THE ‘JERRY MAGUIRE’ SYNDROME: How about ‘showing the money’ to those in the past, like Terrelle Pryor?

Remember the movie, “Jerry Maguire”? “Jerry Maguire” was a 1996 film that was inspired by former super sports agent Leigh Steinberg. The movie was very popular and had almost everyone running around saying, “Show me the money.” It was supposed to depict an agent representing an amateur athlete and helping that athlete get the most money for his talent. The standing rule for well over a century has been that amateur athletes were not permitted to be paid or compensated to perform and if they were, that voided their status as an amateur. There have been hundreds of athletes that have been stripped of their amateur status for a small and inconsequential amount of compensation. Let’s hit rewind and look at the career of the legendary athlete, Jim Thorpe.

 According to, after the 1912 Olympics, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) made the decision to strip Jim of his medals, claiming that he had violated the amateurism rules that existed around the games at that time. The decision came down in 1913 and was based on two seasons of semi-professional baseball that Jim had played prior to competing in the Olympics. At the time, the Olympics had rules in place that didn’t permit non-amateurs to compete in the Olympics. If you were at some point paid for your sport, you were no longer allowed to compete. Those rules were eventually scrapped, and now, a wide array of professional athletes compete in the Olympic Games in everything from basketball to track and field.

 Jim Thorpe’s medals weren’t fully restored until 2022. In 1983, the IOC ruled that Thorpe’s medals could be restored after stating that the initial ruling had fallen outside of the 30-day window when these decisions were supposed to be made. The restoration came 30 years after Thorpe’s death, and it only listed him as a co-victor in both events. It wasn’t until 2022 that the IOC fully restored Thorpe as the sole champion in both the decathlon and pentathlon, reported.

 So, Thorpe’s medals were finally restored more than 110 years later in 2022.

 Let’s hit fast forward and have a look-see regarding a more recent example of an athlete that was penalized under what I define as “the indentured servant rule.”

 Jennifer Roback posted a story on July 28, 2022, on titled: “THE Ohio State tattoo scandal dates back to December 2010.” Ms. Roback wrote: “The former star quarterback for the Ohio State Buckeyes, Terrelle Pryor, and four other members were suspended by the NCAA back in 2010 following a trip to a Columbus tattoo parlor. Former Ohio State football stars DeVier Posey, Mike Adams, Boom Herron, Terrelle Pryor, and Solomon Thomas, are known as the ‘Tattoo Five.’”

 In 2010, Pryor along with DeVier Posey, Mike Adam, Boom Herron, and Solomon Thomas were all involved in what is known as the Tattoogate scandal.

 The former Buckeyes were suspended for the first five games of the 2010-11 season after receiving cash and discounted tattoos for memorabilia from the owner of a local tattoo parlor, Edward Rife. As a result of the scandal, the players were suspended for the first five games and ordered to pay back the money they received. The team also had to vacate their wins from a 12-1 season that year including Big Ten and Sugar Bowl championships.

 “The time has come, we should get our wins back, records back, and the legacy of (Jim Tressel) back and not look past it!” Pryor tweeted on July 13, 2021.

 First, the unjustified “amateur competition rule” destroyed the legacy, credibility, and career of Jim Thorpe, and a tattoo and a few miscellaneous dollars shredded the reputations of five Ohio State football players and their coach, Jim Tressel. What a crock!

 Now read this. Recently, posted a story titled: “Pat Narduzzi Shares Thoughts on Pitt’s New NIL Deal.” The story pointed out that, “Alliance 412, a NIL (Name, Image and Likeness) collective aligned closely with Pitt Panthers athletics, announced this week that, in addition to introducing a new marketing arm to help athletes promote themselves, the collective would sign every scholarship football player to a deal and pay each of them.”

 Wait…what about the walk-ons? Are they worthless?

 Also according to the article, Narduzzi also took the time to praise one of the people that helped finalize the deal saying: “Chris Bickell has been unbelievable since I’ve gotten here. He’s been a great friend, huge supporter of Pitt football and he’s taking care of our guys. Can’t thank him enough for everything he does for this program. It took us a while to get to where we are, but we did it the right way or he did it the right way and got it done. I tell our guys all the time, ‘You earn what you get.’ You put it out there on the field there every day. That’s why we put our helmets on and you go out there and you try to make the team better, the university better and make your bank account better.”

 Nowadays, the word “reparations” is tossed around like dirty laundry. Narduzzi also said this: “I think it was long enough that the kids weren’t getting what they really should. I don’t know how we got there but it’s a good thing.”

Well, Mr. Narduzzi, most of us would probably bet our last chocolate cookie that if Jim Thorpe were alive, he and the Ohio State Five would also agree, it is time that they and their family, (in the case of Jim Thorpe) just want to be “shown the money.”

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