50 Shades of Orange

Chained to post season or just chained?

This all began innocently. In response to Syracuse University’s “self-ban” of the men’s basketball team from post-season play, I set out to pen a scholarly essay on the history of self-punishment in Western society. Except guess what popped up when I Googled “self-punishment”? Sex, sex and more sex!

Like any serious academic, I carefully studied the material, and I soon realized that the interminable tango between the controlling NCAA and the cringing university is best understood as a twisted dominant/submissive relationship much like the one portrayed in the popular novel Fifty Shades of Gray. (The movie opens this weekend, according to Brian Williams.)

That got me working on a very different column. With a few minor tweaks — noted in italics — I’ve re-written Fifty Shades of Gray into something new and even naughtier: Fifty Shades of Orange.

Warning: The following excerpts are not suitable for mature readers.

How many other programs have you probed?


“For long periods of time?”

“Some of them, yes.”

“Have you ever hurt anyone?



SMU got the death penalty.

“Will you hurt me?”

“What do you mean?”

“Physically, will you hurt me?”

“I will punish you when you require it, and it will be painful.”

I feel faint.

How many scholarships?” I ask.


“You mentioned paperwork?” I ask.

“Yes, a contract saying what we will and won’t do. I need to know your limits and you need to know mine. This is consensual.”

“And if I don’t want to do this?”

“That’s fine.”

Bernie Fine?

No, just fine as in OK.

“But we won’t have any sort of relationship?”



Yes — the Y.What about the Y?


The Oneida YMCA. Do you have something you want to tell me?

Holy shot clock! How did he know about that? The NCAA was creepy, but so hot.


I’m weary from the Hearing on Infractions and all the television commercial shoots. Plus it’s possible we had a basketball game. I sit on a trainer’s table and gingerly extract the manila envelope from my gym bag. Do I really want to know the extent of the NCAA’s depravity or should I just eat this delicious ham-and-cheese sub from Jreck’s? I feel Gross.


“Stand up.” His command is soft, full of sensual promise. He doesn’t want Louisville or Duke. He wants me.

Shakily, I get to my feet.

“Look at me,” he says, and I stare into his smoldering gaze. It is his Dom gaze — cold, hard and sexy as hell, seven shades of hypocrisy.
My mouth dries, and I know I will do anything he asks — except Otto.

No way,I protest.I will not sleep with that repulsive orange!


I open my eyes. The 9,000-page report is wrapped around me like a victory flag, holding me fast. Its Finding of Violations is slung over me, holding me close, one of its meaty sanctions thrown over and hooked around my Big East Legacy. It’s suffocating me with its governing body heat, and it’s heavy. I take a moment to absorb that it’s still in my bed and — just like text books assigned to Fab Melo — unread. It’s morning in the ACC. Holy shot clock! The report has spent the whole night with me.


“Perhaps I should be stricter with you.” He cocks his head to one side and gives me an artful smile.

I swallow. Jeez, no. Yet my Interior Zone Defense melts. This is the NCAA’s way of showing it cares.

“Was it that bad when I spanktioned you the first time?” he asks.

I try to remember. Was 1992 that bad? I remember feeling confused. It hurt, but not that much in retrospect.

“No, not really,” I whisper. “Spanktion me again. Harder.

Do you have a depraved tale of bondage and submission? Phone S.U. Chancellor Kent Syverud with your story: 315-443-1870


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