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Acknowledged, Acknowledged.

An indirect reflection on the bloggy instinct to mock and criticize in the service of content.

SMQ was going to write a mock libertarian/objectivist rant against the overbearing nanny-ness of the NCAA in its crackdown on "excess pay" to Oklahoma players employed at a local car dealership - fundamentally a matter of private contract between employer and employee! - which led to the balleyhooed suspension of Rhett Bomar and J.D. Quinn in last summer's LexusGate and Monday landed the Sooners an April date in front of the NCAA committee on infractions to bear the wrath of allegedly hiding a third young proletarian beneficiary of excessive reward. But that would be rather, ah, disingenuous, to say the least, even as satire. So, satire foiled.

If the NCAA and its member institutions have an obvious interest in restricting booster benefits, though, illicit or otherwise, SMQ was not aware it offered this particular brand of absolution:

Both players lost a year of eligibility and transferred to Division I-AA schools. Bomar, a quarterback from Grand Prairie, and Quinn, a lineman from Garland, had their eligibility restored by the NCAA after agreeing to pay a total of $15,544.05 to charity.

At least the infractions committee was nice enough to offer Bomar and Quinn these "Valentines."
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SMQ's kneejerk response to this penance was to compare it to the pre-Reformation church offering indulgences to sinners, an oddly arbitrary punishment based on little more than the NCAA's unique institutional conception of virtue - i.e., "amateurism" - which is exactly the untenable stance upon which the Association's detractors have pounced with glee and SMQ has explicitly avoided in arguing against paying players in favor of a more practical (and admittedly cynical) defense of the Association as capitalist exploiter.

On further thought, though, SMQ's market-based indignation again proves not so righteous: maintaining the stance players shouldn't be paid, and especially that they shouldn't be paid for phony time cards, what exactly is the proper fate of the illicit cash? Allowing the players to keep it and still play for another school, even after striking a year of eligibility (not customary for inter-division transfers), is conceivably incentive for players to take the money and run, leaving the school with the consequences. To make them pay it back to the employer is conceivably incentive for other employers to take the same risk and still break even (minus P.R. flak) if caught, leaving the school and the players with the consequences. Obviously the money can't go to the school; no outcry could possibly be greater than the one that would follow the Association demanding the money its own self, for whatever use, which really would be regarded as akin to selling indulgences. So...donde hace el dinero vaya? A contribution to an honest local charity is a practical and popular solution to a thorny problem, and karmic, too, if you believe in that sort of foolishness. So: rant foiled again!

Oh, you're good, you moralistic bastards!
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Hey, thanks for jumping! Just wanted to see if anyone recognized the origin of this post's title.