The Ohio State sanctions

The NCAA’s refusal to accept the penalties that OSU self-imposed and its replacement of those with something tougher – a one-year postseason ban, loss of nine scholarships over three seasons and a five-year show-cause penalty on Tressel (effectively ending his college coaching career) – makes for a bookend on the day with Mark Richt’s reported violations for being, as Mark Bradley puts it, the coach you want to work for.

Some random thoughts:

  • If there’s a measure of consistency between these sanctions and those levied on Southern Cal over l’affaire Bush, it’s only because both schools violated the one rule you can never violate:  buddy, don’t screw with the NCAA.  The Trojans didn’t cooperate with investigators; Jim Tressel didn’t cooperate with anybody.
  • That being said, it’s hard to argue with Zack’s point that there’s still no apparent rhyme or reason to how much weight the NCAA gives to a school’s effort at self-sanctioning.  Either that, or the NCAA is getting more sensitive to schools trying to game the system (see note on Rittenberg’s analysis below).
  • If Gene Smith is really “surprised and disappointed” with the NCAA penalties, he’s just locked down the title of America’s dumbest athletic director (at least until somebody gives Mike Hamilton another shot).  These guys  – with the help of Jim Delany, remember – bullshitted the NCAA into letting the team play in the Sugar Bowl.  The win may have been taken off the books, but I don’t remember the Buckeyes or the Big Ten cutting a refund check. [Ed. note:  Ohio State did forfeit its share of the bowl proceeds.]  Now, in essence, they will.  As for, “This decision punishes future students for the actions of others in the past”, that’s like arguing you shouldn’t send someone convicted of armed robbery to prison because his spouse and children will suffer.
  • Adam Rittenberg’s analysis of Ohio State’s strategy – calculated to the point of being almost cynical – is worth a read.  No doubt some lawyer somewhere is getting alternately chewed out and whined at by Smith and Gee as you read this.


UPDATE:  Matt Hinton begs to differ with Rittenberg.



Filed under The NCAA

28 responses to “The Ohio State sanctions

  1. George

    As a Buckeye fan, I have no idea why our AD is still working for us. He has made every possible wrong move that there is. But here’s a question for you…Ohio State has self-reported everything, including the Tressel lying after the fact. We get this hammer dropped on us. What does this do for other schools like Oregon, Texas, Penn State and everyone else who is being investigated by the NCAA? Why in God’s name would you ever ever self report again? Much easier time just shutting the down in their face and not saying anything. Less punishment that way…


    • I think the Southern Cal folks would differ with you on that last point.

      If you’re looking for reasons why the NCAA wasn’t satisfied, you might want to look back at the administration’s first reaction when this stuff went public last March. I don’t think Gee did the school any favors with his lame joke about hoping Tressel wouldn’t fire him.


    • gastr1

      Matt Hinton points out just lucky tOSU was, George. You mad, bro?


  2. gastr1

    The one place the NCAA has it right is the idea that you get much harsher treatment when you don’t cooperate with them. They may be easy to hornswaggle but they make it clear that the right choice is to be honest and up front when you’re caught. When you have no real staff for real investigation that’s about the best strategy you can have.


    • Dawgfan Will

      Unless you’re AJ Green, that is.


    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      You are right that the NCAA doesn’t have a “real staff for real investigation,” gastr1. That is why it pays to stonewall, like Auburn. The schools that have taken on the chin (I would argue not enough on the chin) like USC and Ohio State got caught because the media basically gift-wrapped the investigation and gave it to the NCAA. Which brings us to Auburn. Somebody explain to me why exactly the NCAA came out with an official decision completely exonerating Auburn when the media got 4 ex-Auburn players to come forward and squeal that they had been paid to play there? That’s real evidence, not to mention the circumstantial evidence of a boatload of money showing up at Cecil Newton’s church for repairs, the track record of the Newtons shaking down Mississippi State and the reported statement made by Cammie to friends that he went to Auburn because “the money was too much.”. People get convicted in court and sent to the slammer all the time on way less evidence than that. Yet the high and mighty NCAA dismisses the Auburn investigation and says that there is no credible evidence? Plus Slive sitting on the payola allegations by Mississippi State for months without doing anything? Something was/is rotten about all this at the NCAA and at SEC HQ.


