You're driving along the highway, speeding at 20 miles per hour above the speed limit. That's when you see a cop on the side of the road. You quickly slow down. You're lucky. The officer has already pulled someone over. Five minutes later, you are speeding again, hoping cops on the road don't see you.
Why do you behave like this?
Because, for the most part, you feel like the end justifies the means. More than 99 percent of the time, you speed and get away with it and the time you save on the road is worth that one time ticket.
That's exactly how some college coaches will act after Jim Tressel's resignation from Ohio State yesterday. Breaking the rules or bending the rules is simply part of the price you pay to get the top guys.
It all exists because of the way the system is set up. Coaches get paid all the dough and the value for the top kids is worth much more than a scholarship. So there's a great value in giving kids extra benefits or, in this case, turning your head to protect the benefits that players seek on their own.
Sure the NCAA hits programs and misses others, but that's how enforcement works in the real world. You don't get in trouble for blowing through a red light. You get in trouble because a cop saw you run it.
And seeing that cop pulling someone else over doesn't change your behavior. It stays in your head for a moment and then you go back to taking the risks and playing the odds game. In the post Tressel era, don't expect college coaches and their schools to act any differently.