Monday, July 14, 2014

ESPN 30 for 30 Vol II: Youngstown Boys

I watched Youngstown Boys. This is the fifteenth installment of ESPN's 30 for 30 Vol II. An episode guide for Vol II is here. After an extremely hectic nine months, I have finally caught-up with all of the 30 for 30 Volume II episodes just before the next episode airs next week!

Youngstown Boys' looks at the parallel lives of Maurice Clarrett and Jim Tressel. Clarett and Tressel emerged from opposite sides of the tracks in Youngstown, Ohio, and then joined together for a magical season at Ohio State University in 2002 that produced the first national football championship for the school in over 30 years.

In addition to leading the Buckeyes to a national championship, Clarret is known for unsuccessfully challenging the NFL's draft eligibility rules requiring a player to be three years removed from high school and for his tumultuous life outside of football, including his dismissal from Ohio State, several arrests, and later, imprisonment.

Tressel continued at Ohio State for another eight years. His career also ended in scandal. Five Ohio State football players were suspended for trading championship rings, jerseys, and other football-related awards for tattoos. Eventually, Tressel resigned.

Both of sides of the story reenforce my negative feelings about the NCAA. The student athletes are essentially indentured servants to the universities that are makes billions of dollars off them… Something has to change.

This is a solid documentary. A number of the Volume II 30 for 30s have been two hours long rather than an hour long. I have struggled to find the time to sit and watch them.

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