POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Jun 1, 2011
Scott Terna has a front-row seat at the circus, but it's a circus of frowning clowns. The former Punahou athlete and Ohio State punter (1993-94) lives in Buckeye headquarters, Columbus, Ohio.
"It's sad here," Terna said, after news of coach Jim Tressel's resignation broke this week.
Expect plenty more unhappiness for Ohio State as the NCAA wraps up investigating quarterback Terrelle Pryor and the rest of the beleaguered program.
Terna said he's not surprised at the developments, except that Tressel resigned.
"I think he told people (about NCAA violations when he learned of them), and he's taking the fall. The majority here think he didn't. People like me think he did. They call us conspiracy theorists," Terna said in a phone interview. "The worst are those who said they were total Tressel supporters until the day he dies, and now they do a 180."
Terna is a school teacher and photographer in Columbus. He has known Tressel since 2001 and was a contributor to the coach's personal website for two years, but said he hasn't talked to him in several years.
He bases his reasoning that others at Ohio State knew of violations (possibly including athletic director Gene Smith) on Tressel's previous track record with player problems.
"When Troy Smith got in trouble he suspended him. He didn't try to bury things with Maurice Clarett.
"This is a coach who told a fan to check with compliance before sending some players cookies."
Terna said Ohio State's scandal should be viewed as cautionary and not reason for celebration by fans of other college football teams.
"It's disappointing that so many people out there who don't really know the college football landscape are slinging mud at Ohio State. Look at USC. I was quiet when they went down. I could go to any campus in the country and find rules being broken. The first place to look is complimentary tickets. We used to buy 'em off the players at UH."
Still, I'd have to say Tattoo U. has taken things to a new level; haven't heard of any Warriors trading autograph ink for body ink, have you?
» Hawaii Professional Football League commissioner Carson Peapealalo said Tuesday that he paid out around $4,100 to each of the four teams after the first year of the league. The $8,000-10,000 amount he said previously was "an estimate," Peapealalo said.
But Peapealalo and team owners continue to be in disagreement over franchise fees and whether they have been waived or postponed.
"The owners have gone far and beyond paying what is due to the league," said Darrick Branch, owner of the Honolulu Volcanoes. "We came into this to help Carson's dream come true and that of football players in Hawaii, and we're accomplishing that."
Peapealalo and the owners do agree that the league created camaraderie in addition to competition for athletes who thought their playing days were long done.
"The one thing I enjoyed the most was the players. This was all about the players, not about us," said Kailua Storm owner Tony Godinet, who is looking forward to next season. "Definitely. After the players showing so much interest, I'll go as long as I can. There's a lot of potential."
Branch said no one expected to make money the first year, and he's excited about offseason games and team community involvement as well as next year's HPFL schedule.
"We took a risk. Now it's a call to action for those who were saying it's a wait-and-see. We had our ups and downs where it could've been either-or. But let the players down? No. Let them down for season two? No."
» My prediction of Miami beating Dallas to win the NBA Finals in five or six games (yeah, way out on a limb there) looks good after last night's series opener.
I wish it didn't ... I'd prefer to be wrong and see the team that was built the old-fashioned way win it all.
I don't hate Miami, I just hate over-the-top superficial displays of grandiosity and arrogance.
OK, maybe I do hate Miami, just a little.