Blog Entry

Ohio St. case takes another step toward ... what?

Posted on: April 25, 2011 12:25 pm
Edited on: April 25, 2011 7:02 pm
 

As predicted in this space, the NCAA is fast-tracking the Ohio State/Tressel case, and no matter what happens it looks like Jim Tressel has not coached his last game at Ohio State. If there is any good news to the school getting its notice of allegations from the NCAA, that's it.

The notice comes less than four months after the Buckeye Six (soon to be five) were suspended in late December.

To no one's surprise, Tressel is accused of unethical conduct for hiding those emails and knowingly playing ineligible players. The NCAA says that Ohio State could be treated as a "repeat violator" meaning that technically it is eligible for the death penalty. (Settle down Bucknuts, it won't happen).

It is compelling to finally see in print that the NCAA has officially alleged that Ohio State competed with ineligible players on the field. Beyond Tressel's unethical conduct, that is the essence of the case. USC competed with one ineligible player (Reggie Bush) and look what it got -- a two-year bowl ban and the removal of 30 scholarships over three years.

Using that as example, is it fair to assume that Ohio State will receive similar penalties? If so, it doesn't look like those will impact this season. In other words, Ohio State could compete for the Big Ten and national championship in 2011, less than a year after the school announced the initial player suspensions.

That's the same reason why it seems that Tressel will coach this season. Ohio State will reportedly appear before the NCAA infractions committee on Aug. 12. Typically, penalties follow six to eight weeks after such a meeting. Considering the depth and scope of the case, finalizing this case could take much longer. Tressel already has been suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season. Using UConn basketball coach Jim Calhoun, as an example the NCAA isn't likely to add to the suspension this season.

UConn's penalty came down in the middle of last season. Because of that, Calhoun's three-game suspension was put off until the 2011-2012 season. That makes things even more sketchy at Ohio State. Applying that history, a bowl ban, scholarship reductions, etc., would be put off until 2012 as well.

Then if the NCAA decides to add to Tressel's five-game suspension, does it, say, add on five games at the beginning of the 2012 season? And at that point, does Ohio State figure the hit is too big and take further action on Tressel? Yes, I'm suggesting the f-word. Firing. But not this year. When he is actually on the sideline, the man wins a lot of games.

Are five games enough? On page 5 of the notice (NOA), Ohio State is asked to provide a detailed description of disciplinary actions taken against athletic department officials involved in the inquiry. Specifically, " ... explain the reasons that the institution believes these actions to be appropriate ..."

Will Ohio State be vacating or forfeiting games? The NCAA also asked for the school's win-loss record the last four seasons and the dates and results of postseason competition.

Most damning for Tressel: The NCAA says he had knowledge (through the now-infamous emails) that two players -- Terrelle Pryor and DeVier Posey, though the names are redacted in the notice -- were selling memorabilia to local tattoo-parlor owner Eddie Rife. That means that players competed while ineligible with Tressel's knowledge, a significant violation. Tressel already had signed a document on Sept. 13 saying he was unaware of any wrongdoing. In the NOA, the NCAA has asked for a copy of that form.

Tressel said on March 8 he did not reveal the emails with superiors due to "confidentiality" concerns. However, Tressel did share them with a Jeanette, Pa. businessman Ted Sarniak who has a relationship with Pryor.

Former USC coach Todd McNair was accused of unethical conduct in the Reggie Bush and given a one- year show cause order that essentially did not allow him to work in 2010. He is appealing that ruling separate from USC's appeal of the June penalties.

Columbus Dispatch research showed that since 2006, the NCAA has penalized 28 schools for violating bylaw 10.1 dealing with unethical conduct. There were 13 head coaches involved in those cases. Only one kept his job.

The NCAA did seemingly have a sense of the dramatic. The NOA was delivered to Ohio State president Gordon Gee on Friday, the day before the spring game.

Comments

Since: Mar 8, 2009
Posted on: April 26, 2011 5:11 pm
 

Ohio St. case takes another step toward ... what?

Why can't the OSU fans on this site just admit that no matter how stupid the rules may be Tressel BROKE them and LIED about it not to protect his players but to protect himself!! He knew if he reported these violations as he is required by the contract he signs every year that his season would be lost!! It was all about winning to him so much so he knowingly played inelgible players!!! I guess just like Tressel who still hasn't said he was sorry for what he did it's easier to say everyone else is doing it and to just complain about the SEC!!!! If this was Michigan OSU fans would be calling for bowl bans and scholorship loses!!! Clean up your own backyard before you start throwing stones at other schools!!!



Since: Jan 17, 2008
Posted on: April 26, 2011 5:08 pm
 

Ohio St. case takes another step toward ... what?

Reggie Bush took a ton of money from an agent, his parents got a house...etc.  OSU guys sold their stuff for tatoos.  I can see where it's about the same.
As a fellow Buckeye I hate to say it, but you are missing the point.  This isn't about what the Tat-5 did.  Nor is it about their activities being pocket change compared to Reggie Bush's dealings.  This is all about whether Coach Tressel's handling of the situation was unethical.  Obviously, the NCAA thinks it was.  On the surface, I agree.  He did lie about knowledge of potential violations.  He appears to have failed to notify the school as well.  Had he notified OSU and the NCAA last April, the Tat-5 would likely have been suspended for the first 5 games last season.  Those players would have been ineligible, so in essence, it was cheating.  This issue is about the cover-up, not the offense.

Now to be fair, there were extenuating circumstances.  A Federal Investigation of the Tattoo Parlor's owner's alleged drug trafficing to be exact.  I don't think the OSU haters will admit to the gravity of that situation, but Tressel was really caught between a rock and a hard place.  Tressel has had a good track record of handling similar issues properly at OSU.  How could he do that and not compromise the FBI's investigation?  If there was an undercover agent involved, would it put that guy's life in danger?  Some detractors say he could have suspended the players for breaking team rules.  He would have had to inform the NCAA as to the real reason the players were suspended.  But seriously, how long would the truth have been kept quiet given the media hounds following the program.  This would have been like tossing a hot, juicy cheeseburger on the floor of a dog kennel, and hoping none of the dogs would find it. 

Personally, I believe he did tell his superiors, and they decided to wait until the Federal Investigation ran its course before reporting it.  In actuality, that last part did happen...OSU did self report the issue immediately after the FBI case went public.  If I'm not mistaken, OSU reported it the next day...about 12 hours after the raid on the Tattoo Parlor.  Amazingly enough, it was like the report of the violations was already prepared.  What Tressel and OSU did not count on is the media would get a hold of Tressel's e-mails because of the Freedom Of Information Act.  That and an agenda driven media that wanted a story about wrong-doing.



Since: Dec 3, 2010
Posted on: April 26, 2011 5:07 pm
 

Ohio St. case takes another step toward ... what?

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USC was charged with a lack of institutional control, but for what?  They were lax on having up to date info on a few of their athletes, yet there is no indication that having the up to the minute info would have pointed to any wrong doing, particularly in the Bush case.  They had 3 athletes, one each in three separate sports involved in misconduct, but the school was unaware of the misconduct.  To me, the only serious case of "should have done better" was with Mayo.  Given how he came to the program, plus the connection to a guy who had gotten USC in trouble previously, plus an assistant AD being on record of being unaware who Guillory was, that was a sanction waiting to happen. 

Aside from the reclassification of a consultant to a coach, all the remaining violations were so petty that they wouldn't result in more than admonishment.  An example: recruiting meals were held from time to time at a restaurant owned and operated by a former player who is obviously a booster.  That is perfectly legal.  But the owner, who personally greets every guest in his restaurant, greeted and spoke for a few seconds to the recruits, and that is a violation.  The NCAA featured that as one part of its lack of IC.  In all of the USC case, there was only one finding of a lie by university personnel, and that finding was largely based on an error of fact by the NCAA.  That mistaken finding of a lie is the sole fact that led to the only finding of actual knowledge by the school regarding any of the more serious violations.  USC was also called out for too open access to its athletes, yet that access was completely unrelated to a single violation by the school or its athletes.

At OSU, there is clear, plentiful evidence that the head coach had clear, unambiguous knowledge of player violations and the implications of those violations to eligibility, yet he allowed the players to play.  Then, when confronted with the violations, he lied about having any such knowledge.  Then when confronted about the lie, he downplayed it as being done in his players’ interest.

USC did commit punishable infractions, but mostly infractions of careless procedures.  OSU flat ignored and hid its infractions, then lied about them.  I wouldn't want my school doing either, but I would be less worried about carelessness than dishonesty any day.





Since: Jan 17, 2008
Posted on: April 26, 2011 4:16 pm
 

Ohio St. case takes another step toward ... what?

