Posted by Tom Fornelli
So it appears that while you can erase history, you can't erase a ring.
Even though Ohio State announced on Friday that it would vacate every one of the school's victories from the 2010 season -- which includes wiping out a share of a Big Ten title and a Sugar Bowl victory -- a report in the Columbus Dispatch says that Buckeyes players will not have to return their rings.
Even though the record book won't show [Bryant] Browning's Big Ten title, his ring will. The Buckeyes already have received their Big Ten championship rings, and athletic director Gene Smith said they won't be recalled.
"They'll keep those," Smith said. "We didn't feel we needed to take those back."
Browning, a senior lineman, said he appreciated the gesture.
"I guess it does show they care about our senior class, that we did earn those rings," he said.
Feel free to make your "they can get some sweet tattoos for those rings" joke here.
Of course, just because Ohio State players will be able to hold onto their rings, that doesn't mean all the championship hardware that Ohio State earned in 2010 will remain. The school will remove the Big Ten trophy and the Sugar Bowl trophy from the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, though it's not sure whether or not Ohio State will return the trophies to Chicago and New Orleans respectively.
Some may take offense to the fact that players will be allowed to keep rings for a title that we're supposed to pretend never happened, but I think in a case like this, it's more important that the school bears the weight of the punishment, not the players. After all, while a few members of the Buckeyes roster broke NCAA rules, the overwhelming majority of players followed NCAA guidelines and shouldn't be punished for the actions of others. After all, it wasn't the players who decided to sit on this information for nine months and deliberately send ineligible players onto the field to play every week.