Ohio State Throws the Buckeye Football Team Under the Bus

Ohio State Buckeyes baseball team athletic logo

Thanks, Tressel.

An “embarrassed” Ohio State University is wiping its stellar 2010 football season from the record books as self-imposed punishment for major NCAA violations.

But it is not suggesting that the team lose scholarships or be banned from postseason play.

In a response submitted today to the NCAA, Ohio State admits allegations that then-coach Jim Tressel lied and allowed ineligible players to compete by failing to report that they had sold OSU-issued memorabilia to a tattoo-parlor owner.

Ohio State concedes major violations of NCAA regulations but says it should not face harsher punishment, because no OSU official other than Tressel was aware of player violations, according to the response that was obtained by The Dispatch.

“The responsibility is upon Tressel. No other institutional personnel were aware” of the violations, and the former coach failed in his obligation to report them, the response says. “The institution is embarrassed by the actions of Tressel.”

The university concedes it is a “repeat violator” of NCAA regulations but contends that its “corrective and punitive actions are appropriate” and asks that the football program be spared additional punishment.

OSU also reported that it sought the resignation of Tressel, who departed on May 30. Until athletic director Gene Smith acknowledged that fact yesterday, Ohio State officials had repeatedly said that Tressel was not forced out.

In addition to vacating the wins from its 12-1 season along with its Big Ten and Sugar Bowl championships, the university has placed its football program on probation for two years effective today, Ohio State reported to the NCAA.

Today’s report also reveals that the university has identified one additional football player who received discounts on tattoos and has declared him ineligible. The NCAA would have to rule on his potential reinstatement to the team.

The Dispatch reported today that Ohio State is increasing compliance efforts and staffing. The report to the NCAA includes new restrictions on how and when players receive awards, in an attempt to ensure they do not sell them.

Players must prove they still have their championship rings and watches and will not receive other items, such as gold-pants charms for Michigan wins and game-worn helmets, until they leave the program.

The university also says that at least one compliance officer will travel with the football and basketball teams to away games to monitor players.

In Tressel’s response to the NCAA, he wrote: “Coach Tressel has explained his thinking at the time, but offers no excuses for his faulty judgment … (he) has paid a terrible price for his mistake, losing his job at one of the premier programs in the country.”

In a Feb. 18 interview with OSU officials, Tressel said that he understood that, by allowing ineligible players to compete, Ohio State was “going to get as our works deserve” and that “we were going to pay the fiddler.”

Tressel argues that his “integrity and proven history of promoting rules compliance,” combined with his team’s improving academic performance and other factors, should mitigate the severity of any NCAA sanctions. It also notes that he and his wife have donated $3 million since 2001, primarily to Ohio State.

The fallout from the scandal has included the resignation of Tressel, the partial-season suspension of six players, and quarterback Terrelle Pryor’s decision to skip his senior season and turn pro.

Ohio State reported to the NCAA that is continuing to investigate other allegations of player misconduct that have swirled around the football team and will self-report any discovered violations. Pryor, who has denied wrongdoing, was being investigated for his use of several cars during his three years on campus.

The NCAA could take away scholarships and impose a post-season ban on the football program as additional punishment for its violations following a hearing before the infractions committee on Aug. 12 in Indianapolis.

Ohio State also could face additional punishment if the NCAA considers it a repeat offender stemming from violations in a 2006 case by then-basketball coach Jim O’Brien for which the NCAA put the university on probation for five years.

……In addition to five-game suspensions for the coming season for all but one of the implicated players, they are paying the university the money they received from the memorabilia sales, in monthly installments through November.

More: http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/sports/stories/2011/07/08/0708-ohio-state-pleads-case-to-ncaa.html

They’re throwing the whole team under the fucking bus because of Tressel and a few players. It was a great season and now it’s in the shitcan thanks to a coach that didn’t reveal the violations by 6 of his players. The innocent players who had nothing to do with this scandal are being punished right along with the guilty. Suspend the guilty players and fire the coach for his complicit behavior, but don’t make the rest of the team give up what they’ve earned.

This kills me:

Players must prove they still have their championship rings and watches and will not receive other items, such as gold-pants charms for Michigan wins and game-worn helmets, until they leave the program.

In an attempt to kiss the NCAA’s ass, Ohio State is going overboard with the self-flagellation.  Since the 2010 season is now null and void, why not make them reliquish the items they received during the 2010 season? Since they’re so hellbent on making a point, why not just turn the two year probation into a two year hiatus from football?

We’ll see how stupid or how realistic the NCAA is.

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