  3. Bob

    USC lost 30 schollies over 3 years and Ohio State lost 9. I think the Buckeyes got off very light in this matter. Yeah, the Bush deal was much bigger, but it was one player. Ohio State was far more players and blatant lying by the head football coach to the NCAA. I think USC got hit too hard and Ohio State probably about right.


  4. Hogbody Spradlin

    Who’s their corch next year? Well, as they say in Russia, tough shitsky.


  5. Cojones

    This OSU mess continues to be the sweet nutcracker for the NCAA due to the loss of last year’s bowl victory (?) after having secured permission for ineligible players to play. The hypocrisy of that call in our faces should be enough to see the unfettered power of Delaney in all messes called Big10. It continues on with a duplicative -( my correct usage of that and other words here. If you don’t understand, don’t criticize me today)- staff for this same team that gives unfair advantage over all other teams. Next year everyone will pull out their hair and say “What were we thinking?” while standing curbside right now looking at the scene of this accident. Wake up people! We are being treated like ignorant, unthinking asses. The Big 10 with Delaney pulling the NCAA levers is making all of us second-class members to any folly dictated and we better like it, or else. Or else what? His power bluff is as big as can be. These egomaniacs are ruining college football while we look like the feckless simpletons that we are. Where are you fan-lawyers hiding? We don’t kinow what to do and youall have certainly led us unwashed to believe that you do.

    I had this same rant earlier about the powerlessness seeping into our bones, all about the same school, conference and conference head being in bed with the NCAA. This is still an inadequate punishment for the crime that’s been committed to all of college football by Delaney and the NCAA. Their punishment at OSU is only half of what it should be. Will we do anything about it? Where is IrishDawg when we need a riot?


  6. Kevin

    “that’s like arguing you shouldn’t send someone convicted of armed robbery to prison because his spouse and children will suffer.” ….. actually this is an inaccurate comparison on your part. Punishing future athletes for ‘crimes’ by previous players would be like arresting a son for an armed robbery committed by his dad who then left the country and in that sense the argument against punishing future for past indiscretions holds water …at least in my humble opinion


    • CLT Dawg

      Does this rational mean that OSU is actually Bane?


    • Sorry – I’m not sure I get your point.

      Gene Smith objects to the penalties on OSU in part because the players will suffer. Who’s the “dad who left the country” in this?


      • Sanford222View

        Terrell Pryor?


      • Cojones

        Players who go there will suffer. They have the choice not to go there. Those players who were there during the cabal of coach, school and conference head certainly will pay a price. How does the NCAA take that cabal to court and punish them? The “death penalty” for any sports program is always on the table. How else can outright chicanery and cheating be stopped.? OSU has shown no remorse or admission that they lost control of this program. When does anyone expect it to stop when , immediately after the scandal , a request was made and granted to play ineligible players in a bowl game? Recently, a similar inequity of favoritism was granted to help in a coaching transition. It is an uneven playing field supported by our NCAA. Players at OSU that get hurt are players that have had a choice for over two years now. The people and institution they trusted let them down. The players that stay are saying “that’s ok”. A penalty for the player comes with that.


        • The players aren’t penalized; the institution is. The players suffer repercussions from that, of course, but that’s not the same thing.

          No innocent players lose scholarships or are barred from playing regular season games.

          Don’t see how that differs from my analogy.


  7. section Z alum

    AJ Green freely gave info about selling a jersey to a douche who ended up being trouble (though AJ wasn’t being scandalous), but the NCAA gives Miami a faux slap for a booster paying for hookers, bling, and abortions for many a willing U baller.

