How is it the rule or the rule enforcer’s fault?

I get so tired of excusologists.

No punishment is ever fair. All of these guilty guys want to excuse themselves by telling you how the rule they broke was a bad rule and how other people do worse things than they did.

Something tells me if they ever stood before a judge, instead of “guilty” or “not guilty,” they would plead “not as guilty.”

It’s like the guy you hear complaining about a speed trap. “Why does the speed limit need to be 30 miles per hour right there, anyway?” he asks as though he is making a Supreme Court quality argument. But there was a sign that clearly marked the speed limit. The police officer’s job includes writing tickets to those who don’t slow down.

I just don’t get it.

How is it the rule or the rule enforcer’s fault?

That is similar to the argument some Texas A&M apologists are making now.

Johnny “Football” Manziel apparently noticed his name was making a lot of people a lot of money. According to about a half dozen sources, Manziel broke an NCAA rule by accepting money to sign his name in order to make sure he was one of those people making money off of his name.

Because of the number of people coming forward with stories, photos and video evidence about him taking money to sign his name, supporters of last year’s Heisman Trophy winner have avoided the not guilty plea and fallen back on the excuse that the rule he broke is a bad rule.

Yes, the NCAA makes money off of the amateur athletes who compete under its umbrella. Yes, it may be hypocritical for the organization that says it is wrong for Manziel to earn money while playing football in college to actually make money selling Manziel memorabilia on its own website. The rule may not be a good rule.

But Manziel knew what the rules were and it appears that he chose to ignore them.

I doubt the NCAA has the backbone to suspend its reigning Heisman Trophy winner at a Southeastern Conference school. But if he is guilty, Manziel has as much business playing quarterback on Saturdays this fall as I do.

And now Pete Rose is making a bid not only to reinstated into baseball, but that he never should have been kicked out in the first place.

To Major League Baseball’s all time hits leader’s credit, at least he took some level of responsibility while excusing his bad behavior.

“I made mistakes. I can't whine about it,” Rose said before continuing to whine about it. “I'm the one that messed up and I'm paying the consequences. And to be honest with you, I picked the wrong vice. I should have picked alcohol. I should have picked drugs or I should have picked up beating up my wife or girlfriend because if you do those three, you get a second chance.

Here’s the problem, he knew gambling on baseball and especially his own team would cost him his career and he did it anyway.

I like how he says he made “mistakes.”

It sounds like he tripped coming out of the dugout for the National Anthem. What got him banned from baseball was a mountain of evidence that indicated that he bet on baseball games – sometimes just minutes before the game. He bet tens of thousands of dollars at a time. Some of the records show he even bet on his own team.

In 1918, that was enough to turn the White Sox black. Rose knew that.

There is no excuse. Manziel had the same knowledge of the rules and the same examples of what could happen if a player broke the rules.

They made decisions – bad decisions.

Rose is paying the price for what he did. Who knows if Manziel will?

But don’t blame the rules or the people who have to enforce them.

Blame the rule-breakers. They knew better. They just didn’t choose to do better.

Kent Bush is the publisher of the Augusta Gazette, the El Dorado Times, and the Andover American newspapers. He can be contacted at: