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Gators Take Down FSU In Baseball and Life

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Gator Baseball defeated FSU Tuesday night 5-4, on a game winning RBI from Buddy Munroe. The Gators (10-7, 0-3) desperately needed the victory after getting swept last weekend in Arkansas to start SEC play. Munroe was 3-5, with 2 RBI and Brandon McArthur was 2-5 with 2 RBI. McArthur leads the team with 17 RBI. The Gators blew a 4-2 lead after the bullpen could not follow freshman southpaw Alex Panteliodis 4.1 IP scoreless opening.

It was more Sunshine and Lollipops for the Gators-Seminoles rivalry as FSU President T.K. Wetherell decided that the the best way to appeal FSU's penalties for academic cheating is by using an absurd comparison.

The story was meant to illustrate Wetherell’s disdain for the way the NCAA handled some aspects of its ruling regarding FSU’s academic fraud case.

“I mean, I figured out how to beat Florida,” Wetherell said.  “I told them the other day – I’ve got the deal, man. I got the deal. We’re going to send a graduate assistant down to write a [paper] for Tebow, and go ahead and turn it in.

“And then we’re not going to tell anybody, until about the 15th of August. And we’re going to say, Oh, by the way, look what happened. Urban [Meyer] doesn’t know anything about this – he’s not involved. And the letter according to the NCAA – you think a violation occurred, not that it did occur, you think it occurred, you’ve got to sit him.

“Well, we’ve got the proof, we’ve the [paper], we’ve got the one he turned in, we’ve got the one the graduate assistant [did]. He violated the rules. He’s ineligible … now, they can redshirt him next year, and they may need to do that because they’re going to need a quarterback, anyway, in two years and that may not be a bad idea. But – that’s just not right. I mean, it’s just not right. That’s what’s the problem – it’s just flat wrong.”

If you could follow Wetherell's meandering story, you can immediately pick out a huge problem. FSU's athletic adminstration SUPPORTED THE CHEATING! Wetherell keeps throwing the "Rogue Tutor" under the bus, conviently forgetting one of the adminstration's assistant directors also was involved. Not only that, FSU never changed the tests, allowing years of possible cheating. Who knows, there may be players prior to the investigation who also cheated. FSU created an environment where an athlete could cheat and is now shocked that they got caught.

Maybe Wetherell is in a panic because he knows what happens where there is widespread cheating; a program dies. The Minnesota basketball cheating scandal (where 18 students had papers written for them by a tutor) needed Tubby Smith to rebuild the program nearly seven years later. Can you imagine any team at FSU going seven years between being competitive? FSU is lucky they have so many sports involved, which means the punishment is spread out and not focused on one sport.

The other problem with Wetherell's comment is the Tim Tebow knock. I understand he is providing red meat to his base, but this is like Sarah Palin saying Barack Obama, "pals around with terrorists." To the base audience, it's genius. To the other side, you're a psychopath. The neutral audience will move to the other side because they don't respond to the red meat and there is a credibility gap. Who does the public trust; the president of FSU or the two-time National Champion who works with Filipino orphans?

Let's not be naiive and assume that every college athlete goes through their career without assistance. Professors rearrange test schedules for athletes on road trips and athletes get access to tutors that students can't get. They also get food and medical care students can get. The system is designed to assist athletes. The system fails when the work an athlete's work is done for them. FSU's system has failed.