Eric Dickerson Believes SMU Death Penalty Delayed CFBHOF Entrance (Exclusive Part 2/3)

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It’s a massive time for college football right now. Yesterday saw the College Football Playoff and bowl pairings announced. Tomorrow brings the enshrinement of the next College Football Hall of Fame class, of which Eric Dickerson will be a part.

We had an extensive exclusive with Dickerson, where we covered a wide-range of topics, including his belief that his induction was severely delayed due to the scandal that rocked his alma mater, Southern Methodist University. Dickerson, never one to pull any punches, let it fly during our interview.

“I guess I’m excited, it took such a long time, I’m just happy to still be alive,” Dickerson said.

“One of the reasons was the SMU scandal, which I had nothing to do with, the team had nothing to do with, but they held it against me and our class. We’re like the criminals (to them) but we were just a bunch of young kids.

“I’m proud of my university, of what we stood for, how we played, I have nothing to be ashamed of, none of these schools who do that (breaking NCAA rules) do they subject to putting on probation.”

SMU was put on the death penalty for their NCAA infractions, which included simple pay-to-play. No program has been put on the death penalty, for any malfeasance since, and we can be fairly certain that it will never happen again.

Penn State wasn’t hit very hard, in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky revelations, and if PSU doesn’t get the death penalty for what happened there- who actually would and what would it take? Dickerson believes an unfair double standard was applied to the Mustangs football program.

“I’ll say this much, they never would have done that to the University of Texas, Alabama, (Texas A&M, Oklahoma, they wouldn’t allow it to happen to a big school.

“To me, I’ll always say it, the NCAA is the most corrupt entity next to the National Football League. They exploit these young kids and scare them, say we’ll give you a scholarship and this opportunity you have, but it’s so wrong.”

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Eric Dickerson said he was happy that “Pony Excess,” the ESPN Films 30 for 30 that chronicled SMU’s rise and fall, was made, as it accurately portrayed the reality.

“So I’m glad they made that 30 for 30 because it showed (what really goes on). We were not doing anything anyone else wasn’t doing. I know guys from other schools- Texas, Oklahoma, A&M, I knew what they were getting.

“And they (the NCAA) knew about it, but did nothing about it. We weren’t getting rich, we were poor kids, from poor or lower middle class families just trying to survive.

“My mother couldn’t afford to send me to college if I didn’t have a scholarship, so I was fortunate in that aspect.

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“The little help that we did get was big, you couldn’t afford to take a girl on a date if you didn’t have any money- think about that.”

In addition to “Pony Exce$$,” one should also view the 1991 comedy “Necessary Roughness,” which was obviously inspired by what happened to SMU. It’s one of the most underrated football movies of all-time, and it does star Sinbad, which is reason enough. Eric Dickerson then discussed NIL (name, image and likeness).

“I’m glad they’re doing something for the players now,” he said.

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“They need to take a long hard look at that. No one (from his team) bought a mansion or left college with a million dollars in the bank, we were just trying to survive from a lower middle class background. although I do love college football, I’m not a fan of the NCAA.”

So this really is a classic example of the old expression- if you like the taste of sausage, don’t learn how it’s made.

“Don’t learn how it’s made, you don’t want to learn the ins and outs, you just want to watch it and enjoy it,” he continued “Because if you knew, or played it, you could get a bad taste in your mouth.”

It’s a long broken, utterly corrupt system, and it may not be long until we really see it implode.

Friday will see the release of the movie “National Champions,” a movie which depicts what could happen if one of the teams participating in the national title game boycotted, in protest for players rights.

Eric Dickerson said he is still indeed honored to be going in to the hall, and he’s pleased and proud of where he went. He loves Dallas, and he’s proud of his home state. He said 30 former players will be coming, as well as the wife of their late coach, Ron Meyer.

It should be a great night for the Mustangs, even though Dickerson was only given one extra ticket.

“My family will be there, my wife and kids, even though the funny thing is my wife has been on them, she’s been adamant about we only have one ticket,” he said.

“We have two children. You have to fly coach, it’s almost comical I have to make a joke about it in my speech. If you have two or three kids you better be able to pay $800 each for them, or they’re not coming. You got to make a decision between mom and dad, grandma and grandpa- they can’t make it”

Seems fitting the CFBHOF doesn’t want the players to have nice things; just like the NCAA.

Dickerson said the only reasons he chose SMU were because of Meyer, and his mom, who told him:

“Look son, you’re a Texas boy, I’m an old lady, I’m not going to fly to Oklahoma, and Eric you look at all these other schools they’ve had all these great players, but if you go there and start something, they’ll be talking about you forever.

“You’ll be the first and she was so right. I have to give her credit for having that vision”

In conjunction with his induction, a life-size painting of Dickerson will be placed inside SMU’s Ford Stadium, instead of being sold on the open market. This painting has also inspired the 50 different NFTs that will be minted, all of which will feature slightly dynamic visual modifications of the original art work.

There will be different backgrounds, animated movements and of course, the red, white and blue jersey combinations (very evocative of patriotic feeling and imagery) including the very popular “Dallas” SMU uniform.

Eric Dickerson Exclusive

Part 1: Exposing the NFL, regarding malfeasance on pensions and healthcare

Part 2: Inside the NCAA’s hypocrisy and corruption

Part 3: Facing the ’85 Bears, and why that team will never ever go away

Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Bank (TheSportsBank.Net) and author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” as well as “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”

He has regularly appeared in WGNSports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune, and co-hosts the After Extra Time podcastFollow him on Twitter and Instagram

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