Ohio State has taken another step toward rectifying the on-going NCAA investigation by vacating all 2010 season victories. In doing so, the university has admitted that Coach Tressel violated NCAA rules when he failed to report that the tattoo five had sold memorabilia to tattoo shop owner Edward Rife. According to the Columbus Dispatch, in a report sent to the NCAA today, Ohio State has conceded major rules violations but also points out that only Coach Tressel was aware of the violations.
In a separate Dispatch article, Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith made it clear that he feels the self imposed penalty should be enough to cover the violations. Smith added that if the NCAA goes so far as to imposed scholarship losses and other more severe penalties, he is going to “battle hard.”
Smith told the Dispatch that if no new information came to light and the NCAA imposed harsher penalties,
“”I’ll be shocked and disappointed and on the offensive,” Smith said. “Unless something new arises from where we are today, it’ll be behavior (from me) you haven’t witnessed.”
According to the Dispatch, Smith said that in researching this case, they could not find one case in which the coach acted alone. According to Smith, there is usually a lack of institutional control or failure to monitor and this is not the case with Ohio State.
It is good to see Smith come out ready to fight. At this point, Ohio State has taken more than their fair share of punishment. As I’ve said before, this was not a pay to play situation. A handful of kids sold memorabilia to an individual with absolutely no affiliation with the university. That’s it. Coach Tressel was contacted by a lawyer involved in a federal investigation (possible homicide) and was asked for confidentiality. Yes, he should have passed it along to his superiors. He didn’t and it cost him his job.
Who knows what the NCAA will do at this point. They have suspended their own players, asked for the resignation (retirement) of one of the top coaches in the game and now forfeited an entire season. My concern is that the self-imposed penalties have taken the wind out of the NCAA sails and in a desire to demonstrate their power, the NCAA will feel inclined to impose still more penalties. I guess we have to wait until August 12 for that.
And so Michigan finally beat Ohio State. At least when we violated the rules, it had no impact on player performance. Unfortunately, Michigan can’t say the same and they still lost to the Buckeyes.