Drivin’ Deez Nuts: Run, Devin, Run


With another Chicago Bears season, comes another year of things that are Drivin’ Deez Nuts.

If you are new to BearGogglesOn, this is my weekly rant about anything and everything Bears.  There is always something worth getting fired up about.  This week’s focus will be on the latest hoopla surrounding Devin Hester.

As you probably have already found out via the radio, SportsCenter or Boomer’s post earlier today, Devin Hester has been accused, by former Miami Hurricanes booster Nevin Shapiro, of accepting large sums of money and gifts while Hester was in college.

I cannot believe the media frenzy that this has caused.  Some disgruntled felon (Shapiro is currently in prison for pulling the old Ponzi scheme) feels the need to blow the whistle because years of giving money to people he described as “family,” resulted in him having zero friends, zero money and zero freedom.  (While in jail, he asked his “family” for bail money and financial assistance, but received nothing.)  Talk about a guy living in denial.

Hey Shapiro, they were using you for your money.

Since coming into the league and hearing him in interviews, I’ve never thought that Devin Hester was the brightest guy in the world.  This has since been confirmed by his inability to understand routes when he became a “No. 1” receiver for the Bears in 2008.  I can only assume that when he was in college, the bulb was shining even dimmer.  Even though Shapiro doesn’t seem like the most reputable guy in the world, his claims are backed by many photos, documents, etc.

This leads me to believe that most, if not all, of his claims about Hester are true.  But you know what?

I could really care less.  I’m not condoning breaking rules; I’m saying that making something a rule doesn’t make it right.  NCAA athletes are worth billions of dollars to colleges.  I know, being a former college student, most kids have little to no money.  Yes, Hester didn’t “need” all of the money he received, but when a scumbag like Shapiro is handing it out, who is really getting hurt?

The old saying goes, “A fool and his money are soon parted.”

Devin Hester is on an upswing in his career.  He regained his form as a returner last year and has been praised as a receiver by both Mike Martz and Lovie Smith during training camp this year.  Things were just starting to go well again for Hester, after his forgettable 2008-2009, and now all this.

But, honestly, what can really happen to Hester?  He doesn’t have a Heisman, a national championship or draft eligibility to lose, so there isn’t much they can take away from him.  I just hope this blows over relatively quickly, because I don’t see how this will be anything but a distraction.  And that’s the last thing Hester needs while trying to make sense of Martz’ offense.

However, I think Hester is smarter than he was a few years ago.  When asked about the Miami U. allegations, all Hester had to say was, “…no comment.”

At a boy, Hester, just shut up and play football.

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  • City

    Hey Deez!

    I’m glad you guys are talking about this, but I’m not sure I agree with your comment that he should just shut up and play football. In my humble opinion, the NCAA is a bane to college athletes of ALL types. The rules they have are outdated, unenforceable, and serves to do nothing more than endenture a player to a school. And with title 9, football and basketball are sucking all the funds away from other men’s sports. Hester and ALL of the other players who recevied money from Shapiro should step up and say “yes, he gave me money. Guess what, if I wasn’t getting cash here at Miami, I would’ve been receiving free tattoos at Ohio State, or free cars at USC.” When do we stop pretending that college football players and basketball players aren’t getting cash from boosters and wannabe agents ALL THE TIME! (A friend of mine in college was a marginally good golfer from Asia, A GOLFER… and even HE had a wannabe agent that gave him cash EVERY MONTH as a means to entice my friend to sign with him after college.)

    The NCAA is a joke. The concept of NOT paying these athletes is a joke. (Did you know that the average graduation rate for football players across the top 25 programs in the country is just barely above 50%). The amount of money that these colleges receive in donations during championship runs is rediculous and should make our heads spin. The fact that these same colleges have been increasing their tuitions significantly higher than inflation and for no good reason than they think they can is pitiful. I think we need to wipe out the NCAA board of directors, and introduce some national legislation re-writing the rules. I think college football players and basketball players should be paid (In fact, I think they should be paid the equivalent of tuition. If a school costs $30K, then that’s how much they should make). I think that Men’s AMATEUR sports should be re-invigorated and their funding significantly increased. And I think it should be a felony for someone to give money to an athlete OTHER THAN THE SCHOOL.

    I believe that Devin should speak out. But he shouldn’t do it alone. If Urlacher got gifts or money at NM State, he should pipe up. If Lance, Julius, Matt F, or any other player received a gift, free clothes, cash or a prostitute, they should all speak up. It’s time to take down the NCAA.

    City

  • City

    Hey Deez!

    I’m glad you guys are talking about this, but I’m not sure I agree with your comment that he should just shut up and play football. In my humble opinion, the NCAA is a bane to college athletes of ALL types. The rules they have are outdated, unenforceable, and serves to do nothing more than endenture a player to a school. And with title 9, football and basketball are sucking all the funds away from other men’s sports. Hester and ALL of the other players who recevied money from Shapiro should step up and say “yes, he gave me money. Guess what, if I wasn’t getting cash here at Miami, I would’ve been receiving free tattoos at Ohio State, or free cars at USC.” When do we stop pretending that college football players and basketball players aren’t getting cash from boosters and wannabe agents ALL THE TIME! (A friend of mine in college was a marginally good golfer from Asia, A GOLFER… and even HE had a wannabe agent that gave him cash EVERY MONTH as a means to entice my friend to sign with him after college.)

