Ohio StateAre you ready for the Final Four? Good luck staying ready, because someone is trying to ruin the college athletics high of March Madness by bringing scandal back the forefront. Tonight a host of former Auburn football players will sit down on Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel to talk pay-to-play in college sports, and one of the most disgusting allegations yet has already been leaked. 

Sex. Given to teenage boys to convince them to come play for a college team -- in this case at Ohio State. And you thought throwing big piles of cash at kids who are just trying to figure out how to pay for college was wrong? Somehow prostitutes sound so much worse, doesn't it?

That's the allegation Stanley McClover, a one-time Auburn star and current NFL free agent, has lobbed against Ohio State, one of the first schools to court him out of high school, the first school he committed to before changing his mind and ending up at Auburn:

They send girls my way. I partied. When I got there I met up with a couple guys from the team. We went to a party and they asked me to pick any girl I wanted.

Asked on camera by host Andrea Kremer if they offered sex, transcripts show McClover saying yes. Asked if he took them up on the offer, the football player offers another clear "yes."

No one makes it clear how exactly these women showed up in McClover's bed. Were they paid? Were they coerced? Either way, they were clearly not there because they thought McClover was sexy and they'd made a person-to-person connection. It was sex for a favor -- in this case him signing a deal to attend a school and play on their football team. Which makes what was happening a case of prostitution.

And it's gross. Morally. Ethically. Legally. Buckets of cash dropped on college athletes are an insult to the other hardworking students of the university, and we've been promised plenty of money stories on tonight's Real Sports broadcast. But a case of prostitutes sent to players is demoralizing to the tens of thousands of women who make up the Buckeye nation.

Even more to the point, the problem with giving kids cash is one that has to be taken up with the NCAA and its rules. The problem with giving kids a random screw for the night is one that could land Ohio State officials (if the allegations are true) in trouble with the law. It's against the law of the land. In terms of pay-to-play, that's far worse than an NCAA violation.

Does this leave a bad taste in your mouth regarding college sports?

 

Image via Jarrod Job/Flickr