Blog Entry

Ohio St. case takes another step toward ... what?

Posted on: April 25, 2011 12:25 pm
Edited on: April 25, 2011 7:02 pm

As predicted in this space, the NCAA is fast-tracking the Ohio State/Tressel case, and no matter what happens it looks like Jim Tressel has not coached his last game at Ohio State. If there is any good news to the school getting its notice of allegations from the NCAA, that's it.

The notice comes less than four months after the Buckeye Six (soon to be five) were suspended in late December.

To no one's surprise, Tressel is accused of unethical conduct for hiding those emails and knowingly playing ineligible players. The NCAA says that Ohio State could be treated as a "repeat violator" meaning that technically it is eligible for the death penalty. (Settle down Bucknuts, it won't happen).

It is compelling to finally see in print that the NCAA has officially alleged that Ohio State competed with ineligible players on the field. Beyond Tressel's unethical conduct, that is the essence of the case. USC competed with one ineligible player (Reggie Bush) and look what it got -- a two-year bowl ban and the removal of 30 scholarships over three years.

Using that as example, is it fair to assume that Ohio State will receive similar penalties? If so, it doesn't look like those will impact this season. In other words, Ohio State could compete for the Big Ten and national championship in 2011, less than a year after the school announced the initial player suspensions.

That's the same reason why it seems that Tressel will coach this season. Ohio State will reportedly appear before the NCAA infractions committee on Aug. 12. Typically, penalties follow six to eight weeks after such a meeting. Considering the depth and scope of the case, finalizing this case could take much longer. Tressel already has been suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season. Using UConn basketball coach Jim Calhoun, as an example the NCAA isn't likely to add to the suspension this season.

UConn's penalty came down in the middle of last season. Because of that, Calhoun's three-game suspension was put off until the 2011-2012 season. That makes things even more sketchy at Ohio State. Applying that history, a bowl ban, scholarship reductions, etc., would be put off until 2012 as well.

Then if the NCAA decides to add to Tressel's five-game suspension, does it, say, add on five games at the beginning of the 2012 season? And at that point, does Ohio State figure the hit is too big and take further action on Tressel? Yes, I'm suggesting the f-word. Firing. But not this year. When he is actually on the sideline, the man wins a lot of games.

Are five games enough? On page 5 of the notice (NOA), Ohio State is asked to provide a detailed description of disciplinary actions taken against athletic department officials involved in the inquiry. Specifically, " ... explain the reasons that the institution believes these actions to be appropriate ..."

Will Ohio State be vacating or forfeiting games? The NCAA also asked for the school's win-loss record the last four seasons and the dates and results of postseason competition.

Most damning for Tressel: The NCAA says he had knowledge (through the now-infamous emails) that two players -- Terrelle Pryor and DeVier Posey, though the names are redacted in the notice -- were selling memorabilia to local tattoo-parlor owner Eddie Rife. That means that players competed while ineligible with Tressel's knowledge, a significant violation. Tressel already had signed a document on Sept. 13 saying he was unaware of any wrongdoing. In the NOA, the NCAA has asked for a copy of that form.

Tressel said on March 8 he did not reveal the emails with superiors due to "confidentiality" concerns. However, Tressel did share them with a Jeanette, Pa. businessman Ted Sarniak who has a relationship with Pryor.

Former USC coach Todd McNair was accused of unethical conduct in the Reggie Bush and given a one- year show cause order that essentially did not allow him to work in 2010. He is appealing that ruling separate from USC's appeal of the June penalties.

Columbus Dispatch research showed that since 2006, the NCAA has penalized 28 schools for violating bylaw 10.1 dealing with unethical conduct. There were 13 head coaches involved in those cases. Only one kept his job.

The NCAA did seemingly have a sense of the dramatic. The NOA was delivered to Ohio State president Gordon Gee on Friday, the day before the spring game.


Since: May 9, 2009
Posted on: May 4, 2011 3:01 pm

Ohio St. case takes another step toward ... what?

espn sucks. maybe if they spent less time trying to screw the buckeyes cuz their an ohio team, and more time around other schools, they would see that ohio state isnt the only school accused of stuff like this...but it sure as hell would seem that way, wouldnt it...that stupid network is complete garbage

Since: Jan 17, 2008
Posted on: April 27, 2011 2:32 pm

Ohio St. case takes another step toward ... what?

