Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Ohio State Buckeye Fans Should Rejoice They Didn't Get Hit Harder By NCAA

Yesterday, the interminable investigation into the NCAA violations committed at Ohio State University finally came to an end (we think, it's been a while since new violations were uncovered).  OSU was slapped with the following penalties (I put in Bold what OSU wanted to penalize itself):

  • Bowl ban in 2012
  • Loss of nine scholarships (three scholarships each year for next three years)  (five scholarships)
  • Three-year probation from 2012-2014 (two years probation)
  • Vacated 2010 season, including bowl win and Big 10 Championship (vacate 2010 season)
  • Forfeit the money received from the Big Ten for the Sugar Bowl appearance ($338,000) (return bowl money)
  • Disassociate with Terrelle Pryor for five years, and with a particular booster for 10 years
  • Jim Tressel has a five-year show cause order in place, which should prohibit him from being hired anywhere else in the next five years (how much does it matter, he took a position with Indianapolis Colts this season)
The question is, is it harsh enough?  Remember, after all the tattoo issues were discovered by spring of 2011.  OSU met with the NCAA in August about those infractions and assured the NCAA that they had disclosed everything.

Then OSU announces several issues they found with one particular booster (who shall not be named). He paid three players for attending a dinner and overpaid several players for summer jobs.  How do you think the NCAA felt at that point?

The big question people will ask for a while is if the NCAA went far enough.  USC is crying foul right now with all the penalties that they received for their massive scandal involving Reggie Bush. I would contend that the sheer volume of the benefits that were received at USC dwarfed the money that exchanged hands at OSU.

ON THE OTHER HAND, Tressel is the key figure in this investigation.  The fact that he knew about the tattoo for memorabilia scandal in April of 2010 and kept it covered the rest of the year is bad enough.  Then the guy plays dumb when the investigation breaks and forces his players to commit to coming back for the next season despite a six-game suspension.  What kind of a scumbag is this guy?

OSU and its fans may feel that this is harsh (I certainly don't considering the actions of their former coach), but the reality is this:
  • Tressel clearly wasn't the upstanding guy he purported himself to be. The sooner you can identify this and get rid of a poor character guy, the better.  OSU is very, very lucky that the violations Tressel covered up weren't much worse (had Pryor stuck around for his senior year they would have been).
  • By having these violations come out now, you got rid of Pryor a year early.  I was never a fan of the guy, personally.  His highly inflated stats in OSU's cushy schedule could never make up for what I thought were his attitude issues, and poor performance in big games.  Buckeye fans, be glad that Pryor left early.
  • Finally, despite these scandals and the punishment you've received and all the crying you're gonna do, SAVE IT. In the end this actually works out really really well for you.  You got a top-tier coach to come to your program (Urban Meyer) to replace your pretty-good coach.  Going forward you have a one-year bowl ban (should have been two; to me, a 6-6 record should not be bowl eligible) and a few scholarship reductions a year.  That will barely be an issue for a school like OSU who will fill their roster with four- and five-star guys anyway.


No comments: