Even without Tressel, Ohio State Is in Big Trouble

Getty Images

Former Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel meekly “resigned” early Memorial Day.

He had to go, plain and simple.  The only thing is this still will not spare Ohio State from the wrath of the NCAA (more on that in a moment).

What transpired at Ohio State was crazy.

In December, five Ohio State players—including star quarterback Terrelle Pryor—were found to have received cash and discounted tattoos from the owner of a local tattoo parlor who was the subject of a federal drug-trafficking case.  Tressel had signed an NCAA compliance form in September saying he had no knowledge of any wrongdoing by athletes.  Investigators later found that Tressel had learned in April 2010 about the players’ involvement with the parlor owner, Edward Rife.

Sports Illustrated reported that the memorabilia-for-tattoos violations actually stretched back to 2002, Tressel’s second season at Ohio State, and involved at least 28 players—22 more than the university has acknowledged. Those numbers include, beyond the six suspended players, an additional nine current players as well as other former players whose alleged wrongdoing might fall within the NCAA’s four-year statute of limitations on violations.

And if that wasn’t bad enough news for Ohio State, the Columbus Dispatch reported yesterday that Pryor is the subject of an  inquiry by the NCAA and Ohio State regarding cars and other improper benefits he may have received.

Memo to the “Sweater Vest” and other coaches in collegiate athletics: you do not lie to two entities – the government and the NCAA.  The NCAA is not amused by lies – ask Bruce Pearl and Dez Bryant.  Had the Sweater Vest told the truth and not covered this up there would have been at the most minor sanctions against the program, probably in the form of missing games from the offending players.  Most of all, the Sweater Vest would not be out of a job.

The buck does not stop at Tressel.  Other people that will be in line of the firing squad may include athletics director Gene Smith and president Dr. Gordon Gee.  The way Sports Illustrated laid out the violations, it appears to be more of a culture of enablers (which starts at the top) thing than a few players here and there.

Now as for Ohio State, I think they will be hammered by the NCAA.  The transgressions at Ohio State was worse than what went on at USC.  Since USC lost scholarships and were banned from bowls for a couple of years, I expect Ohio State to get close to the “Death Penalty” of SMU in the 1980s.

Any punishment less should prompt USC to sue the hell out of the NCAA for inconsistent treatment.

Categories: college football, sports story

3 replies

  1. Agree with the article …The NCAA has no choice,but to drop the hammer on OSU and they will…..USC can clean house in court if OSU gets off with a small punishment.Prediction..OSU 40 scholarships and a 4 year bowl band..the key the coach lied and it is not resonable to think 50 new or used cars on campus and the star of the program with 8 cars in 3 years and no one questioned it.Say it out loud..a couple of times and try to believe that no one on the staff knew. Thought so

    • Yeah,

      Which is why I think the AD and president should be fired as well – especially the AD. You’re trying to tell me that the highest-paid AD in college football didn’t know all that was going on? To quote Chad Ochocinco: “child please!”

  2. Wow, we’re these ridiculous predictions way off the mark?

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: