Now, that is funnyWritten by Matt Sussman | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Yet another former UT running back has confessed to being part of a point-shaving scheme so devious, they won their bowl game by a mere 32 points.
Running back Adam Cuomo joins ex-UT running back Scooter McDougle and former basketball guard Sammy Villegas as key figures in federal documents regarding this scheme.
This brings up several questions. Did their actions compromise the integrity of college athletics? Are other players and coaches involved? How do we prevent this from happening again?
Those are all interesting questions, I suppose, but as a BGSU fan, a more pertinent question would be, “Is it ethical to use a scandal like this to make fun of the school?”
A memorable rivalry infuses trash talk both on and off the field. When Ohio State running back Maurice Clarett got into trouble, you can bet your bottle of Grey Goose that Michigan fans wouldn’t let the Buckeyes hear the end of it. After all, given all the times OSU has consistently whopped the Wolverines, the dejected fans needed something.
That brings us back to the point-shaving scandal. Indeed, it is a right – and perhaps a responsibility – for fans to use this scandal as a thesis in smack talk. Not every day does a story like this come across the wires and it would be irresponsible to let the opportunity pass by when, say, a wide receiver drops a pass (Did Gary tell you to do that?) or if someone clanks a couple of free throws (Thanks, Sammy, I took the under.)
But it’s not just limited to off-the-field shenanigans. It’s also fully acceptable to poke fun at a team when they lose to someone else. For example, UT cannot brag about beating BGSU in football (ha, ha), but they can point out BGSU lost to Eastern Michigan at home in football and basketball. (EMU also recently crowned BGSU in baseball 27-7, which is like a football score. I have no idea why I’m telling this to Rockets fans.)
Sexual health is a great example of what is off-limits. Students like to slam other colleges by the “cleanliness” of their female population. “BGSTD” is one such jeer I’ve heard over the years.
I’m going to consider this type of trash talk off-limits because sexually transmitted diseases are pretty much rampant everywhere in college. But if it would be fair game, I’d have to point to the 2008 Trojan Sexual Health Report Card, which ranks schools in major athletic conferences by availability of sexual health resources and information. BGSU ranks No. 33 in the nation, while Toledo is 133, which ranks in the bottom 100. But it’s not fair game, so I won’t bring it up.
I mentioned in my Toledo Free Press blog laughing at Miami University’s loss in the NCAA hockey championship, despite having a two-goal lead in the final minute. You’re not going to believe this, but several passionate Miami fans disagreed with me. They made a fine point, to which I retorted, “Ha ha, your team choke.”
While we’re on the subject, it’s probably fair to mention that rumors of a sports team’s death by economic recession is a fair and legitimate argument, especially if that team consistently finishes last in the CCHA, despite winning a national championship 25 years ago.
There are plenty of great examples of useful and tasteless topics that a fan can use to weave one’s own thread of rivalry rabble-rousing. Ugly uniforms, for example. (Sorry, UT, but orange and brown is the new black.) The point — and the key — is to take the jeering in stride, just like the game in front of you. They’re just points and balls, but they’re fun as heck to watch, especially if some of the points are intentionally shaved for profit.