    I await clarity.


  8. 81Dog

    this cant be good news for GTU’s appeal. If the one thing for which the NCAA will up your punishment (or, presumably, hold you to it) for is dragging your feet and not cooperating with NCAA investigators, the current probation at Tech wouldnt seem to have much chance of being lessened. They ignored requests to limit the information spread by NCAA investigators, they drug their feet, they had people “change their stories” after being tipped off.

    and oh yeah…I wish the AJC would quit referring to Tech as the 2009 ACC champs. That got taken away as part of the punishment, which has not yet been rescinded.


  9. Trojan Fan

    It might have helped if you had read the NCAA decision on USC before saying the Trojans “didn’t cooperate with investigators.” If you had you would know that the NCAA said the exact opposite, The NCAA said that USC had fully cooperated but that it didn’t matter, Check it out, Apparently USC failed to “control” agents getting to one player and that is far worse than Ohio State failing to “monitor” its own boosters while they gave money to several players. Just like it is worse to believe a felon who says an assistant coach knew something than to know without a doubt that the head coach knew pretty much everything,


  10. Spike

    I’m not getting a lot of this. They are allowed to play in the Sugar Bowl with inelgible players, allowed to play in a bowl game this year,and allowed to have two coacing staffs during bowl season? And Smith is dissappointed?


  11. Randall

    that’s like arguing you shouldn’t send someone convicted of armed robbery to prison because his spouse and children will suffer. (/blockquote>
    You know, I hear that argument from defendants every single plea day and after every single conviction at trial. Why should tOSU be any different?


  12. paul

    Matt Hinton got it right. Ohio State got off easy. WAY easy. Unfortunately, this is neither surprising nor unexpected. Who actually thought the NCAA would come down hard on them? The Miami case, now that’s surprising. And Auburn, I don’t know. Either they’re waiting for a few years to see who is ready to talk (as in the Reggie Bush case) or they’ve just decided that pay for play is so ingrained at Auburn there isn’t much they can do until the program simply implodes on its own (as in Penn State).


  13. Scorpio Jones, III

    Oh…wait, this just in….emergency vehicles responding to the condo where new TOSU coach Urban Meyer is staying (owned by a conglomerate whose officers include TOSU boosters and Tyrelle Pryor)……Meyer is reportedly suffering from headaches, stomach distress and symptoms of other malaise…and has requested a leave of absence from TOSU… at 11.


  14. charlottedawg

    my working theory is that the NCAA is a huge bureaucracy nothing more nothing less, very similar to internal audit or hr in corporate america. At the top it’s run by people who think they’re god’s gift to mankind and specialize in political manuevering for selfish gain at the expense of everyone else and below them are staffers who think that a policy or rule is the solution to everything because they couldn’t critically think their way out of a paper bag. Also prevalent top to bottom is a 24/7 power trip and an inability to recognize that they are not the ones that actually produce economic value. Therefore lying to them is a high risk high reward strategy. High reward in that they are truly so incompetent and inconsistent that there is a high likelyhood that if you don’t cooperate or throw them off the trail there is a good chance you can get away with some pretty egregious violations(See Auburn). High risk in that if it backfires these guys WILL go on a power trip and try to hammer your ass. (see USC)


  15. Macallanlover

    Do not see how anyone can see the punishment for tosu as equitabke with USC’s (but then when has the NCAA had a clue about consistency?) USC was guilty as hell, and everyone knew it in 2004-5. The fact they took so long to get an investigation complete merits the size of the penalty. So now here comes tosu hotsy-totsy, we do nothing wrong prima donnas. Turns out they have been cheating longer, with more players taking benefits, and with the FULL knowledge of many more administrative and athletic association guys helping witith the cover up.

    And they have the nerve to say they got a tough sentence? 30 schollies and vacating years of wins would be closer. The NCAA is a joke, but so is tosu and the big 10/11/12.