There have been several developments around the Northwest Pod of the Pac-1X in the last day or so, and the common denominator seems to be that people can't seem to see where they are going, and run into trouble as a result. Figuratively and literally.
In case you've missed it, yesterday started with Washington tailback Johri Fogerson getting pulled over for driving with a headlight out on his car. Fogerson it seems, had a bag of marijuana in the car (bad), and decided to run (worse). Eventually, of course, he got caught, and now he and the Huskies have a mess to deal with.
Incredibly, after Washington St. defeated USC 85-77, the Cougars' Klay Thompson got himself pulled over. For having a headlight on his car out. And not having listened to the news, obviously. Thompson also had a bag of pot in the car, and so traffic patrol in the state of Washington had a second drug bust of a DI player for the day.
Thompson has been suspended by coach Ken Bone for the last regular season game of the year, Saturday against UCLA. Decisions about what will happen after that are still pending, but it's clear that Thompson and the Cougs have a mess to deal with. In any case, bet on Thompson to move on to the NBA after this season.
It's not a good idea to illegally drive around with drugs in your car, but how do kids meet the entrance requirements at the university level if they can't figure out that said driving around really shouldn't be attempted if you can't see where you are going because your headlight is out?
Down the road in Eugene, it's adults that apparently couldn't see where they were going. Yahoo Sports broke the story that Oregon had paid over $28,000 to a couple of individuals, Will Lyles of Complete Scouting Services in Houston, who got $25,000, and Baron Flenory of New Level Athletics, an additional $3,745, for "scouting services",
Oregon (wisely) didn't deny it, since it's right their in their accounting records, and it seems they got the signoff of the Compliance Office, so there may well be nothing wrong here, rules wise. But the media firestorm is underway, and the NCAA is in town. ATQ has plenty of coverage of the situation, and there will be more to come.
Even if these fellows did something inappropriate with the money, or to earn it, Oregon might be in the clear, though it's impossible to predict what the NCAA will choose to sanction, and what they won't.
But it's hard to imagine a scenario where no one around the Duck pond could see how this wouldn't look and sound terrible. Especially given the size of the expenditures, well above the "industry standard" for such types of services.
This in a time where perception isn't reality, it's become even more important than reality. And anything that runs the risk of attracting the NCAA runs the risk of costing a program, and in the revenue sharing world that is the Pac-10/12, everyone else, far more than whatever they were paying for (you fill in the blank with whether that was a scouting cd, or a signed Letter of Intent) can be worth in return.
This all goes beyond any question of right and wrong, to the issue of even recognizing what you are doing, and where you are going, a prerequisite for even deciding if that is right or wrong.
The moral of the story might be to make sure your headlights are working!