Venoy’s Actions Troubling, But Also Beg Questions About Amateurism


by Josh Anderson, Founder and Publisher

Hi friends. It’s been a very long time since I’ve had the pleasure of writing here. So long, in fact, that I imagine many of you started visiting us at Montlake Madness after the time I brought Craig and Griffin onboard to tackle the day-to-day writing here.

I couldn’t be happier with how things have turned out with this site, which i started two years ago this July. Craig, at first, and now, Griffin, picked up the ball without missing a beat. Reading “the Madness” and seeing the site develop in recent months — whenever I could steal a few minutes between diaper changes and bath times — has been a true treat for me (and, i think, for all of the Husky hoopheads who have found the site). Anyhow, I’m not sure if this is a one-time cameo by the site’s publisher, or maybe the start of occasionally contributing to Montlake Madness again, but thanks for having me back.


Quick preface, lest you think I’m condoning some pretty heinous actions: if guilty of the recent allegations put against him, Venoy Overton undoubtedly deserves jail time. He is quickly redefining his reputation (from “pesky defender” to “repeat offender”) and building a track record of poor judgment.

Scarier, even, is that his recent actions suggest the very real possibility that he has a specific appetite for aggressively exercising physical control over young women. Gross.

All that said, there’s a question at the heart of the rather unique charge (for a high profile athlete) Venoy is accused of, that folds into a larger discussion going on in the sports world right now:

Did Venoy need money so badly that he was willing to risk jail time, given his past offense, to share in a fairly small amount of cash?

And, while we’re asking questions: was this the BEST idea Venoy could hatch to earn some money?

Consider Venoy’s pimpin’-ain’t-easy situation in relation to the conversation taking place recently over the idea of redefining amateurism in college sports, particularly football and hoops, the big moneymakers. It’s not a new discussion in the media, but it’s been reinvigorated largely by recent events at Ohio State. One of the litany of violations in Buckeye Nation was for players accepting payment for providing autographs, an NCAA no-no.

It’s absolutely true that by the current rules, which all players agree to uphold when they sign their scholarship papers, signing autographs for money is not allowed. But, is it really right for players to basically be precluded from doing anything to earn money trading off of the status they’ve gained from their on-field or on-court success?

Turn your minds for a moment back in time to Venoy’s junior season. Even taking his value on the floor for the team out of the equation, Venoy was among the most popular Huskies. A true puts-asses-in-the-seats guy for that Husky team.

Remember the way you felt watching Venoy pick the pocket of Derek Glasser or Nic Wise, then take it all the way back for a layup? You felt like you got your money’s worth, didn’t you? It doesn’t excuse any of his unrelated abhorrent behavior, but it’s crazy to think that he might’ve had trouble scratching together the cost of your ticket, isn’t it?

That’s right. Although reports say VO received about three grand from the woman in question during the time they knew each other, she earned only a small part of that “walking the track” for three nights over the past month. The money allegedly “earned” from his foolhardy foray into pimpdom wouldn’t even buy one of those season tickets many of us have.

Is it realistic to expect these guys to hold down jobs while taking a full course load and working hard to keep their games at a level worth paying to watch?

Maybe what Venoy did wasn’t about the money. Or, maybe it wasn’t ALL about the money. Maybe it’s about power too. Or it’s about the idea that “pimpin'” is glorified and we’re desensitized to its seriousness by pop culture.

I’m just wondering, if there had been a way for him to put a few more bucks in his pocket during his playing years
at UW whether Venoy ever gets anywhere near “the track” at all?

Maybe he does. Or maybe he does something else that’s just as stupid.

It’s just crazy to learn again and again about how cash-strapped a lot of these ballers are during their time in school.

I was eating ramen and scraping together beer money too when I was that age. Difference is that I never had gifts that could bring 10,000 screaming fans to the brink of madness. And, I had time to work too since I wasn’t busy honing said athletic gifts.

What do you all think?

Thanks for coming.