Gosh, when something bad happens in college athletics, college football in particular, it's so easy.
It's easy when you see wealthy coaches acting like aristocrats of some sort, when you see administrators flying in their school planes to have their meetings at 5-star resorts, when those same administrators won't even go along with giving a pittance in cash to the stars of the show.
It's easy when NCAA president Mark Emmert somberly stands before the cameras and announces the destruction of the Penn State football program. It's easy to nod your head knowingly and say that Penn State got what it deserved or to shake your head in disgust and say it's all a bunch of self-serving garbage.
It's easy when an athlete proves unable to handle schoolwork, even easier when it's discovered that he got help above and beyond what is acceptable or that someone put a $100 in a player's palm or a player turned out to be a scoundrel and not the upstanding young man you were told he was the day he sat with four caps in front of him to announce where he would go to become a superstar on his way to the NFL.
Yes, it's easy to view college football as a hypocritical enterprise that really serves only those at the top and exploits those who do the real work.
But there is more good in college football than bad. A lot more.
I say that with the knowledge that many of my colleagues would respond with a belly laugh, would view me as a relic of a time gone by when reporters and coaches and players were, in a way, all in this together. But that's OK.
Selfishly, all of us who do this for a living, should be grateful. Would there be so many "national" sports writers if not for the fascination with college football? There certainly wouldn't be many web sites like this one. But it's not about us, or it shouldn't be.
I've spent most of my 62-plus years trying to find good in what I see around me, and I'm way too old to change now. I recognize the warts in college football, but I see so much more.
I see young men who would have never darkened the door of a university leave with degrees. And, yes, they are real degrees. People like to say college football players aren't real students. I've been around college athletes since my hair was dark, and I don't believe that to be true. With the rules in place now, it certainly isn't true of those who get beyond their first year or two.
I see white guys and black guys from radically different backgrounds and cultures come together not only as teammates but as friends and brothers for a lifetime.
I see college students who learn about the very real results of hard work, harder work than that demanded of almost any of their fellow students.
You can make the case that coaches are paid too much, that players are paid to little, that everyone involved benefits financially from the players' labor more than the players do. And I wouldn't argue with any of that.
Players know that, too. And, to be sure, some leave embittered. But I've covered generations of college football players, from Pat Sullivan to Cam Newton, and all but a few will tell you playing college football changed them and their lives for the better.
In the end, doesn't that make it all worthwhile?