It’s amazing what outrages us about college athletics, what we let slide and what we choose to vilify. Behavior is typically only judged as evil when it’s not our favorite team engaging said behavior. Actions are especially egregious when committed by a rival
The truth is, every school literally is guilty of the same violations.
I remember Oregon coming under scrutiny for the Duck Girls; every school I took an official recruiting visit to had a similar organization. I even dated a Garnet & Gold guide at FSU who served a similar purpose.
Colorado had a stripper scandal. The statute of limitations isn’t up on my visits, so I won’t speak on that, just know it’s not only going on in Boulder. Mike Leach lost his job because of mistreatment of someone under concussion protocol. I could go on and on.
This isn’t to say that folks don’t need to be punished for heinous acts, but I’m saying that these things happen everywhere and you’d find them if you looked close enough.
College football’s newest burgeoning scandal involves Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher. In a story reported by USA Today, a former Aggies’ player who is attempting to transfer without missing a year of eligibility accuses Fisher and his coaching staff of providing money above what is allowed by the NCAA to entertain recruits on unofficial visits, holding practices running afoul of NCAA rules for coaching oversight and length, misdiagnosing an injury and abusive language.
Fisher may be a lot of things, but he’s definitely not guilty of doing anything over the top in this situation.
It’s funny, and somewhat ironic, the timing of this story with Fisher’s former athletic director at FSU leaving the school to work in NCAA.
Before casting judgement on Fisher, let’s look at what this really is: a case of a disgruntled student-athlete who found a new loophole in the transfer rule looking for a way to get immediate playing time at his new school.
I’m not even mad at the player for doing it. Use the rules. But not liking the way a coach talked to you, pushed you through injuries and allegedly gave you cash to host prospects – those things happen and are definitely hard to prove or disprove. I’m not even saying that they didn’t happen as I’ve seen similar.
I won’t speak to the money to host recruits as I’m not astute in the NCAA rulebook, but I do know you can host prospects.
Playing through injuries and pushing through isn’t a new concept to anybody who has played football. Especially a linebacker. I’ve played through a broken hand and a torn labrum in one season. I never did what I felt I couldn’t do and I was raised to be my own man; everyone adapts and adjust to situations differently.
It would be easy for me to jump on Fisher as an FSU alum who wasn’t a fan of how he left the school, but the reality is I don’t really see anything wrong with what he and his coaching staff is alleged to have done here.
It’s also easy for folks to say the young man is wrong to complain, but the NCAA gave him a loophole and if he wants to leave because the coach who recruited him got fired or left, he should be able to go wherever someone has a need for him. This isn’t a scandal. This is a case of stupid and archaic rules restricting individuals from doing what they feel is the best decisions for their future.
To quote Nino Brown from the movie “New Jack City,” this is what Fisher should say:
“I’m not guilty. You’re the one that’s guilty. The lawmakers, the politicians…, all you who lobby against… you’re the one who’s guilty. I mean, c’mon, let’s kick the ballistics here, This thing is bigger than Nino Brown. This is big business. This is the American way.”
Jimbo Fisher was brought to Texas A&M to win and change the culture he inherited; he’s doing that. If the system was actually fair, this wouldn’t even be a story.
All that being said… I can’t believe I’m defending Jimbo Fisher.
Article Originally Appeared on Gridiron Now: http://gridironnow.com/former-seminole-player-defending-jimbo-fisher-amid-allegations/