Friday, October 7, 2011

Could Ohio State University Receive More Punishment In Wake Of Posey Suspension?

I'm sure most Buckeye fans breathed a sigh of relief in August when the NCAA declared the investigation into Ohio State University over, and decided not to hand down any serious punishment.  However, that relief was obviously short-lived as it has seemed these past few months that more and more Buckeye violations are being uncovered with alarming frequency.

When does the NCAA stop buying whatever line that Ohio State is handing them about compliance and begin to actually levy some real sanctions?  Vacating a Big Ten Title, a full season, and practically forcing you to "ask" your coach to retire (when he was so unbelievably guilty) isn't that big of a deal in the scheme of things.  Not when much harsher penalties could await the program.

What honestly matters is the now, and the near future.  Neither looks pretty at all for the Buckeyes.

Today the NCAA finally hit Ohio State harder than they probably should have, with a five-game suspension of DeVier Posey added onto his original five-game suspension for the tattoo parlor shenanigans.  Posey was suspended for multiple infractions, including accepting greens fees and being overpaid for work on several different occasions by a (now) disreputable booster.

The NCAA might be a little bit mad now at OSU.  They do look like fools in not coming down harder on the school a few months ago when they "supposedly" finished their investigation.  I wouldn't be surprised if the NCAA investigator in charge of the Buckeyes case had to move into an apartment instead of a hotel room considering how much time he probably had to spend in Columbus.

The rabbit hole keeps getting deeper and deeper, and it's amazing that Athletic Director Gene Smith still has his job.  It doesn't help when he publicly complains that the suspension that Posey received was too harsh.  Smith isn't going to keep his job that way, or even save the University from harsher sanctions by finding objection to the NCAA for finally doing their job.

Perhaps it will take one more harsh statement from the NCAA, along with much harsher penalties (two-year  bowl ban, reduction of scholarships and recruiting abilities, along with a hefty fine with six zeros attached seems possible) for Smith to see the light and be shown the door.

Ultimately, hitting the program in the wallet will be the biggest punishment.  OSU raked in $51.8 million in football revenues (total revenue, not net) in 2010, and typically spends more on athletics than any other school in the country.  The football program literally funds many of the smaller sports, as well as helping to build new facilities for them.  Hurting the football program will hurt the entire athletic department, but the NCAA should be out to send a message.

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