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: Jul 28, 2009
Posted on: April 27, 2011 4:00 pm

Will Ohio State avoid a postseason ban?

Answer me this Dodd.  At what point did the OSU a. dept. show lack of institutional control?  LOIC is is department wide charge, not a head coach charge.  there has to be a systemic repeated pattern of rule breaking to get the LOIC.  5 guys out of a 100 on team is not a systemic repeated pattern.   the 5 games out for the tat5/tressel is a start.  I think that a one year bowl ban, and 10 lost schollies is more than enough.
And to be fair, I think that USC got hit way too hard.  How was Carroll or Garrett supposed to know what kind of home Bush or his family live in?   people want consistency.  b/c usc got hammered, they feel that it would be "fair" for OSU to get hammered too.   thing is, two wrongs don't make a right.  USC was done wrong.

Since: Aug 18, 2010
Posted on: April 27, 2011 1:42 pm

Will Ohio State avoid a postseason ban?

"@LSUMC-- Your school hosts one of the biggest cheaters in college sports.  Just wait, he will get caught, and justice shall be served.  And no I am not 12.  Just because i have a certain view of the way college sports work (and i am correct), does not make me a 12 year old. moron"

It's LSUSMC, for my ties to LSU and the USMC.  I have never heard anyone say that Les Miles was one of the biggest cheaters in college sports.  Maybe you know something I do not, even though I highly doubt that.  Miles did have one issue of oversigning and there is that scout guy from Texas or wherever, but those are the only things associated with Miles, and those are not big deals.  You made the accusation, so please tell me how Miles is one of the biggest cheaters out there.  LSU is under no type of probation, so I am not very concerned about your claims.  You view of college sports said that you think 90% of all the coaches are cheaters, and I disputed that.  I stand by my statement. 

For the record, when I say oversigning is not a big deal, I am just talking from an NCAA standpoint.  I hated that Miles did that, and said so.  That disrupted a kid's life and was not acceptable.  I trust he will never do that again. 

Since: Oct 20, 2008
Posted on: April 27, 2011 1:39 pm

Will Ohio State avoid a postseason ban?

I am as big of Ohio State football fan as anyone.  Born and raised in Columbus and got my J.D. from tOSU.  But I've said it for months now, and I'll say it again.  We should fire Jim Tressel.  Tressel is an excellent football coach, but he screwed up, big time.  Ohio State fired Woody Hayes, as legendary a figure as there is in college football.  We can fire Jim Tressel.  The program might go through a year or two of turmoil, but with the assets and prestiege of coaching at Ohio State, we can pretty much pick whomever we want to be the next head coach.  There are maybe five coaches in all of college football that would not seriously consider coming to Ohio State if called upon.  In my opinion, it's already too late, but the sooner Tressel is shown the door, the more time the program will have to prepare for the future and the more of our already diminshed dignity we will be able to keep intact.  Firing one of the best coaches in college football will go a long way to cleansing ourselves of this entire mess.
On another note, despite the fact that Tressel's conduct was unexcusable, there are reasons in the facts that this situation doesn't rise to the level of lack of institutional control.  First of all, this situation had nothing to do with recruiting.  There is something fundamentally different about a player getting benefits during recruiting and once he is already enrolled.  Recruiting violations undermine the integrity of college sports at the core.  Post recruiting violation really only reflect poorly on the individuals involved.  Also, the players themselves initiated the situation.  The football program, specifically Tressel, did an awful job of handling the situation once it arose, but they had nothing to do with the creation the situation.
The sooner we get rid of Tressel, the sooner we can move on.  GO BUCKS!!!

Since: Apr 25, 2011
Posted on: April 27, 2011 1:10 pm

Will Ohio State avoid a postseason ban?

What needs to happen is they vacate all of their wins next year
You can't vacate future wins. That makes no sense.

Since: Sep 10, 2007
Posted on: April 27, 2011 1:02 pm

Will Ohio State avoid a postseason ban?

@LSUMC-- Your school hosts one of the biggest cheaters in college sports.  Just wait, he will get caught, and justice shall be served.  And no I am not 12.  Just because i have a certain view of the way college sports work (and i am correct), does not make me a 12 year old. moron

Since: Apr 27, 2011
Posted on: April 27, 2011 12:53 pm

Will Ohio State avoid a postseason ban?

It would not be surprising at all if Ohio St. avoids harsh punishment. Clearly the players involved will not get any more suspensions at least. What needs to happen is they vacate all of their wins next year, they lose at least 5 scholarships over the next few years and they SHOULD be banned from postseason this coming year. As for Tressel, suspend him for the whole year. What he didi is grounds for termination but I doubt that occurs. As for bringing Minnesota into it, I am not worried about Kill and his team making any mistakes nearly as bad as Tressel would. Also, Kill had a top ten APR score last year at Northern Illinois.

Since: Sep 13, 2007
Posted on: April 27, 2011 12:44 pm

Will Ohio State avoid a postseason ban?

Couldn't agree more. "Whores" is the perfect analogy.

Since: Sep 13, 2007
Posted on: April 27, 2011 12:37 pm

Will Ohio State avoid a postseason ban?

Of course they will avoid a ban. NCAA will probably be so pissed off they'll place Minnesota on probation.  At least that's how it works in the SEC.  Alabama breaks rules, let's bust Mississippi State.  Ohio State brings in big TV bucks, they're safe.  The NCAA has no scruples.  Just a complete joke when it comes to enforcement of its insane rules.

Since: Oct 23, 2008
Posted on: April 27, 2011 12:29 pm

Will Ohio State avoid a postseason ban?

Being a Miami Hurricanes fan I am very familiar with sanctions.  First, this is not over.  Something will happen and should happen to the head coach.  I think it should go further than just the head coach.  The athletic director and his office should get a good spanking also.  We always seem to fault the players and everyone else gets off.  The only way things will change is if the higher ups feel the sting.  Too often when something is going to happen at a school the head coach all of a sudden resigns and finds another job be it at another college or the NFL.  Nothing is done to these coaches.  They play the innocent bystander.  The only way schools will learn is if you hit them where it counts.  The pocketbook.  Pulling scholarships is not enough.  If they made a bowl game with ineligible players they should pay back whatever revenue was made from that bowl game.  College football is a business.  They just happen to hide behind a educational institution.  This beast (college football) has been growing to big for too long and something needs to give.   Real rules and regulations need to be in place and enforced equally across the board.  From the recruiting process all the way up the line.  Self enforcement does not work.  Like telling a bank robber he did wrong so what he does is return some of the money but not all of it and then all is forgiven. So lets wait and see what happens.   

Since: Apr 7, 2009
Posted on: April 27, 2011 12:01 pm

Will Ohio State avoid a postseason ban?

I have to admit I was looking forward to Ohio States winning streak over Michigan to come to soon come to an end.  However, vacating the wins wasn't the way I anticipated that happening.  Wink  

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