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.


Since: Jan 19, 2008
Posted on: April 26, 2011 11:22 am

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

Come on, you know the SEC does what OSU did every 10 seconds.  The SEC is too big to fail.

Since: Jan 10, 2011
Posted on: April 26, 2011 10:35 am

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

Let's go death penalty. I would love to see the cheating suckeyes get what they deserve.

Since: Jan 1, 2010
Posted on: April 26, 2011 10:02 am

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

Dennis Dodd takes another step toward.. what?  His 750th article on the subject.

Since: Apr 12, 2011
Posted on: April 26, 2011 9:50 am

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

"Last time i checked the FEDS do not have an obligation to inform the NCAA about info it aquires involving players or coaches during an ongoing federal investigation...i believe they have more important things to worry about, like the integrity of their case, possible undercover agents etc...who knows? "

That is the angle that Tressel initially took, if you remember correctly. It was then found out that he did forward the e-mail that he got (from the Feds themselves, if I remember right) to Pryor's "mentor".

Tressel should absolutely have let his compliance department know. They definitely would have sat the players and found a way to frame it so that they didn't compromise the investigation.

Since: Oct 2, 2006
Posted on: April 26, 2011 9:21 am

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

Can you imagine Mr Rife's reaction, sitting there one day oblivious of any heat, watching TV only to see Jim Tressel or some OSU official or NCAA crony come on discussing this?
Let's just assume your correct and the FBI told Jimmy boy to keep quiet (though we all know this is just a prayer by all OSU fans) - you don't think he could have suspended these guys for "breaking team rules", sat a couple of them due to "injury"?  Get real - we know you're grasping at straws here...  but players get sat all the time and no one will ever know the real reason why.


Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: April 26, 2011 9:07 am

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

Dennis Dodd takes another step toward...what? Being a below average writer for an SEC tilted website.

Since: Nov 6, 2006
Posted on: April 26, 2011 8:54 am

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

In all of this Ohio St mess I would just like to ask one question. Who should know the lesson better the taecher or the student? Now equat that to the Coach or the player. Dez Byrant get a year for a dinner, but this coach knowingly lied gets only five games. Where is the justice NCAA?

Since: Nov 17, 2007
Posted on: April 26, 2011 8:45 am

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

Perhaps I'm not making myself clear-- I'm NOT arguing that.  The NCAA will do what it does.  But FAULT lies with Tressel and not with OSU.  Anyone with a thinking brain can see that.

Not true, wollam11. That is just not true. Every school has signed an agreement that the school will monitor the athletic programs, the coaches, the players, the staff, and foster an environment of compliance, and that includes education everyone about the rules. Tressel, as head coach, is ultimately responsible for the football players, his assistance, and the staff that are involved with the football program. The AD is responsible in the same way for all of the athletic programs. The university president is likewise responsible (and that is where the buck ultimately stops) including athletics, academics, and anything else the university is involved in.

So, by chain of command, contracts, and employer/employee rules, OSU is ultimately at fault and responsible.

Since: Nov 17, 2007
Posted on: April 26, 2011 8:40 am

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

Wollam11, do you understand how NCAA sanctions work?     The misdeeds stay with the school, the coach walks away with a clean slate.  Ask USC, ask UMass and Memphis.  The school, fans and remaining players pay for the misdeeds of the coach who broke the rules, caused the punishment, then left for a big raise in the NFL or at another school. If Tressel gets canned, he will have NO mark on his record, and OSU will serve out whatever the NCAA gives them, and Tressel would be free to coach again the next day with NO sanctions of any kind.

You are mostly correct. There are, however, some sanctions that are placed directly on the coach and those stick. There aren't many, and none that I can recall would apply here, but they do exist.

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: April 26, 2011 8:24 am

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

Dez Bryant lied about having dinner with Deion Sanders and was suspended for the year. Jim Tressell lied about NCAA violations and knowingly played INELIGIBLE players. He even checked with his FBI friend. I believe that AD Gene Smith knew what was going on as he has caught in coverups at Iowa State and Arizona State.

Tressell deserves a fate more severe than Dez Bryant.

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