Judgment Day: NCAA Sanctions Include 2012 Post Season Ban

Written December 20th, 2011 by MaliBuckeye
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Today, the other shoe dropped and the NCAA’s investigation into The Ohio State football program came to a close. This announcement comes almost one year after rumors began swirling that there were concerns regarding improper benefits that began the worst twelve months Buckeye fans have ever known.

As has been well documented, the initial concerns surrounded exchanging memorabilia for cash and tattoos at a local vendor. This was complicated by the revelation that Coach Jim Tressel had been notified of these transactions in April of 2010, and chose not to notify The Ohio State Compliance Office, anyone else in the Athletic Department, or anyone at the NCAA. As the investigation continued, it was discovered that several members of the football team had received improper benefits in the forms of gas money for participating in a Cleveland area charity, as well as being paid for work that had not been approved through the University’s compliance office.

According to the Columbus Dispatch, the NCAA’s Committee On Infractions has levied the following sanctions on the football program and athletic department. UPDATE: NCAA Announcement and NCAA Documentation

  • Ban from 2012 post season play
  • Additional four scholarship reduction, bringing total to three per year for three years beginning with 2012 class.
  • Additional year of probation, bringing total to three.
  • “Show Cause” designation for Jim Tressel for five years

This will be made public at a 3:oo press conference. UPDATE: Gene Smith Statement

Today’s decisions are in addition to the laundry list of impacts that these situations have had on the program over the past twelve months.

While the University met briefly with the NCAA’s Committee On Infractions on August 12, the infractions were officially addressed by the University via self imposed sanctions in addition to those given by the NCAA. As of this point, the University has been impacted in the following ways, either officially or as a part of this process:

  • Reduction of nine scholarships over next three seasons (three per)
  • Post season ban for the 2012 season (Bowl/B1G Championship game)
  • The Football Program is on probation for the next three seasons
  • Vacated of the entire 2010 season, including the Sugar Bowl victory over Arkansas
  • Forfeiture of the University’s share of the revenue resultant from the Sugar Bowl victory.
  • Suspension of defensive lineman Solomon Thomas for 5 games.
  • Suspension of starting tackle Mike Adams for 5 games.
  • Suspension of starting tailback Daniel Herron for 5 games; one additional game was added due to involvement with issues regarding Cleveland charity/employment.
  • Suspension of starting wide receiver Devier Posey for 5 games; five additional games added due to involvement with issue regarding Cleveland charity/employment.
  • Jordan Hall was suspended for two games due to involvement with issues regarding Cleveland charity and an additional game due to issues with Cleveland area employment.
  • Corey Brown was suspended for two games due to involvement with issues regarding Cleveland charity.
  • Travis Howard was suspended for two games due to involvement with issues regarding Cleveland charity
  • Resignation/Termination of Coach Jim Tressel, who held the highest wining percentage of all major Ohio State coaches.
  • “Show Cause” penalty for Jim Tressel
  • While not directly connected, the investigation also led to Heisman candidate QB Terrelle Pryor leaving early for the NFL.

That’s a loss of a potentially Hall Of Fame head coach, 34 games from student athletes, nine scholarships for potential students, and uncounted financial resources for violations that included (most significantly) lack of integrity and @$16,206 in improper benefits ($14055 initial, $600 for gas money to charity event, $1605 undocumented labor).

UPDATE: Coach Urban Meyer has issued the following statement:

I agreed to become the Head Football Coach at The Ohio State University because Shelley and I are Ohio natives, I am a graduate of this wonderful institution and served in this program under a great coach. I understand the academic and athletic traditions here and will give great effort to continue those traditions.

It is still my goal to hire excellent coaches, recruit great student-athletes who want to be a part of this program and to win on and off the field. The NCAA penalties will serve as a reminder that the college experience does not include the behavior that led to these penalties. I expect all of us to work hard to teach and develop young student-athletes to grow responsibly and to become productive citizens in their communities upon graduation.

For those wanting to make the immediate connection with Southern Cal’s situation involving Reggie Bush, OJ Mayo, and concerns about their tennis program, I offer the following initial thoughts:

  1. USC got hammered by the NCAA, and unjustly so.
  2. The situation regarding the Trojans included multiple sports which led to a “Lack Of Institutional Control” finding. Ohio State was hit with a “Failure To Monitor”, which is slightly lesser.
  3. None of the players involved in Southern Cal’s situation were ever punished. While this is a major flaw of the NCAA’s process (that the sanctions impact students who were not involved), most of the punishment in the OSU finding is aimed at the people who have committed the transgressions (suspended players, coaching career effectively ended).
  4. Ohio State was able to coordinate their response to the NCAA in a very proactive manner- Southern Cal was unable to do so given limited resources in their Compliance office and given the fact that the involved parties were no longer part of their program.

More on this story as it develops.


  1. ChrisNo Gravatar
    December 20th, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    I was really hoping that we didn’t get the bowl ban. But one year, I can live with that as I don’t think it will have a major impact on this recruiting class nor any long-term recruiting.

    Do I think its severe, sure, but all Tressel had to do was notify compliance when he found out and none of this is an issues. So its on us.


