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: Feb 7, 2009
Posted on: April 26, 2011 6:21 pm

Will Ohio State avoid a postseason ban?

Since: Nov 19, 2006
Posted on: April 26, 2011 6:19 pm

Will Ohio State avoid a postseason ban?

what has Ohio State done to take any responsibility here.
Let me say it again.  The university self-reported the violations when it had become aware to the university in December.  When it was learned Tressel had received emails back in April, again, the university self-reported the new information.  It' a fact that Ohio State and its compliance department have led the investigation to this point.  When the university learned Tressel sat on information, they immediately punished their coach with a two game suspension, a 250k fine, a compliance class, and a public apology.  Those are the facts to this point.  Feel free to dispute them with your opinion. 

USC never self-reported or fully cooperated when alleged wrongdoing became known.  I could speculate that an inadequate compliance department also wasn't looked at favorably by the ncaa.  Mike Garrett chose the to challenge and deny.  Where is he today?  Obviously not the correct way to handle the situation.  USC wasn't guilty of one instance, but multiple.  When did USC punish Carroll?  Where did USC accept accountability and lead the investigation.  When did they publically apologize?

No matter, the facts of the 2 cases are completely different and the handling of the 2 cases by the respective universities is completely different.  I suspect the results of the 2 cases will also be completely different.  Again, I only go by the facts.    

I would like to mention that USC has changed it's atmosphere under Hayden.  They should be recognized for that.


Since: Dec 24, 2006
Posted on: April 26, 2011 6:18 pm

Bowl ban depends on whether Tressel stays

If Tressel is still the OSU head coach at the time of OSU's hearing with the NCAA in August, then the Buckeyes will get a one or two year bowl ban.

If Tressel is gone by then, OSU will get probation but no bowl ban.

Since: Apr 26, 2011
Posted on: April 26, 2011 6:05 pm

Will Ohio State avoid a postseason ban?

Since: Jun 10, 2008
Posted on: April 26, 2011 5:42 pm

Will Ohio State avoid a postseason ban?

Since: Sep 27, 2006
Posted on: April 26, 2011 5:36 pm

Will Ohio State avoid a postseason ban?

Just another example of honor and integrity out the window when there's money to be made. 

Since: Jan 7, 2011
Posted on: April 26, 2011 5:25 pm

Will Ohio State avoid a postseason ban?

Remember the one positive thing here Ohio State football has become the joke around the country  and definitely the most disrespected program in the country!

Since: Nov 5, 2008
Posted on: April 26, 2011 5:12 pm

Will Ohio State avoid a postseason ban?

Ohio State was already cut a break when the 5 players were allowed to play in the Sugar Bowl. The NCAA is a joke.

Since: Aug 29, 2007
Posted on: April 26, 2011 5:11 pm

Will Ohio State avoid a postseason ban?

Man! I sure remember when U of M had /has its problems with what was it? practice was to long, I think? the Michigan slamfest was on (love you Ohio State Fans ). I will again prove why The U of M Fans are Classier than the Ohio State Fans, Here is what I have to say about this, ...................................

........Nothing, Because I will conduct myself the way I would like to be treated (although It would be fun to "tap" at a few of ya, Ill Let it go.) goodday!

Since: Jan 7, 2011
Posted on: April 26, 2011 5:04 pm

Will Ohio State avoid a postseason ban?

Trust me the NCAA will pull the rug from the OSU's phony Big  10 championship in 2010! Tressel built his carreer on playing see-no evil hear-no evil, speak no  admission football all along. hes been doing this for years.. They dont care down there its so obvious give him his win over Michigan and his Skoal, and he will give you his soul. and thats not me talking. Its certain diehARD bUCKEYES- AND THATS WHY POOR TRESSEL is in deep shit.. Your coach has sure shown his class and integrity and it isnt much!

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