As I sit surrounded by angry blue-hairs on the eastern coast of Florida for the holidays with my toes in the sand, I sit in the heart of the nation’s newest scandal. With all the great college football games going on right now, the only news that seemed to make headlines recently was the 36 Florida State players who won’t be going to the Music City bowl on Dec. 31 to take on the Kentucky Wildcats because of an academic cheating scandal. Academic cheating scandal? (Wait a minute, did these players actually go to college to learn or play football? Most players would answer “learn”, but we all know where the money is.)
So far, all Florida State football can say about the scandal is that the players that are sidelined have been sidelined as a result of an ongoing investigation into academic cheating or some other violation of the team’s rules.
“It is very important that the media make clear that those missing the bowl trip are not included because of either injury or for a violation of team policy,” Rob Wilson, the associate athletic director said in a statement in The New York Times. “It would be irresponsible to imply or state that any or all of the student-athletes will miss the trip for one particular reason.” There will be only 43 scholarship players attending the game against the Wildcats.
Well, I guess we need details of what this cheating scandal entails. I know, lets hire a former Senator to investigate. What will he find? Players are paying TA’s for written papers? Are they stealing answer keys? Or maybe they are simply looking over the shoulder of the “smart-girl” sitting next to them in their English 108 class? Oh well, as details of the Seminole cheaters’ club unfolds, we must realize that it will soon be a distant memory when the next sports scandal hits the news pages.
Sport is no longer sport in this country. It seems to have morphed into a Jerry Springer-esque reality show where all the characters could at some day be the star player. We are a nation that loves sports and scandals and we love nothing more than a sport/scandal hybrid where we see the player in uniform during the weekends and three-piece courtroom suits on weekdays.
In this era of big government, we need a special agency to investigate all sport scandals that hit headlines to keep us all informed on what is REALLY going on. Here is my proposal: Get the feds to throw together $10 or $20 million of our hard-earned taxpayer dollars and create the Athlete Regulatory Agency or ARA. It probably should be made up of ex-Senators whom we all know are “in the know” on everything imaginable. Their investigative skills are unparalleled and nobody, nobody lies to them. The ARA’s main purpose will be to cut through all the legal jargon, investigate and then tell all must-have sport-scandal details, because we are, after all, a nation who needs to know.
In the aforementioned scandal, the ARA would get the details we need. Not only would the ARA disclose how the FSU players were cheating but why they were cheating. We want current grade levels, worst test scores, dating relationships, class schedules, eating habits, and drug test results on a regular basis. We want it all. What about privacy you say? There is no such thing as privacy in the good ole U.S. of A.
I want to know what was really going on in Olympic Medalist Marion Jones’ head when she injected the steroids into her body. What is really going on with Lance Armstrong? Did he really give up Sheryl Crow for one of the Olsen twins? What was going on in Mike Tyson’s head when he got that tattoo over his eye? Did he like the taste of Hollyfield’s ear in ’97? Is Ricky Williams perpetually high? Damn it, these are the details we must have as a sports-loving nation.
Every month, the ex-Senators that make up the ARA could come up with a lengthy report of their findings. They could include a sections called “steroid user of the month,” “cheaters corner,” “who’s high and who’s not,” and “tabloid new-be.” With this information we will all be better informed and entertained. We are not reading the tabloid reports like People magazine and Star we are reading the ARA Report, the news of the sporting nation.
With useful, money-well-spent information like this, I would never have picked Florida State to beat Kentucky. And that would make all the difference in the world.