Blog Entry

Mini-roundtable: On OSU's 'punishment'

Posted on: July 8, 2011 4:09 pm
Edited on: July 8, 2011 4:19 pm
By Jerry Hinnen and Tom Fornelli

Jerry Hinnen and Tom Fornelli of the Eye On College Football blog discuss Ohio State's decision to vacate wins from the 2010 season and the bus it has decided to drive over Jim Tressel.

Jerry Hinnen: The first question that comes to mind reading the Ohio State response to the NCAA is this, Tom: what part is most laughable? I feel like we've got so many options here. 

Tom Fornelli: Where to begin? There's a lot to mock here.

If anything, I'll just start with the entire concept of vacating wins in the first place. What does that even mean when you really get down to it? The Buckeyes no longer beat Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl? Well, Arkansas didn't beat Ohio State either. So did the Sugar Bowl just not happen, because I remember watching it. I mean, if you're going to vacate wins, it should just be a symbolic move to make along with other self-imposed sanctions you're making. It should not be the only punishment you're imposing on yourself.

Yeah, according to Ohio State's history books, that win over Arkansas never happened, but are they returning the money they got from the BCS for playing in the game? Nope. I mean, this is like if I were to rob a series of banks, and then one day the police caught me. Then, when they showed up at my door, I just screamed "I'm vacating the robberies! They never happened! Wipe them from the books! Oh, but I'm not giving the money back to the banks I no longer robbed."

It's a joke. 

JH: It is, and it would be a funny one if one of the nation's largest universities and most respected football program's integrity weren't at stake. But for my money, the most jaw-dropping aspect is the school's treatment of Jim Tressel.

On the one hand, the response calls Tressel's actions "embarrassing" and claims he acted alone without any other Buckeye administration member aware of his decisions. Clearly, after the coddling Tressel received from Gordon Gee and Gene Smith in previous press conferences, the school is trying to distance itself from its former coach. He's smeared the institution's good name. He's a pariah. They've forced him to resign (after the part where he'd done it voluntarily).

Or, as it turns out, they've allowed him to retire with benefits, waived a $250,000 fine they'd previously sworn to collect, and paid him an extra $50,000 on top of that. OSU hates Tressel and everything he stands for ... except for the part where they've rewarded him for his loyalty with hundreds of thousands of dollars and a retirement in the school's good graces.

If you're the NCAA, where do you begin to make sense of this? Is there any way to interpret these kinds of actions other than a desperate hope the NCAA will pay attention only to what the response is saying, rather than what the program is actually doing?

TF: As far as the treatment of Tressel is concerned, if I'm the NCAA I'm not buying a single word of it. That is, unless they want to turn a blind eye to reality. How is anybody really supposed to believe that Tressel was doing any of this on his own after the way Ohio State has treated the entire situation?

I don't think paying the guy who you're blaming for everything is the move you make unless you really want him to go along with that stance. Let's be honest, Tressel is the fall guy here and now Gene Smith and Gordon Gee are doing everything they can to save their own behinds. If you think about it, though, no matter how this went down, is Gene Smith somebody who should survive all this?

He either knew about everything and is pretending he didn't -- he's vacating his memory -- or he really knew nothing! How can you argue that you should keep your job as an athletic director of a school when something of this scope is taking place under your very nose without you having a clue?

Ohio State just really doesn't seem to get it, or they're in a deep state of denial. The NCAA isn't going to see that the school has vacated it's wins from last season and move on. There will be scholarships lost, and there will be a postseason bowl ban for a year or two. It's not fair to the players on the team or whichever coach eventually takes over for Tressel, but unfortunately for Ohio State, the NCAA knows that you can't just erase the past and fix things.

JH: We're assuming they do. Since we're discussing the NCAA's Committee on Infractions here, there's no way to know exactly what they're going to do until they do it. Precedents mean nothing and logic is frequently tossed aside like so many babies in so much bathwater.

But if the COI ever wants to be taken seriously, rubber-stamping OSU's self-imposed "punishment" and giving the Buckeyes a pat on the head just can't be an option. Without subpoena power, the only thing standing between the NCAA and utter investigative helplessness is honesty and cooperation from those involved. What it got instead from from OSU was Tressel lying through his teeth with Gee and Smith nodding genially at his side. The NCAA tried to be lenient with the Buckeyes once already--and was repaid with a sham of a Sugar Bowl and a carton's worth of egg on its face for its troubles.

And now OSU wants to pin the entire thing on the coach it enabled at every step (up to and including the pillow-laden step right out the door), expecting the NCAA to look at its meaningless dabbles in the history books and declare "OK, we're cool." Judging from the sledgehammer dropped on USC, I'll be beyond stunned if the NCAA is feeling very cool at all.

TF: Agreed. Any predictions on what the NCAA adds if anything? Personally I'm thinking around 10 scholarships and a two-year postseason ban.

JH: Sounds about right--plus a show-cause order for Tressel. His college football coaching career is over.

Since: Apr 1, 2007
Posted on: July 14, 2011 11:00 pm

Mini-roundtable: On OSU's 'punishment'


Read slowly.....The letter from the NCAA MUST have, in it's contents, what the offending university is being investigated for, and the language in the actual allegations clearly ommitted any reasoning that the NCAA was investigating LOIC or FTM.....Read it one more time so it sinks in.  THe language of the 2 Major allegations have nothing to do with LOIC and FTM . 

I'm going to go out on a limb and guess you didn't read the NCAA's letter of ACCUSATIONS, did you big boy?  I know it has big words and is several pages in length, but if you get some help from someone with an education, it might help you.

I know it will hurt, but read this article and pay particular attention to NC and Boise and the allegations about LOIC and FTM. 