You could be right, Jeff.  I have a feeling Tressel's contract has the same termination clauses as O'Brien had.  As you recalll, OSU summarily fired O'Brien when his wrongdoings came to light.  However, he sued OSU and won because his contract stipulated that he could be terminated if his actions resulted in NCAA sanctions.  Everyone knew probation was on the horizon, so OSU fired him immediately.  Sadly, OSU lost a $2.3 Mil settlement because the school did not wait for the actual punishment to be handed down by the NCAA.  I bet OSU is going to live with the media smear job until the NCAA makes it's ruling next Fall.  Then it will be announced Tressel will be terminated at the end of the season.  Basically the same time frame as Tennessee used with Pearl.

Since: Nov 17, 2006
Posted on: April 26, 2011 11:04 pm

Ohio St. case takes another step toward ... what?

Sigh....Tressel is cooked.  It's over.  Let Fickell run the squad in 2011, but start the replacement search now for the 2012 season.  I just hope it ends with Tressel and no one else gets caught in the dragnet, nor the program itself.  Too early to know for sure on that though.  Also hope that recruiting doesn't take a hit, but that'll depend on who's the HC in 2012.

Will be interesting to hear the complete story after this is all done with.  Until then, no one's really going to talk.  More fuel for the media frenzy.

Since: Dec 5, 2010
Posted on: April 26, 2011 8:57 pm

Ohio St. case takes another step toward ... what?

NCAA needs to get a little Braveheart treatment...drawn, quarter and take away Ohio State's freedom.  But, they will be like the school's president...I will be lucky if he doesn't fire me...How big a frickin loser do you have to be...NCAA needs to DDT these suckers, but they will probably get more scholarships for being above reproach

Since: Jan 1, 2010
Posted on: April 26, 2011 8:52 pm

Ohio St. case takes another step toward ... what?

lloydsucks, you're making too much sense... arguing with these SEC folks is like herding cats

Since: Nov 25, 2007
Posted on: April 26, 2011 7:31 pm may be on-to something, Dodd...

you my just be on-to something Dodd; let's have the NCAA investigate this...we should have an answer by August, just on-time for them to use the old "we don't want them to miss any games this season, we''ll wait until next season," bogus rationale. 

Since: Mar 8, 2009
Posted on: April 26, 2011 7:22 pm

Ohio St. case takes another step toward ... what?

sorry that well put was in response to Nitro buck!! You made some excellant points!! 

Since: Mar 8, 2009
Posted on: April 26, 2011 7:20 pm

Ohio St. case takes another step toward ... what?

Well put!!!

Since: Jan 17, 2008
Posted on: April 26, 2011 6:02 pm

Ohio St. case takes another step toward ... what?

Steeler075, I'm a Buckeye, and I agree that rules were broken.  I even think there are good reasons for those rules that many fans around the country (not just OSU fans) are stupid.  In fairness to Tressel, I'm sure he has been advised to not say too much when it comes to making an apology.  Just like the accused in a court case whose lawyer tells him to not say anything.  You'll get your apology in due time, but it won't likely be until the NCAA rules on the matter.  Lastly, I could not agree more...the "everyone else does it" excuse carries no water with me.  There was clearly a lot of wrong-doing by Tressel.  OSU should and will be punished accordingly.  The severity of the punishment will be determined by how much stock the NCAA will put into the extenuating circumstances that complicated the issue for Tressel.  It is up to the NCAA to decide how pure (or impure) his motives were.

Since: Jan 17, 2008
Posted on: April 26, 2011 5:43 pm

Ohio St. case takes another step toward ... what?

79Rich79, I did not say that to smear USC.  It is a fact.  USC was hit with lack of institutional control.  OSU has not even been charged with that level of offense.

We all know what the scandal-loving media's take is regarding OSU's case.  To them, there is no possibility other than Tressel buried the information so as to not compromise a possible run at the NC.  They can't so much as acknowledge the fact that Tressel was in a very difficult situation, and would have had a tough time doing the right thing even if he wanted to.  To the media, he cheated...period.  No possibility that he tried to handle the issue in a manner that covered the best interests of all parties.  Either way, the truth will not come out until the litigation is done.  In the end, OSU will be hit with additional penalties.  I'm just saying they won't be as severe as what USC received, because OSU has been charged with a lesser offense.

But since you bring up USC misdoings...

Tim Floyd knowingly gave an agent's runner $1000 to give to Mayo (who was still a recruit) in Las Vegas.  That's pretty major!!!  Also, there were things that USC claimed to not be aware of, but really should have been.  Like Reggie Bush's parents no doubt notified the school about their change of address to a far more upscale neighborhood.  Not to mention being able to travel all ver the country to attend games, despite being known to be of modest means.  But I think the main reason USC got hit so hard is Mike Garret's attitude.  He clearly looked the other way to ignore a lot of issues, and all but challenged the NCAA to put up or shut up.  That and USC's compliance department was all but non-existent.  By comparison, OSU has been fully cooperative with the NCAA investigation. 

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or