  2. ChrisNo Gravatar
    December 20th, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    the ONLY one that ERKS me is why the hell cant we take our bowl ban this year?! I mean SERIOUSLY


  3. ChrisNo Gravatar
    December 20th, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    Couldn’t agree more with you Chris. I don’t know why we didn’t self impose a ban this year, give up the Gator Bowl and maybe the NCAA would have came down easy on the scholarship reductions. Those are going to hurt more in the end.


    DaleNo Gravatar
    December 20th, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    I’m not sure what’s worse, getting sexually molested at Penn State by Joe Pa or getting the bowl ban for next year at Ohio State. Plus losing more scholarships. Jim Tressel really left us with a mess after he fucks up the program. We should send him to Penn State and let him get…


    KenNo Gravatar
    December 20th, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    Not to be too dickish, but I feel like the NCAA just had their way with us.


    MaliBuckeyeNo Gravatar
    December 20th, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    Meh. Could be worse. We’re still not Mich1gAAn.


    KenNo Gravatar
    December 20th, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    Well, Mali, that’s true no matter what, so good call on your part. And, on a completely different, unimaginable plane, we are not Penn State. That would be too horrific beyond my ken.

    Mali, I’m curious, from your perspective in college administration, how you see the OSU penalties playing out. Also, what do you see as fallout from still unresolved situation at Penn State?


    MaliBuckeyeNo Gravatar
    December 20th, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    Thanks, Ken…

    I’m sure I’ll have commentary and so forth later (else wise, why the blog?), but for now I’m pretty numb.

  4. Buckeyelum86No Gravatar
    December 20th, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    Wow!!! The rest of college football is going to hate us but who cares? I’ll take the one year ban and so what we lose a few lower level recruits. It only makes room for more 5 star recruits in the future. Gene Smith, you did a great job managing the self imposed sanctions. Skip the bowl this year after a crappy season and all would have been golden. Oh well, skipping next year’s post season will only make us hungrier in 2013…


  5. KevinNo Gravatar
    December 20th, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    I sure hope this Will not affect the recriuts coming in next year..Urban has one hell of a recriuting trail in the short time and the NCAA pulls this shit.They probably hope the recruits jump ship after all it seems like Everyone including ESPN is anti Buckeye anyways.


  6. West Coast BuckeyeNo Gravatar
    December 20th, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    One year is tolerable. This is bad news for Michigan though, they just became the only relevant thing about next season.


  7. PeterNo Gravatar
    December 20th, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    Ohio State should boycott the Gator Bowl; this bowl ban is absurd.


    West Coast BuckeyeNo Gravatar
    December 20th, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    Long story short, we cheated(however insignificantly on the sliding scale of cheating, with one end being tatgate and the other being Hurricanne Stripperpalooza), and the NCAA couldn’t afford to appear totally irrelevant. They had to show some kind of teeth on this. One year isn’t going to hurt us. incoming freshmen aren’t worried about one missed bowl game. the only peopel this really hurts is Stoney Simon and the rest of the class of 2012.


    PeterNo Gravatar
    December 20th, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    I know it doesn’t hurt much in the long run, but I’ll be a senior at tOSU next year. Maybe I can fail a few classes and still get cheap seats for a meaningful season.


  8. ausmosNo Gravatar
    December 20th, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    We could have taken our bowl ban this year if Gene Smith didn’t have his head stuck up his a**. It should have been self imposed long ago. Also, if Smith truly thought the self imposed penalties were enough, why would he not appeal (which he said he will not do)? He needs to be gone. I miss Geiger as AD!!!

    NCAA should let the juniors transfer without penalty. I feel bad for guys like Stoneburner, J. Hall, Simon, etc. They should have the option to choose whether to stay or go elsewhere for their senior year.


  9. PaulNo Gravatar
    December 20th, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    This decision could have been given a month ago. That would have allowed OSU to skip this year’s bowl.


    MaliBuckeyeNo Gravatar
    December 20th, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    Actually, since the NCAA added to everything that OSU self imposed, there’s no guarantee that they wouldn’t have added an additional year of post season ban as well.


    PaulNo Gravatar
    December 20th, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    Mali – I meant the NCAA decision.


  10. KenNo Gravatar
    December 20th, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    First, recognizing that our troubles are self-inflicted and inexcusable, the NCAA can go f&ck themselves with their treatment of us compared to other programs; looking at you Auburn and SCarolina.

    Now, I have two questions:
    Would the team have a revote on Herron as team MVP?
    Can we work out a deal with NCAA where they reduce penalties if we shitcan Gene Smith?

    All in all, I’m not that all bent out of shape with this; I didn’t expect Great Things (Championshps) to happen in 2012 anyway, but I do feel bad for next year’s seniors.

    Any guess on what impact this will have on Simon & Williams returning in 2012.


  11. PaulNo Gravatar
    December 20th, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    Usually, the rule violators get off scott-free and the innocent get punished. In this case, all of the offenders (even Pryor) were punished. That should count for something with the NCAA.


  12. JasonNo Gravatar
    December 21st, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    Having had a day to digest this, I’m not all that upset. Given Meyer’s stellar recruiting, I suppose a BCS bowl was possible next year, but really not likely. So we probably lost another relatively minor bowl game.

    The more immediate question is, given Gene Smith’s failed strategy for dealing with the NCAA, what’s the over/under on the number of days remaining in his term as AD?


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