Blog Entry

Will Ohio State avoid a postseason ban?

Posted on: April 26, 2011 12:25 pm
Edited on: April 26, 2011 12:27 pm
Was Ohio State cut a break in its notice of allegations from the NCAA? So much so that the school may avoid a postseason ban in the Jim Tressel case?

Draw your own conclusions from these conclusions: While the 15-page NOA delivered last week seems fairly damning, it does not contain the NCAA's scarlet letter designations -- "failure to monitor" or "lack of institutional control". In most cases, the allegations are made by the enforcement staff in the NOA. Either can be added by the committee on infractions in the penalty phase but that is a rarer occurence. Despite the depth and scope of Tresselgate neither were included in regards to Ohio State. 

Failure to monitor is more specific in terms of points of oversight in a specific area of the athletic department. Lack of institutional control says there is little or no oversight in general regarding a case. Go to the front of the NCAA Manual. The "Principle of Institutional Control" reads like the opening sentences of the Book of Genesis. [Emphasis added}

"It is the responsibility of each member institution to control its intercollegiate athletics program in compliance with the rules and regulations of the Association. The institution’s president or chancellor is responsible for the administration of all aspects of the athletics program, including approval of the budget and audit of all expenditures.

"The institution’s responsibility for the conduct of its intercollegiate athletics program includes responsibility for the actions of its staff members and for the actions of any other individual or organization engaged in activities promoting the athletics interests of the institution."

Merely taking into account the information in the NOA, it's hard to believe that Ohio State didn't get lack of institutional control. Its head coach lied and systematically circumvented the system by hiding damaging emails. I've said this in the past but this case comes down to the following: A 67-year old businessman in western Pennsylvania knew that Terrelle Pryor's name had popped up in a federal drug trafficking investigation before either the Ohio State AD or president

That's bad enough. What a lot of folks have forgotten is the beginning of this case. Part of the reason those Ohio State players were allowed to play in the Sugar Bowl was they "did not receive adequate rules education during the time period the violations occurred," according to the NCAA. Once they got that rules education, another game was added (for a total of five) to the players' suspensions that take effect this season.

So if you're like me, you're wondering how an athletic and compliance department that didn't educate its players on an extra benefit rule that is considered common sense in the industry, didn't get cited further by the NCAA. Ohio State AD Gene Smith threw his compliance department under the bus back in December saying the nine-member staff was "complicit" in the violations because they did not make the extra benefits rule clear to players. We can argue why Ohio State got a break for its players when it is assumed that everyone knows, or should know, you can't sell your memorabilia. The point now is, why didn't Ohio State at least get "failure to monitor" when the NOA was delivered last week? 

Both the NCAA and Smith called out the compliance department. That's a helluva place to start in assigning the scarlet letter.

An answer might be found in the manual. One of the presumptive penalties for a lack of institutional control violation is a postseason ban. It was described to me by a veteran of NCAA cases this way, "There is a higher presumption of a postseason ban," with a lack of institutional control. The manual states that a postseason ban is likely "particularly" when the violations reflect a lack of institutional control. There are almost always mitigating circumstances in these cases, but it seems by not citing Ohio State's oversight, a postseason ban is off the table. 

That doesn't necessarily mean Ohio State won't get a bowl ban. The NCAA alleges in the NOA that Ohio State is a repeat violator, meaning that it has committed another major violation within the allowed five-year window. While OSU won't get the death penalty -- one of the possible penalties for being a repeat violator -- it could received enhanced penalties because of the repeat designation. Because of that, maybe the NCAA didn't feel it was necessary to allege lack of institutional control. The school already has hung itself for being a serial violator.

The case isn't over and who knows what will develop between now and when the penalties are released which, at the earliest, seem to be midseason? But if you read between the lines it seems that a postseason ban is unlikely. Think more in terms of at least two years probation, a vacation of wins from 2010 and perhaps some scholarships. The juiciest question, though, remains whether Tressel will coach again at Ohio State. Without answering that question at the moment, I will leave you with bylaw, "Responsibility of Head Coach".

"It shall be the responsibility of an institution’s head coach to promote an atmosphere for compliance within the program supervised by the coach and to monitor the activities regarding compliance of all assistant coaches and other administrators involved with the program who report directly or indirectly to the coach." 

Category: NCAAF
Tags: NCAA, Ohio State

Since: Jan 13, 2007
Posted on: April 26, 2011 4:59 pm

Will Ohio State avoid a postseason ban?

The Buckeyes will survive and we will be a powerhouse for the rest of time as will the rest of the Big Michigan fans be careful what you wish for,....rumor has a man from Ohio named Urban is just sitting back and watching what unfolds at OSU?

Since: Jan 15, 2008
Posted on: April 26, 2011 4:58 pm

Will Ohio State avoid a postseason ban?

