FanPost

What a Loophole Looks Like

If past discussions on Cam are any indication, some of you have a very difficult time differentiating "rules" from "loopholes". Don't worry, even the venerable Dr. Saturday has trouble with the concept, but to help you out, let me first show an example of something that's not a loophole:

It is legal to drive 54MPH and be in the process of accelerating in a 55MPH zone.

That's not a loophole. So what does a loophole look like? It looks like this:

Traffic citations show that Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor has been stopped three times in three years while driving cars owned by a Columbus used-car lot or an employee there, though an OSU compliance official said the school was aware of two of those instances and determined that nothing improper had occurred. . . . Pryor and the employee, Aaron Kniffin, both told the Columbus Dispatch that Kniffin had allowed Pryor (then a true freshman) to drive Kniffin's 2004 GMC Denali to his home in Pennsylvania with the prospect of buying it.

NCAA Bylaws forbid providing benefits to student athletes that are not available to similarly situated non-athletes. That is to say that the benefits they receive must not be made on the basis of the their athletic ability. The Bryant Scholarship is a good example of this principle: It's allowed, and not counted against our limits until the player actually plays, because the eligibility for the scholarship is not athletically based, but based on heritage and lineage.  

We certainly don't have any evidence one way or the other, but what are the odds that Kniffin is going to let some random student who isn't a famous athlete test drive a 4-year-old Denali? I realize this isn't an unheard of practice, especially for used cars, but how many previous examples of that are there of someone who is in Pryor's financial situation, but not an NCAA star, got to borrow a car for a weekend? Pryor was supposedly test driving and considering purchasing it.

Did he provide some sort of collateral to borrow the car, or was it assumed he wouldn't run off with it because he's a famous athlete?

I have a guess that if I wandered down to the local Porsche dealer, they're not going to let me take a sports car on a weekend trip, used or not, and I make considerably more than Pryor supposedly did. Why? Because I probably can't afford to actually buy it. Could pryor have afforded to buy the car? (Relevant data point: he was one of the guys supposedly selling merchandise for needed spending money)

Now, this isn't an NCAA decision -- it's just OSU Compliance's determination -- but this is the situation where "loophole" potential exists. The rule is that players shouldn't get extra benefits just for being athletes -- lacking a standard for how to determine if this is a common practice for the dealership for non-athletes invites far more abuse than saying a player's dad can solicit money that he will never receive from a school at which his son will never play without ever telling his son. 

FanPosts are just that; posts created by the fans. They are in no way indicative of the opinions of SBN and the authors of Roll Bama Roll.

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