    The NCAA is a joke. The concept of NOT paying these athletes is a joke. (Did you know that the average graduation rate for football players across the top 25 programs in the country is just barely above 50%). The amount of money that these colleges receive in donations during championship runs is rediculous and should make our heads spin. The fact that these same colleges have been increasing their tuitions significantly higher than inflation and for no good reason than they think they can is pitiful. I think we need to wipe out the NCAA board of directors, and introduce some national legislation re-writing the rules. I think college football players and basketball players should be paid (In fact, I think they should be paid the equivalent of tuition. If a school costs $30K, then that’s how much they should make). I think that Men’s AMATEUR sports should be re-invigorated and their funding significantly increased. And I think it should be a felony for someone to give money to an athlete OTHER THAN THE SCHOOL.

    I believe that Devin should speak out. But he shouldn’t do it alone. If Urlacher got gifts or money at NM State, he should pipe up. If Lance, Julius, Matt F, or any other player received a gift, free clothes, cash or a prostitute, they should all speak up. It’s time to take down the NCAA.

    City

  • Deez

    Thanks for the thoughts, City. While I agree that colleges and the NCAA are mostly at fault for all that is going on, my concern would be, what do pro athletes have to gain from speaking out and risking damage to their reputation? In an ideal situation, the current athletes would be the best people to bring the issue to light right after it happens (if they are willing to refuse the “gifts”). Then they can catch the people immediately.

    I think everyone knows that this has been going on for decades. Paying college athletes is definitely a step in the right direction but you know that there will be underhanded dealing still going on. Maybe some kids would think twice about accepting gifts if they had some sort of salary. Who knows?

    I think it was Michael Wilbon who said something along the lines of “the only way to stop boosters, etc from giving college kids money and gifts illegally is to get rid of college athletics altogether.”

    It will be a big change to undertake, so hopefully someone in a position of power is willing to take the first step.

  • Deez

    Thanks for the thoughts, City. While I agree that colleges and the NCAA are mostly at fault for all that is going on, my concern would be, what do pro athletes have to gain from speaking out and risking damage to their reputation? In an ideal situation, the current athletes would be the best people to bring the issue to light right after it happens (if they are willing to refuse the “gifts”). Then they can catch the people immediately.

    I think everyone knows that this has been going on for decades. Paying college athletes is definitely a step in the right direction but you know that there will be underhanded dealing still going on. Maybe some kids would think twice about accepting gifts if they had some sort of salary. Who knows?

    I think it was Michael Wilbon who said something along the lines of “the only way to stop boosters, etc from giving college kids money and gifts illegally is to get rid of college athletics altogether.”

    It will be a big change to undertake, so hopefully someone in a position of power is willing to take the first step.

  • City

    Sorry Deez, still don’t agree with you, and we may have to just agree to disagree.

    How can a current athlete bring the issue to light… especially if he knows his teammates are taking gifts? It would create an investigation that would harm his school, his team, and his teammates, who are his friends. That’s the flaw in what you just said; there’s NO WAY a current athlete can step forward. The professional athlete, however, loses nothing. Even his reputation isn’t really affected. Did Bush’s stock drop because of what happened at USC? No. Injuries and his contract status did that.

    And, the problem for the student athlete is that he KNOWS his teammates are taking gifts and money, because all the teams are littered with boosters and wannabe agents. So, it’s not a matter of “if” his teammates are taking gifts or cash, it’s a matter of how much and in what form.

    And, the other issue is that this probably started DURING RECRUITMENT, even before the college player signed his letter of intent. So, how can any college athlete throw away his chances at a championship, a shot at the NFL, and / or a degree when 90% of the schools are engaged in this kind of activity and maybe 1 school a year is getting caught.

    Current NFL Players can put a stop to this though, if they would just stand together and admit the issue.

  • City

    Sorry Deez, still don’t agree with you, and we may have to just agree to disagree.

    How can a current athlete bring the issue to light… especially if he knows his teammates are taking gifts? It would create an investigation that would harm his school, his team, and his teammates, who are his friends. That’s the flaw in what you just said; there’s NO WAY a current athlete can step forward. The professional athlete, however, loses nothing. Even his reputation isn’t really affected. Did Bush’s stock drop because of what happened at USC? No. Injuries and his contract status did that.

    And, the problem for the student athlete is that he KNOWS his teammates are taking gifts and money, because all the teams are littered with boosters and wannabe agents. So, it’s not a matter of “if” his teammates are taking gifts or cash, it’s a matter of how much and in what form.

    And, the other issue is that this probably started DURING RECRUITMENT, even before the college player signed his letter of intent. So, how can any college athlete throw away his chances at a championship, a shot at the NFL, and / or a degree when 90% of the schools are engaged in this kind of activity and maybe 1 school a year is getting caught.

    Current NFL Players can put a stop to this though, if they would just stand together and admit the issue.