USC tailback Marc Tyler is in hot water. The son of former NFL great Wendell Tyler was caught on camera by TMZ in a drunken stupor ranting about how the university pays its players and how USC stands for the university of sexual ballers (somehow he got the B and the C mixed up). Marc Tyler has been suspended for the first game of the season and barred from all activities with the football team for the same duration of time. Does the punishment fit the crime?
Absolutely not. Marc Tyler is the victim of a society obsessed with drama and sensationalism. TMZ instigated the entire sequence of events by taking advantage of Tyler in a vulnerable state. TMZ knew he was drunk and would potentially say something that was incriminating or damaging to his image and reputation. To their credit he did not disappoint.
It could be argued that TMZ was just doing their job and that Marc Tyler is an idiot that should have never opened his mouth in the first place. I would argue that Marc Tyler is a 21 year old kid that was just having some fun with his friends and had no intentions of having his life turned upside down with an unexpected interview. Perhaps he should have known better, but how can you predict when a pack of gossip hungry reporters are going to shove a camera in your face and ask you a bunch of ridiculous questions?
In any event the penalty for bad judgement in this scenario is too severe. USC overreacted to the situation because they are sensitive to past indiscretions. Pat Haden and the athletic department are trying to send a strong message to present and future players, but the message is lost in translation. Since when do you get suspended without violating any team rules or government laws? Is it a crime to get drunk and say something stupid? This suspension sets a dangerous precedence and don't be surprised if it hurts USC's recruiting efforts. For now Marc Tyler will have to play the villain role and apologize for making inappropriate comments on television. We'll see how this affects his career in the long run. My guess is this will not be the last time TMZ causes trouble. Good luck everyone.