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: Sep 14, 2007
Posted on: April 27, 2011 9:33 am


USC seems like it got heavily penalised for Reggie Bush issue whereas Ohio State and Auburn were equally if not more cuplable and are  getting away with it
Ohio State especially seems like its got its claws firmly entrenched in both basketball and football poliics ,they already stole one NCAA championship from Miami on account beause of the referees and now this .what do they have to do to get penalised by NCAA ? kill someone ?

Since: Oct 16, 2008
Posted on: April 27, 2011 9:29 am

Will Ohio State avoid a postseason ban?

They should be the next SMU!  Death penalty for OSU is my vote!  10 year ban!

Since: Jul 30, 2007
Posted on: April 27, 2011 9:07 am

Will Ohio State avoid a postseason ban?

But this fine man has made more than one bad choice. This isn't the first time (Troy Smith, Maurice Clarrett) his players have been accused of taking money from boosters.

Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: April 27, 2011 9:06 am

Will Ohio State avoid a postseason ban?

I'm a lifelong Buckeye honk and Tressel must go. Either fall on the sword or be terminated. He KNEW what he was doing was wrong and yet CHOSE to do it anyway. I will NEVER trust him again as he is a proven lier and I don't want that man near my team I don't care how great of a coach he is. He didn't MAKE a mistake, he chose to be deceptive and then lie about it. That is no accident. He's made his millions so I don't feel sorry for him. He just screwed up so badly he needs to move on. And you know what they say "if he did it once......".

Since: Apr 27, 2011
Posted on: April 27, 2011 8:54 am

Will Ohio State avoid a postseason ban?

Make no mistake about it most of Buckeye Nation(me  proudly included) realize the coach erred in a big way by withholding potentially (at the time ) damaging information concerning the players stupidity then lying about it by signing the form and withholding the information from the University and NCAA.

From my perspective I am deeply dissapointed and feel a little rage toward the players for doing the stupid things that put the coach in a position to make a terribly bad choice.

Punsishment is warranted. Whether it will be more than what the University imposed I don't know.

Now saying all that all you non Buckeye nation people, media especially included. Stop putting the pressure on the University and NCAA to terminate  this fine man for making a bad choice.  The University and NCAA will consider the best course of action it does not need your help.

Since: Dec 4, 2007
Posted on: April 27, 2011 8:44 am

Will Ohio State avoid a postseason ban?

Just think, in 4 months Ohio State will once again be winless against the SEC in football. Good thing they still play Michigan every year.

Dont see that happening, sorry. Basically, the NCAA already told those players it was okay to play. There are no new transgressions, and the players WERE RULED ELIGIBLE. Cant really say "go play", and then tll ALL the players - including innocent ones, mind you - that NOW they are inelgible.

The REGULAR season could be a different story...but then that might be recording a tam as winless, but WITH a bowl victory...which is awkward to say the least. I expect the penalty to b in the form of future punishments (bowl ban, scholorship losses, etc.)

Since: Sep 26, 2010
Posted on: April 27, 2011 8:38 am

Will Ohio State avoid a postseason ban?

Well, we know YOU have not cut Ohio State a break Dodd........ your entire career on this website is devoted to destroying Iowa and Ohio State.  That is why no considers you a serious journalist.

If Tressel did this than every other school is probably doing something illegal too.  The man is a saint.

Since: Nov 1, 2009
Posted on: April 27, 2011 8:24 am

Will Ohio State avoid a postseason ban?

I love the part about being too stupid to pilot a human body...I'm going to have to borrow that one

Since: Dec 5, 2010
Posted on: April 27, 2011 8:19 am

Will Ohio State avoid a postseason ban?

Homer...nothing to see, keep long as we can cheat...idiot

Since: Jan 16, 2010
Posted on: April 27, 2011 8:04 am

Will Ohio State avoid a postseason ban?

This entire thing reminds me of our country and why we have so many problems. Look at congress we have members who raise our taxes on a daily basis, tell us how to live our lives then when its discovered they did not pay, and went out of their way to avoid the rules they set for the rest of us we get ahhh who cares, it was an honest mistake, he's a good guy, lets just move on. The crook is read a letter saying he acted badly, the guy says he's sorry and we move on. If your average citizen did the same thing they would be in prison.

OSU is is a member of one of the select few conferences that play the game, controls the money, and thus has the power. In the end these programs act like a frat once you are in the club everyone has your back reguardless if your in the ACC, SEC, Big 10, or Pac 10. These programs are exposed over and over again and in the end nothing happens and they are welcomed back with open arms. It seems as time goes on the crimes get worse and the penalities are a slap on the wrist or totally ignored because it would upset the free flow of money into the select few universities that sanction the cheating.

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