NCAA Report On Ohio State
Is this going to be the other shoe?
The Columbus Dispatch has reported that
the NCAA is going to punish Ohio State for head
coach Jim Tressel's failure to report the violations
revolving around Terrelle Pryor, Dan Herron, and the
rest of the infamous Tattoo Five.
The football program isn't going to get hit with the
dreaded "lack of institutional control" tag, which
would've struck at the heart of the infrastructure
of the Buckeye athletic department, but Tressel will
likely be in more trouble than just the five-game
suspension for this year for his dishonesty.
According to the report in the Columbus Dispatch,
OSU could be be punished with missing out on a bowl
game and being ineligible for the Big Ten
Championship game, but there won't be any further
punishment for the five offending players.
The NCAA is saying that Tressel was "guilty of
ethical misconduct" by not reporting the violations
and for playing players who should've been
ineligible. The final ruling and the punishments
won't come until late August after OSU officials
will meet with the NCAA on August 12th.
I'm always under the belief that a college football
head coach can and should be fired whenever he does
something to dishonor the reputation and the good
name of an academic institution. College football
coaches aren't gods, they aren't leaders of men, and
they aren't anything more than guys who try to win
games in an attempt to make gobs and gobs of money
for their schools while keeping the alumni happy.
But Ohio State had already made its ruling on head
coach Jim Tressel long ago, and nothing has changed.
Remember, the school originally wanted to suspend
Tressel for just two games for his transgressions.
With the NCAA's findings in its official letter to
the school, Tressel is almost certainly going to
face a stiffer punishment than just a five-game
suspension, and the school is likely going to be
nailed with sanctions of some sort, but is there
anything in this latest controversy that wasn't
already known? Has anything changed just because the
NCAA is wagging its finger and saying tsk tsk?
Tressel should've been canned as soon as he thumbed
his nose at the rules and regulations by not making
the compliance department aware of the allegations
against Terrelle Pryor and company, and nothing
coming from the NCAA has shed any new light on the
situation. When the school imposed its own
penalties, it made its ruling, fair or not, on what
it thinks about the situation, and now it's not
going to fire him because the NCAA is simply saying
its aware now of what happened.
Once again, The Ohio State University showed it's in
the big, multi-million dollar business of college
football first with the bottom line appearing to
matter more than the school's reputation. From the
shameful press conference, hitting a low point with
the pathetic gushing from OSU President and football
program lickspittle, E. Gordon Gee, to the way the
university allowed the offending players to play
against Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl, to the
continuing embarrassments that keep coming out, Ohio
State, more than ever, is proving to be run by
Tressel and the football program, and the NCAA
findings aren't going to change that ... for now.
As I always say in matters like this, for good and
bad, the football program and the head coach at a
place like Ohio State form the public relations arm
for the school. Today, talk about Ohio State
University and the public perception will almost
certainly be that the school is in a place where it
seemingly can't and won't fire a football coach
because he's really, really good at what he does.
99% of all coaches wouldn't survive this scandal and
would've been canned on the spot, if for no other
reason than to try to put a band-aid on the
situation as soon as possible to avoid further
punishments from the NCAA. In this case, and this is
the positive for Ohio State, the issue is isolated
to Tressel and the school is choosing not to cut
ties and distance itself. For this controversy only,
this doesn't appear to be a system-wide problem, and
while the football program might have a bunch of
other issues that should be discussed and examined -
knock, knock ... who's there? ... Stanley McClover -
for now, this is all about one man, and that one man
is proving to be too big to fail.
Now we get to see just what a legendary run can buy
a coach. When you go 106-22 at a school with seven
Big Ten titles, win a national championship, earn
eight BCS appearances in nine years, suffer two
losses in BCS Championships, and win game after game
against Michigan, you don't just get swept under the
rug. And Tressel will survive this because the Ohio
State brass doesn't appear to have any interest in
letting him go.
The NCAA will likely hammer Ohio State with
something big, like being held out of a bowl game
and/or the inaugural Big Ten Championship, but
Tressel will end up coming back to his post unless
the NCAA wants to make a big statement.
Tressel continues to bring in the talent - recruits
don't seem to care one lick about the scandal - and
the wins will eventually keep on coming. However,
all of this drama will form a base to make it easy
to get rid of him when the wins stop flowing on a
The bar is set unreasonably high at Ohio State,
where 8-4 might as well be 4-8 and losing to
Michigan will be apocalyptic to a fan base now used
to owning the rivalry. That's when Tressel will
prove to be nothing more than an employee, because
as long as he's winning and winning big, everything
will be forgiven and all storms can be weathered.
Start becoming a regular on the New Year's Day
Florida bowl circuit, and then the heat will be
And now it's up to Ohio State to try to make a
statement as a university it didn't make before.
Will it be defiant and keep Tressel on, or will it
try to appeal to the NCAA by firing him, basically
eliminating the lone offender, in an attempt to keep
from getting hammered with a bigger punishment?
Ohio State, there's a little boy over there in the
corner, I think his name is Urban, and he might like
By Russ Mitchell
Time to pack up the vest – this has got to be the nail. Two points and we’re done (it’s as simple as that now).
First, while there was no “lack of institutional control” mentioned in the letter, this is as bad as it gets. Particularly given how personal the NCAA has now made this matter. Here is basically the message the NCAA just sent you: if you show up the next time with Tressel still has your head coach, we’re going to HAMMER you.
At this point if you can’t see that it’s over, you’re in denial.
Second, you’re Ohio State. THE Ohio frickin’ State, as you’ve been telling us every chance you’ve had all these years. You’re bigger than any coach. Yes, even Tressel.
Additionally, and not to say a warm body could have accomplished what Tressel has in Columbus, but it’s not like the Big 10 has been a paragon of football excellence this past decade. Which inflates the relative value of Tressel.
Here’s the best piece of relationship advice we can give you – there’s nothing wrong with you. And besides the fact that he has a penchant to stretch the truth in his favor, there’s nothing really wrong with Tressel. No one’s broken, and there’s nothing to fix. It’s just over.
Four (mistakes) and done. Time to move on.
Or show up in August with Tressel and get ready to spend your next two January’s in zero degree weather.
And no, Jerry, we’re not talking about Dallas.
(One quick thought: if OSU must vacate it's 2010 wins, including that Sugar Bowl fiasco, than have the Buckeyes still failed to beat an SEC team in a bowl game?)