Another day, another column from Dodd calling for Tressel's head.  OK, I'll be fair.  It has been over a week.  But it is funny how whenever there has been a development in the OSU investigation process, Dodd jumps all over it and portrays OSU and Tressel in the harshest light.  Yet when developments occur with SEC issues, he will gloss over them with the merest of mentions in his columns.  Love the bias, Dennis.  How hard would it have been to mention that OSU was not charged with the more severe violations of "failure to monitor" or "lack of institutional control"?  Obviously, not very difficult at all.  Sadly, that bit of information did not meet his agenda.  Objectivity be damned.



Since: Jan 17, 2008
Posted on: April 26, 2011 4:00 pm
 

Ohio St. case takes another step toward ... what?

So at USC one player gets caught and gets reduction of scholarships for 4 years, 2 year postseason ban.  At Auburn buys a player (allegedly) and other SEC schools went after that same player but nothing happens.  Ohio State has multiple players getting unproper benefits (which actually if you think about what they did is ridiculous that its against the rules, the items were given to them) and the coach lies about it and all that happens is a suspension (to this point).  Why does it look like that USC got absolutey ripped apart for what they did, and the these other schools are being given a wink and nod?

Mr Powell, step back a bit so you can see the big picture.  Right now, you are missing some major points.  First off, the USC issue has gone full cycle.  The NCAA's investigation is complete and sanctions were levied.  At this point, the process is still not complete with OSU and the SEC schools.  I won't comment on the SEC schools, as frankly, I don't give a crap about them.  It is my Alma Mater I care about.  We are currently at a stage where Jim Tressel and OSU have been charged with misconduct.  They will be given a chance to defend themselves in a hearing in August.  After that, the NCAA will issue a ruling.  I expect additional sanctions will be handed out at that time.  So really, if you are going to rail about OSU getting off easy compared to USC, you really need to wait until the process is complete.

In the mean time, contemplate this: 

USC was hit with "lack of institutional control", which draws the NCAA's harshest penalties.

OSU has not been charged with "lack of institutional control", nor the lesser offense of "failure to monitor" compliance.  What OSU has been accused of is Tressel violated "ethical conduct legislation", which in the grand scheme of things is a lesser offense than "failure to monitor".  So while I do expect the NCAA to issue further sanctions to OSU (which at this point allows both to save face), there is no good reason why the additional sanctions will be nearly as harsh as what USC received.



Since: Apr 12, 2011
Posted on: April 26, 2011 3:54 pm
 

Ohio St. case takes another step toward ... what?

Reggie Bush took a ton of money from an agent, his parents got a house...etc.  OSU guys sold their stuff for tatoos.  I can see where it's about the same.



Since: Sep 17, 2006
Posted on: April 26, 2011 3:33 pm
 

Ohio St. case takes another step toward ... what?

brenden.powell - While at first blush it does seem like a dumb rule to not allow people to sell items given to them, think about what would happen if they were allowed to freely sell those items.  Teams that give awards for on-field performance (like OSU's gold pants) would basically be paying their players by giving them items that they could sell.  If that is allowed, why not award diamond pants for each win?  Teams would then be indirectly providing huge amounts of cash for their "amateur" players.  It would undermine the whole NCAA focus on amateur status.  If you want to allow players to be paid, that is another discussion, but for the time being this "ridiculous" rule is necessary.



Since: Dec 1, 2010
Posted on: April 26, 2011 1:53 pm
 

Ohio St. case takes another step toward ... what?

Why is tarheelguy124 so upset?  The ACC hasn't been relevent in football in years.  As for the SEC,  we're no better or worse than any one else.  We just get dumped on by every loser out there.



Since: Jun 6, 2008
Posted on: April 26, 2011 1:45 pm
 

Ohio St. case takes another step toward ... what?

So at USC one player gets caught and gets reduction of scholarships for 4 years, 2 year postseason ban.  At Auburn buys a player (allegedly) and other SEC schools went after that same player but nothing happens.  Ohio State has multiple players getting unproper benefits (which actually if you think about what they did is ridiculous that its against the rules, the items were given to them) and the coach lies about it and all that happens is a suspension (to this point).  Why does it look like that USC got absolutey ripped apart for what they did, and the these other schools are being given a wink and nod?  If President Gee has a back bone or intelligence (which his sisters of the poor (guess University of Akron is now a powerhouse) comment shows he's has none) then he'll do the right thing and dismiss Tressel.  We know he won't because he LOVES all the football money rolling into the school.




Since: Apr 26, 2011
Posted on: April 26, 2011 1:21 pm
 

Ohio St. case takes another step toward ... what?

This is thye same jerk who wrote that VCU shouldn't have been in the NCAA tournament. This guy is is the biggest phony on this site!


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