It probably isn't too shocking a revelation that most bowl games are concerned with just one thing, selling their tickets and getting good TV ratings. (Well I guess that's two things.) So maybe we shouldn't be so shocked to learn that after six Ohio State players were found to have received improper benefits and that they would be punished by the NCAA, that the Sugar Bowl decided they needed to go into full lobby mode to keep these players eligible for the their game.â†µ
Sugar Bowl CEO Paul Hoolahan, being the shrewd business man that he is, found out about the infractions well before the general public, and knew he had to save his event from becoming monumentally less interesting.â†µ
"I made the point that anything that could be done to preserve the integrity of this year's game, we would greatly appreciate it," Hoolahan told The Columbus Dispatch. "That appeal did not fall on deaf ears, and I'm extremely excited about it, that the Buckeyes are coming in at full strength and with no dilution."â†µ
I don't know if you can blame old Paul for fighting to keep his product appealing, after all he has been saddled these past three years with two non BCS teams, two blowouts, and a Cincinnati team without a head coach. Wouldn't you fight to keep the first really exciting match up between two nationally known programs you have had in years?â†µ
The Sugar Bowl made a business decision in choosing an Ohio State team with Terrelle Pryor, and they are simply trying to protect their investment. Because nobody but nobody wants to see Jon Bauserman lead his team out of the tunnel in New Orleans, including television sponsors.â†µ
What this should teach us all is this: when we are talking about a few hundred dollars and some tattoos, the NCAA rules are clear and rigid, when we are talking about millions of dollars of ad and ticket revenue, well we can probably fudge them a little.