It’s finally official—the public will Ohio State University will learn whether the NCAA Committee on Infractions thinks the sacrificial lamb offered by school officials is enough to satisfy the bloodlust of the media.
Late yesterday, Athletic director Gene Smith confirmed that the NCAA would hand down its sentence in a 3:00 pm EST press conference today.
School officials have already been apprised of the sanctions and know what’s coming.
The news comes almost one year after the school held a press conference to announce that it was suspending five football players for receiving improper benefits—including free tattoos and other goodies—from a tattoo parlor owner about to face indictment for drug dealing.
The scandal cost coach Jim Tressel his job. The school self-imposed penalties including two years probation, vacation of all wins from the 2010 season and five scholarship reductions over three years. The public reaction to the school’s offer was swift and indignant.
Officials later learned that they would be charged with failure to monitor—one of the three most dreaded infractions in the NCAA enforcement code—in a rare issuance of a second Notice of Allegations from the enforcement staff. The NCAA almost never issues multiple Notices of Inquiry or Notices of Allegations. It likes all enforcement packages completely wrapped up and placed beneath the tree with a neat and tidy bow.
It will be interesting to see how the league rules today. Regardless of the outcome, expect a fury of stories from all sides, complaining either that the penalties are too light, too harsh, or just right.