Wherever you get your news, you have surely read about (or skipped over) the ongoing National Anthem disputes among NFL teams on game day, a controversy fanned ever higher by President Trump’s continued Twitter-complaints about it. Media outlets have, of course, come around to sample their own spin on the conversation.

And then, just yesterday, news broke about the FBI sting operation on multiple NCAA men’s basketball programs, allegedly in cahoots with sportswear giant Adidas for all kinds of illegalities, not least the funneling of hundreds of thousands of dollars to high school prospects’ families, in exchange for their contracts, both during and after their one-and-done stint at said basketball programs.

Regardless of what your opinion is on paying college “amateurs” to play sports—and there are convincing reasons on either side—what has become crystal clear in both of these news stories is that, contrary to all evidence, the superheroes of the sports world are, in fact, humans. In a system that delivers prime talent to millions of fans every week, and delivers it by way of elevation and separation; it is shocking when the veil falls and every mountain is made low.

Specifically in regard to the NCAA investigation, it’s hard to comprehend the two worlds meeting, how real, legal consequences could somehow implicate a structure in another sphere entirely. Watching the press conference yesterday, I felt like I was watching some strange mashup of Sportscenter and Netflix’s Narcos. Sure, NFL players are fined every week, and teams receive sanctions, but that’s the world of sports. Yesterday, though: no NCAA sanctions, no team probation, no recruitment cuts, but criminal, off-the-court allegations. Four coaches were taken to jail. You just don’t watch the FBI on ESPN, or the President, for the matter, unless he’s filling out his bracket.

There is certainly precedent for unrest in the inner-sanctum of sports. We’ve lived through league strikes and crooked managers. There have also been no shortages of “bad actors” (to use Pitino’s line) in that enchanted world, where certain individual indiscretions (or “crimes”) get prosecuted, or don’t get prosecuted. Every sports decade has various shades of Pete Rose or O.J. Simpson or Lance Armstrong.

But this is different. With both the #takeaknee dispute and the NCAA investigation, the entire system of sports is sullying itself with human affairs—and that’s something we do not like. Just this week, NFL Sunday Ticket, DirectTV’s all access NFL program, offered subscribers their money back in response to the national anthem disputes. Why? Well, because we prefer to watch our sports without the same conflicting emotions and ambiguity we have about the rest of our lives. We get that from our local current events, from our news outlets, from our Facebook feeds, from our families and marriages. Professional sports, and collegiate sports that have the status (and profits) of professional sports, are branded as escapes from the world of messy human culpability and injustice. Sports, on the contrary, provide us with clean lines, teams who win and teams who lose, games that end and seasons that end with a new champion coronated. Much as we hate our team losing, we love all the more the clear answer—we lost, but hey, we have our answer. So much of our life lies undefined somewhere in between.

And while sports have always carried some cultural identity markers, drawing vague lines of ritual and belonging, the games we watch ask nothing of us. They are benevolent forces, no matter how die-hard our loyalty. We are fine with the United Way commercials. Basically, though, we would prefer not to know how our favorite sports players, teams, or affiliates, are somehow invested in or complicit with the world we live in. Most importantly, we do not want them pointing through the screen at us, demonstrating to us that something around us is awry, which is precisely what both of these recent events have been doing. While ESPN splits hairs with half-measure commentaries about the future of the NFL or the future of one coach’s career, what they’re avoiding saying is this: you, too, are complicit. You, too, are a part of this.

In Bob Ley’s Outside the Lines special today, Jay Williams, one of ESPN’s college basketball analysts, argued that this is the beginning of the end for college basketball, that yesterday’s news marks the dawn of a new era of “amateur” basketball, whereby players ought to be paid for their contribution before entering the pros. Until then, he argued, this will be a “slow burn.” The dissolution of four basketball programs in September is only the beginning of indictments unleashed on many, many more. For college hoops fans like me, that’s terrifying news. What about my team? Where will my hope live from November to March?

At the end of Bob Ley’s segment, he summed up the varying factors in the college basketball business, a business that has made colleges rich with shoe deals, but shoe deals that were made because the teams wearing those shoes were televised in living rooms like yours and mine. The problems, Ley suggested, have less to do with the “stars outside” than those watching the stars inside.

I appreciate Bob Ley’s invitation to self-reflection, but no, I am not joining in on the fun. I am closing my eyes and ears to that indictment, and all indictments in the world of sports. I am not guilty, and the world is not complicated. At least not come game time on Saturday or Sunday. Let my superstars be superstars, holy five-star athletes: they run fast, they jump high, they win games, and they get rich. It’s as simple as that, and that’s as simple as I need it to be. If sports can’t do it, what do we have in our week? If not sports, what can assuage this collective guilt, this need for some respite from all this chaos and all these “bad actors?” Where could we go and who could we turn to?