than "student athlete," so long as it's not national news. We exposed the seedy hypocrisy inherent in their system - the same problems about college football being a business that self-righteous media types have been calling for years - and Jeremiah Masoli has been called on to pay the price for their fictional system of values. Their selective hypocrisy is as shameful as it is transparent.
This is why college athletics are overrated. The NCAA plays God.
Really there is no apt metaphor to describe the way the NCAA behaves. To say they were "playing God," would indicate that they had some real, inherent power, but they don't. They only have the power ceded to them by a college athletics community afraid to move. The NCAA is more like Kim Jong Il, surrounded by players far more powerful than they, but able to cause just enough chaos that those with the real power placate their grandiose vision of themselves.
My biggest problem with this decision is that no one wins. Masoli's career gets put on hold. Our team has been jerked around for no good reason. And the NCAA, it appears, is getting only confused looks from the media. The irony is that the NCAA laid down this decision, obviously, to avoid a P.R. hit that was getting laid on the only place it should have - us.
There is one person that wins - and it's not because he remains our starter - Nathan Stanley. Everybody on the internet and beyond ought to take note at how Stanley handled what is, in retrospect, a big debacle. I don't know if Stanley took this as the sort of hybrid challenge-opportunity that I heard about at more than one Beta Convention, but, publicly, our quarterback was all about the team and winning football games. We want Masoli on the team because he brings a skill set that no one on the Rebel squad has. But as for me and my house, you won't hear word one from us criticizing our long-haired, hot-momma-having Oklahoman, who acted like more of an adult through all this than any of us would have.
The biggest shame is that Stanley's maturity and this little series from OleForty:
Let's make #freeMasoli a trending topic.....
prove that Masoli had been brought in and accepted by our team. I have no illusions that Houston Nutt saw this as some humanitarian third chance for Masoli. I didn't. But Masoli must have. And our players did. And if they were willing to bring him onto their team for his economic (and our entertainment) benefit, then I say the NCAA has about zero business sticking their fat noses into it.