Sunday, May 30, 2010
It's R-R-R-R-Rant Time
We realize it's not a simple either/or proposition but we are fed up:
As a San Jose State basketball fan, how would you feel if Coach Nessman brought in a signee fresh off being found guilty of driving a friend across state lines to rob a bank while also providing the short-barreled rifle involved in the attempt?
What would your take be if Coach Nessman continued to play a 6-foot-9 star player despite that individual being accused of robbing a pizza delivery worker based upon being ID-ed plus also witnessed answering his cell phone when the deliverer saw him in a shopping mall a day later and dialed up the number left by the individual who ordered the pizza?
Would it work for you if SJSU got to the Big Dance every year but also was accused of eight major violations and two assistants 'decided' to resign after being accused of telling lies to NCAA investigators?
Or if our school AD hired and them promoted a handful of individuals who ended up running a multi-million dollar ticket scam while the AD was being paid $4.4 million a year -- yes, $85,000 a week in 2009? Plus, it took the IRS or the FBI (or both) to inform said AD of what was happening in his kingdom.
How about if Coach Nessman -- despite previous recruiting and player scandals involving payoffs and academic sleight of hand (to be overly generous) involving certain of his players at School X and School Y that resulted in vacating victories -- landing a freshman who originally wanted to go play for a recent national champion and was wanted at this SEC school -- no, we aren't talking Vanderbilt by a long shot -- until the coaching staff at said school realized his high school academics weren't good enough and reports were floating around about this player's high school coach having a hand out seeking major benjamins?
Would it be cool if a more than embarrassing number of athletes at SJSU were convicted of drunk driving, public inebriation or carrying a gun on to campus to confront a couple of players in another sport and got the gun from a teammate, one of the stars on the team?
We are hoping -- but not sure -- that the overwhelming answer is OF COURSE NOT, regardless of any tremendous W-L 'successes' engendered by any of these actions.
As fans, we will neither make nor support any sort of Faustian bargain that involves lessening what we stand for or our school's integrity.
But before we come off sounding like a married male Republican devoutly proclaiming abstinence as the only answer prior to marriage and filming a promotion of such with a female aide while having an affair with her, no, we are not perfect. Never have been, never will be. Nor will we designate every single basketball player we have witnessed since Coach Nessman came aboard as boy scout material.
It's that we are beyond tired of the scummy behavior too often prevailing in NCAA athletics. But more so, we are enraged that such individuals are heralded -- only if they win much more often than they lose, that being the sole measuring stick -- by fans, school supporters, the monolithic see-no-evil-just-dollar-signs television networks, the NCAA (and its quest for ever more grater cash opportunities) and so on.
However, cheat yet lose and you won't have to wait long for the brunt of scorn and derision to the nth degree.
Moral: be a very good cheater. Learn by working for the best.
Yes, there are countless reasons why this scandalous situation exists and we're not issuing another worthless call for anyone involved to change.
However, we are adamantly supporting doing college sports the right way -- fairly and honestly earning the fruits of competition, including wins. That's how we want San Jose State University athletics to operate -- and this is where some may diverge -- victories be damned. Call us relatives of Little Mary Sunshine but we will forever believe success in all its definitions is still attainable -- Ws included -- by operating in an above-board manner.
This is how San Jose State does it.
Yes, there obviously are schools not operating in such a fashion -- even within the Western Athletic Conference. Yes, they may (or may not) win more on the field, court, pool, diamond, etc. than the Spartans and the official record books will indicate this 'truth' for time immemorial (or until someone is caught)
But for those involved in college athletics with a conscience or just the remnants or even stray beginnings of one, they will always know they either cheated in a tainted victory OR that they gave their best and either won or fell short on the scoreboard. It's ultimately all about and up to the individual, be it player, coach, AD, fan, league president, et al.
We are grateful SJSU athletics continues to choose the path of greater resistance -- the right way.