It will give your small mind a headache, but in short, no such allegations were leveled against OSU.  Now, go to bed.  You people are just plain stupid and hateful.

Since: Oct 1, 2006
Posted on: July 13, 2011 3:31 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Oct 1, 2006
Posted on: July 13, 2011 3:23 pm
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Since: Aug 31, 2006
Posted on: July 12, 2011 11:04 pm

Mini-roundtable: On OSU's 'punishment'

garbage?? idiot review the facts before you speak --you dont know what youre talking about.  Dontcha think the legal beagles of OSU (from the largest athletic dept in the country) and several from other universities might have a better idea of the ramifications than you?  All you know is the dribble from what youve read and heard from uninformed people with an axe to grind.  be a hater if you must but "the reality"  IS your losing will continue not only in pigskin but bball and tennis, golf, wrestling, soccer ,volleyball ....

Since: Oct 30, 2006
Posted on: July 12, 2011 10:47 pm

Mini-roundtable: On OSU's 'punishment'

Yeah Right! Just another pathetic OSU fan sounding off pure garbage and living in denial.  Get ready for the reality soon to be dropped like a bomb. If you think all this arrogance by Tressel, Gee, and Smith will be taken lightly by the NCAA dream on pathetic OSU fans!!

Since: Aug 15, 2006
Posted on: July 12, 2011 5:06 pm

Mini-roundtable: On OSU's 'punishment'

This is hilarious... A bunch of whining crying babies, fabricating crap to make something out of nothing. From the childlike article to the inbred posts...

Fact #1 LOIC is not on the table. Never has been mentioned to date.
Fact #2 OSU self reported everything. Period. Everything the NCAA has, was given to them by OSU before anyone else.
Fact #3 the Players have been punished already by NCAA and the individual who commit the violations, terminated.
Fact #4 once each violation was found by the compliance department, it was turned in to the NCAA. In fact, it was an investigation by the OSU compliance department that found the major infraction.

Why don't children read the facts and respond on how the NCAA is supposed to find OSU in LOIC. Please use the facts, not made up articles trying to use convicted felons or players brothers booted off the team for hiring a hooker... Or a player booted from his final bowl game for missing his third class while trying to say that he was allowed to seal things for cash. 

Since: Jul 8, 2011
Posted on: July 12, 2011 4:07 pm

Mini-roundtable: On OSU's 'punishment'

@Chazmonk.... Your previous impudent and arrogant comment was just too rediculous to waste legitimate commentary on. BTW, I have a couple of old Buckeye ballcaps and a tattered sweatervest that I found on the ground after your many losses to USC, (LOL) so just post up your mailing address, for under that freeway overpass, that you live under, and I'll shoot them out to ya, so you can go trade them in for a Bucknuts tat for your forehead! DUH

Since: Jul 8, 2011
Posted on: July 12, 2011 3:51 pm

Mini-roundtable: On OSU's 'punishment'

Lawprof... what prompt investigation, reporting and cooperation are you considering when describing the massive and deliberate coverup that happened at tOSU? What part of institutional control was Tressel observing when he lied during the coverup? Sheesh! Also, if you believe that minimally the AD had no knowledge, I'll eat my UCLA Sucks hat! 

What proof was ever actually discovered when the ncaa took and acted upon testimony from wannabe sports marketer (ex-convict) Lloyd Lake (who had a dog in the race), over that of Todd McNair who testified that he did not know about any private business relationship between Lake and Bush's parents down in San Diego!  The NCAA itself actually committed misconduct in the process of its investigation and that's why McNair is going to prevail in a civil litigation v them.  

How about issuing probation, vacating wins and limiting tOSU to 75 total scholorships p/yr for each of the next 4yrs, no post season play, and all of their players above true freshmen, get unpenalized free transfer rights as per how they sanctioned USC. The USC situation was not even on campus and was not connected with any boosters or associates of the the University and the unproven allegations that a running backs coach had or even should have had knowledge is beyond reasonability. There is no way that the handslap you propose is feasable or anywhere close to consistent with what the NCAA should be held to in sanctions to the Bucks.    

Since: Jul 8, 2011
Posted on: July 12, 2011 3:20 pm

Mini-roundtable: On OSU's 'punishment'

Sorry Lee, but you're recommended sanctions wane in comparison to the deliberately commited and covered up violations! Just look at USCs sanctions for far far less!

Since: Nov 5, 2007
Posted on: July 11, 2011 2:10 pm

Mini-roundtable: On OSU's 'punishment'

How wonderful to read all of the intelligent, thoughtful discussion, and painful to read your paragraph of senseless babble. You are obviously a big time OSU fan, and I congratulate you for that. That probably qualifies you to remove yourself from any intelligent conversation, since all you do is justify cheating and become another poster child for "win at all costs". I am sure if the truth were told, you enjoyed the USC verdict. You probably celebrated as if you had just beaten them. (Sorry, I am sure that is a sore spot) I am sure you enjoy the daily musings about Oregon, and Auburn, and apparently now LSU, since in some twisted way they give justification to your school's cheating ways. I am sure any penalty leveled on any of these schools, or Georgia, or West Virginia, is probably not enough in your mind. You are probably so senseless as to bring up the excess practice hours at Michigan and hold them up as your proof that everyone cheats in some way, even though that fiasco is now nothing more than a typo in a book that OSU wrote. And yes, we will all collectively shut up when your beloved buckeyes are in a bowl (with whoever might be eligible), and I am sure in your mind winning. We will all shut up because we appreciate College Football and want it to be clean. You just want to win. And while you will have shut us all up as we watch your team play in a bowl game, everyone will wonder, including you, how they cheated to get there.

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