This rule can be ridiculous. How can you give a person something and then tell them they can't do what they want with it? The absurdity of this was highlighted by a tragic accident here in our hometown. A friend of mine, Dave Brown, John's first baseball coach, was helping with the hockey team. The zamboni broke down on the ice and was leaking water everywhere. He walked out onto the ice to help push it off so they could continue with the game. But he slipped as soon as he hit the water. Both feet went up and he fell, hitting the back of his head on the ice. Medical care was already there, the hospital was across the street, but the damage was too great. He was in a coma for 10 days and then, sadly, passed away. The community is having a fundraiser (Monday, Dec. 27, at the County Ice Center in Murray) to defray the medical and burial costs and to help his wife and four kids a little.
I knew I couldn't sell John's jersey or autograph, so I asked if we could donate four of John's complimentary tickets to the USC-Utah game next fall. The answer? No. It's against NCAA rules.
So while colleges, commercial sponsors and the NCAA itself get rich off the efforts of these boys, we can't donate tickets to help a family deal with a tragedy. (Anyone interested in helping the Brown family can do so by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Julie Posey's response to the dispatch summed it up perfectly.
"There's no crime here. None. They're not involved with agents. They didn't steal anything. They didn't borrow anything from anybody. It was theirs. Nobody told them it 'almost belongs to you.' It belonged to them," she said.
And the inconsistent response of the NCAA was summed up by Martinez:
Hey, I was actually kind of all right when USC was banned from attending a bowl this year (for allegations against Reggie Bush's father, which cost him the Heisman and the program two years of postseason play). It was the first time in five years I had both boys home for the holidays.
But come on, the hypocrisy of allowing the five Ohio State players to play in the Sugar Bowl is too much. Talk about selective punishment. Maybe the No. 1 rule of dealing with the NCAA should be: Don't disturb the fat cats of the BCS.
I think the No. 1 rule should be to overhaul the system. College sports have changed; the organization that oversees them should also.
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