Football is officially back. I’ve waited for what seems to be an eternity to write those words. And while my excitement for the new season is at an all-time high, my enthusiasm for a sport I love has been greatly tarnished over the past offseason.It seems that at every level of football, collegiate or professional, there is some sort of conspiracy or cover-up.Take the NFL’s handling of Deflategate, for instance. After hiring “independent” investigator Ted Wells to conduct an investigation into the events of Deflategate, the NFL was able to conclude that Tom Brady may have known a ball boy deflated footballs during the AFC Championship Game.It’s been almost eight months since the New England Patriots steamrolled the Indianapolis Colts 45-7, and there is still no resolution to the matter.Tom Brady has appealed, been denied by “impartial” judge Roger Goodell, and now sits in court awaiting a decision on his four-game suspension. Though the case has been in court for a few weeks, the judge has yet to come to a verdict. He expects to rule by the end of the week, but with this case, who knows?Deflategate is just one of the many situations the NFL has messed up over the past decade or so.In fact, you may have been so caught up in the Deflategate drama that you could have missed the trailer for Will Smith’s new movie, Concussion. The movie centers on the work of Bennet Omalu, a pathologist, who discovered chronic traumatic encephalopathy after performing biopsies on several ex-NFL players.For those of you who are unaware of the NFL’s handling of concussions, it isn’t pretty. When Omalu went to the NFL to discuss his work, he was rebuffed repeatedly. The NFL basically discredited any work by any scientist that wasn’t paid by the league. Sound familiar, Ted Wells?The NFL eventually admitted that repeated head bashing was a serious problem in the league. After being sued by hundreds of former players, the league was mandated to set up a system to help retired players who suffered from CTE and other brain-related diseases.Will Smith’s movie promises to bring light to the struggle that Omalu went through in getting his work recognized by the NFL. I was genuinely happy that finally the NFL would be exposed for mishandling a vital situation. After botching the Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson and now Tom Brady cases, the NFL would have its unethical practices seen by millions of people.Or so I thought.While browsing through my Twitter feed on Wednesday morning, I came across a tweet from a fellow USC student.In his tweet, the student said that Sony altered the movie Concussion so they wouldn’t anger the NFL.After looking into the issue myself, I found that what Schwartz had said was true. According to emails leaked during the Sony hack, executives at the company, the director of the movie and representatives for Will Smith discussed ways to not antagonize the NFL, instead of focusing on telling the complete truth on the subject. Sony has since denied the allegations.If the NFL has the power of censorship now, there’s basically no stopping Roger Goodell and company from accomplishing anything they please.Its own players have slowly started turning against the league. During this past offseason, numerous players as young as 24 walked away from millions of dollars due to fears of their health and safety while playing football.Star 49ers rookie linebacker Chris Borland was the biggest name to walk away after just one year.When you have former players suing you and current players retiring over fear of health safety, you know you have a big problem on your hands. Instead of owning up to its mistakes, the NFL continues to look for ways to hide and cover up anything that will cast the league in a negative way.Until the NFL allows truly “independent” researchers and investigators to come in, there will be no progressive change.I, just like most of you reading this, will be watching college football this weekend and the NFL in a week’s time, despite all the wrong the NFL has done. And while the popularity of the sport has never been higher, football faces an uncertain future off the field.Nick Barbarino is a senior majoring in business administration. His column, “Beyond the Arc,” runs Thursdays.Nick Barbarino is a senior majoring in business administration. His column “Beyond the Arc” runs Thursdays.