Friday, July 8, 2011

Ohio State would like to get off lightly—Vacates 2010 wins, no scholarship reductions

image Maybe you saw my quasi-prescient tweet this morning. 

Ohio State University, according to sources cited by the Columbus Dispatch, will volunteer to vacate the entire 2010 season—including the 2011 Sugar Bowl—but does not think it deserves to lose any scholarships, nor does it think the school should suffer the indignity of a post-season ban.

Hate to say I told ya so, but. TOLD YA SO!

Truth be told, in the April 25 letter and Notice of Allegations transmitted to the school, there are only two major infractions cited—improper benefits solicited and received by student-athletes, and the dreaded unethical behavior citation of Jim Tressel, who resigned in disgrace in the wake of the scandal.

The school wasn’t cited for lack of institutional control or failure to monitor, two violations that typically carry harsh penalties. Ohio State would like to think that the five game suspension already imposed and the hari kiri of Tressel will be enough to satisfy the NCAA gods.

From the Dispatch:

Ohio State University is wiping its stellar 2010 football season from the record books as self-imposed punishment for major NCAA violations, sources told The Dispatch.

But it is not suggesting that the team lose scholarships or be banned from postseason play.

The university submitted its response to the NCAA today, addressing allegations that then-coach Jim Tressel lied and allowed ineligible players to compete by failing to report that they had sold OSU-issued memorabilia to a tattoo-parlor owner.

Sources familiar with the university's response also told The Dispatch that Ohio State is admitting major violations of NCAA regulations, but says it should not face harsh punishment because no OSU official other than Tressel was aware of player violations.

In addition to vacating the wins from its 12-1 season along with its Big Ten and Sugar Bowl championships, the university has placed its football program on probation for two years, sources said.

The university also acknowledges that it sought the resignation of Tressel, who departed on May 30.

Ohio State is scheduled to appear before the NCAA Committee on Infractions during its August 12, 2011 meeting. The Committee can levy additional sanctions—including scholarship reductions, post season bans and other appropriate penalties. The Committee may do exactly that—the school admits that it is a repeat offender and that the violations it's copping to occurred during the repeat violator window.

Such status typically results in harsher penalties than those imposed on first-time offenders.

What’s next? I expect a fairly endless parade of mainstream media sportswriters, talk show hosts and bloggers to bring the wood on the arrogance of the Ohio State University. No scholarship bans?  Seriously?

UPDATE: Remember that “hefty” $250,000 fine that the school levied and “intended to collect” from Jim Tressel? Oh, never mind.

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