Two independent corroborating sources tell IBCR that Ohio State University will soon hear from the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions. The committee is expected to announce sanctions stemming from the so-called TattooGate scandal, in which players were found to have received cash and other improper benefits from a local tattoo parlor owner.
“At this point, the Committee on Infractions is just very carefully checking its report. The decisions regarding the sanctions in the case have been made. Consensus was reached some time ago,” said one source. “We should see the ‘day before’ press release from the NCAA any day now. A week. Maybe a bit more. It’s imminent.”
“The unusual step of issuing a second notice [of allegations] and adding the failure to monitor charge complicated the Committee’s work somewhat,”explained the other source, “but they appear to have gotten through it. We’re eager to read the report.”
After a 10-year career, former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel was forced out when it became clear that he had knowledge of the improper benefits players received and that he withheld the information from the school’s administration and the NCAA. The school has already imposed a five scholarship reduction and vacated all of the 2010 season’s wins, including the 2011 Sugar Bowl against Arkansas.
The Ohio State case stands out in part because the enforcement process rarely generates more than one notice of allegations and case summary. But it also stands out in that the sequence of events that ended the career of one of college football’s most respected coaches was played before the national media like a Showtime miniseries.
Ohio State hired former Florida head coach Urban Meyer earlier this week to replace Tressel.
It is not known whether the case will result in additional penalties, and it should be noted that the Committee could impose harsher punishment. The additional sanctions could include further scholarship reductions, a post-season ban, fines and show cause orders for Tressel and anyone else found to have been involved in unethical conduct and failure to monitor. However, one of the sources noted that in a cursory review of somewhat similar cases, the schools involved escaped without a post-season ban but that the circumstances in this situation may cause the Committee to… wait for it… abandon that precedent.