This report tells me that everything is being put on Tressel, which it should he lied to the school by signing the letter saying he knew of no violations. Ohio State will not lose bowl eligibilty or tv apperances.  I think they will be forced to get rid of Tressel.
They will be put on some kind of probation. A fitting punishment would be that they have to hire Rich Rodriguez as coach. for three years but then again that may be to severe.

Since: Aug 18, 2010
Posted on: April 26, 2011 4:58 pm

Will Ohio State avoid a postseason ban?

OK dtownbuckeye, exactly what has Ohio State done to take any responsibility here.  They did not even punish the coach, they let him do it himself.  I do not think anything is necessarily off the table, even though you surely hope it is.  Anything can be added at this point.  Plus, the NCAA knows they have taken a beating lately and this is a situation where they can flex a little muscle if they choose.  They may indeed give Ohio State a pass, but I do not know why that would be.  The violation is as bad as any I can remember any major college football coach committing.  If you know of something worse than lying to your governing body, I would like to know what that is and who has committed it.  The whole self-reporting thing is pure fiction.  When it became public knowledge, then and only then did your compliance office do anything.  Of course, Tressel continued to lie throughout the process.  I will say that your compliance dept has done a good job since they have been involved.  Of course, they were the ones thrown under the bus by the school when this all started, so they need to act right.  Remember that according to tOSU, it was your compliance that was neglect in that they did not tell your players that they could not sale their pants for tatoos.  But, they discovered the emails that proved Tressel was a liar.  I wonder if the school regrets throwing them under the bus so the tat5 could play in the bowl game.

Since: Oct 31, 2010
Posted on: April 26, 2011 4:51 pm

Will Ohio State avoid a postseason ban?


Since: Jan 16, 2008
Posted on: April 26, 2011 4:51 pm

Will Ohio State avoid a postseason ban?

Now please leave the McDonalds break room and get off your boss' computer, there are fries to be made!

So incredibly over used, so incredibly g-A.

Since: Aug 18, 2010
Posted on: April 26, 2011 4:46 pm

Will Ohio State avoid a postseason ban?

Not to start any trouble (OK maybe a little), but if this turns out to be true, would that not be considered a slap in the face to USC.  They lost 30 scholarships and face a two year bowl ban.  It seems to me, that if you just look at the violations, the one for tOSU is far worse than what USC got busted for.  Granted, USC's AD acted like an ass and that had to torque off the NCAA, but at least the coach did not lie or cover up any offenses, or play knowingly ineligible players.  If tOSU is to big to fail, what does that say about USC?  They were clearly not to big to get the hammer, so why not tOSU.  If I am a USC fan, I am watching this situation very closely.  If I am the former RB coach for USC (McNair is believe), I am watching this situation very closely.  I know tOSU fans are tired of this situation, but for many of the rest of us, we are just getting started. 

Since: Nov 19, 2006
Posted on: April 26, 2011 4:44 pm

Will Ohio State avoid a postseason ban?

For 2 months you have blogged your personal opinions about Ohio State.  Looks like you are wrong.  We now have confirmation that lack of institutional control and failure to monitor are off the table - and for good reason.  

The university self-reported these violations when compliance became aware and is fully cooperating with the NCAA.  Ohio State began and has led the investigation from the onset.  Mitigation, which is a part of due process, hasn't even occurred yet.  Without naming other schools and precedents, Ohio State has approached this matter with sincerity and honesty despite how damaging the investigation and the outcome.  

If the NCAA wants to allege Ohio State as a repeat offender because of what occurred under Jim O'Brien's basketball program back in 1999-2001, so be it.  While Tressel made a poor judgement, he has and will be appropriately punished, it is not as grave as you make it out to be.  Ohio State accepts responsibil
ty and the consequences.  &

In summary, Ohio State is a vital part of this process.  You are not - therefore your opinion has ZERO affect.  Thanks for sharing.    



Since: Apr 23, 2010
Posted on: April 26, 2011 4:43 pm

Will Ohio State avoid a postseason ban?

OSU broke the rules they didn't really cheat. They had there best players out there like any other team and they won games. I am sure just about every school almost in the NCAA is breaking rules that they can get in trouble over like this. I know at the school I go to players are breaking the rules left and right lol.

Since: Mar 29, 2011
Posted on: April 26, 2011 4:41 pm

Will Ohio State avoid a postseason ban?

The rules continue to be broken by these suppose to be power houses, and i mean supposed to be. ohio state cheats at Basketball football and who know what other sports. that whole school is nothing but a bunch of cheaters from their alumni to the school President. The NCAA are a bunch whimps. Tressel needs to get canned and the school needs to be banned from a bowl game this year.

Since: Mar 9, 2009
Posted on: April 26, 2011 4:41 pm

Will Ohio State avoid a postseason ban?


WAR EAGLE!!!Money mouth

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