Update – Bumped
After days of waiting with little to no news everything finally hit the fan when Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith announced in a press conference that several Ohio State football players had committed NCAA violations.
Five players, including Quarterback Terrelle Pryor, were found to have sold championship gear – including Big Ten Championship rings – in order to earn money for their families. The action is a direct violation of NCAA bylaws and subject to suspension for several games, and the players are forced to repay the money earned in the sale to charity.
The violations, as reported by the university, and the resulting punishment are as follows.
A sixth player – Jordan Whiting – was found to have earned discounts due to his status as a student athlete. He was penalized the first game of next season, and is required to pay $150 to charity. Whiting is most likely the one from where the “Tattoo-gate” rumors came from.
Ohio State University’s compliance office deserves credit for moving so quickly with this investigation. It was a no-nonsense approach that got results quick. The players also deserve lots of credit for being willing to come forward honestly about what had happened. It’s a great signature of personal responsibility to be willing and able to do that, knowing what might happen.
That said, the violations were committed, NCAA bylaws were broken. The NCAA has handed down it’s punishment decision, and it’s up to the players to continue to prove that they are the responsible individuals they seem to be and face the consequences of their actions.
Update – We will have further coverage and analysis on this topic later today.