I feel sorry for Merriam Webster. The old guys are constantly being misrepresented. See, they define scandal as “loss of or damage to reputation caused by actual or apparent violation of morality or propriety”. Which infers the person, place or thing in question was working on a good reputation to begin with.
Which means the University of Miami story doesn’t rate.
Miami Inc. has aided and abetted college athletes- namely football and basketball players- for decades. You know what they call a student athlete at Miami? Neither do I. Because for every kid who actually attends class and does the right thing off the playing field, the college has ’employed’ scores of others whose criminal records and failing grades were overlooked because they possessed mad skills.
There really is no element of pathos you can paint on the rise and fall of this big time college program without looking like a blind phony. All that sentimental crap is reserved for the aftermath, as a means of creating a narrative that never existed in the first place. The “U” has been celebrated for its rebellious nature since they started winning titles back in the ’80s. The program filled its rosters with talent that would make a prison warden blanch. Their players drove around in sports cars, showed up at press conferences dripping in gold jewelry. Players, it should be noted, whose economic hardships made that kind of materialistic exhibition dubious, to say the least.
Anyone with five minutes worth of knowledge as to big time college sports gets the joke here. If your university has a better than even shot at winning a championship, then it’s playing with Don Corleone money. USC alums can take heart in that they have plenty of company in the likes of Ohio State, Auburn and now Miami. You may bleed different colors when it comes to your team, but in the end, all those colors run green.
The whole system is a dirty mess, and no matter the penalties leveled at Miami in the wake of this most recent college football ‘scandal’, the system is going to keep on keeping on. There’s just too much money involved. These schools will lose coaches, trophies and titles but they will continue doing whatever it takes to sign the next hot recruit. And the penalties, no matter how harsh, are really nothing more than parking tickets; a temporary bother.
You want to change things in big time college athletics? Cut off the head. Forget the players, they’re license plates on this highway. Hell, if someone promised me a car or fifty large under the table, I’d have the school’s fight song memorized before the conversation was over.
The administration and the coaches. Go get them. And when you hit them, do it the way they talk about hitting quarterbacks in those defensive game plan meetings at the U. Knock their asses into another profession.
Or they could just stick with the status quo. Uncovering scandals at a snail’s pace while feigning shock and indignation. Pretending a scandal is a scandal, when in reality it isn’t even a surprise any longer.