Jim Tressel

Update – For the full press conference video, please visit OhioStateBuckeyes.com’s report on the conference.

Jim Tressel, Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith and Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee sat down this evening to discuss the news released in a  Yahoo Sports report.  That press conference was aired over the internet at for everyone capable of sitting down and stomaching what was said.  For those who missed/skipped the presser, here’s a run down of what happened.

It has become clear that what Yahoo Sports discovered was not the violations themselves, but the University self-investigation of the violations committed by Jim Tressel.  It turns out that in April of 2010, Jim Tressel received emails regarding information on a Federal Drug Trafficking case.  Those emails implied there were potential NCAA violations regarding 2 unnamed student athletes at Ohio State.  Tressel, however, either did not notice the implication, or refused to face the implication.

The press release does not make the connection clear between the two cases.  Despite that, it is clear that the cases were linked in the sense that the emails Tressel received involved the Tat-gate situation.  It is also clear that the Yahoo report was a leak of the investigation that required the school to come clean before they were ready.

The NCAA was reportedly notified of the situation on February 3rd and sent special investigators to the University on February 8th.  It is obvious that the University did everything they needed to by NCAA bylaws to solve this problem as quickly as possible.

The press release states a set of self-punishments:

As part of its self-report, the university has self-imposed the following sanctions: a public reprimand and apology; a two-game suspension; attendance at a compliance seminar; and a $250,000 fine.

Of course, the whole investigation itself has not be concluded, so we won’t know the full resolution of this situation for at least several weeks yet. However, this is the report that the University is sending to the NCAA following their investigation.

As of now, the Yahoo news story has functionally concluded in about the best way it could have.  Rather than this being a new thing for the University to face, it is something that they’ve already been dealing with for a while now.  While it’s a small comfort in the end, it’s substantially better many imagined it could have been.

Stay tuned to the Buckeye Battle Cry for more as the story unfolds.

(Terry Gilliam/The Associated Press)

According to the Columbus Dispatch, despite facing a suspension of up to five games at the beginning of the 2011 season, Terrelle Pryor, Boom Herron, Mike Adams, Devier Posey, and Solomon Thomas will all return to Ohio State for their senior campaigns.

As a fan who hopes that Ohio State wins football games, having all five players return is a good thing. There were strings attached to their decision, however. Specifically, each player had to ‘pledge’ to return next season in order to play in the Sugar Bowl:

Tressel said he told the five they “have to make any decision based on the future and (leaving early for the)  NFL prior to us leaving for our bowl game. It wouldn’t be fair if someone was able to participate” and then leave.

With that prerequisite, the pledge of allegiance was unanimous, Tressell said.

Playing in the Sugar Bowl is a messy situation to say the least, and although the NCAA is defending their ruling on the matter, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that there are double standards and ulterior motives at play here. These ulterior motives tarnish the NCAA as well as Ohio State.

Due to the negative press involved, my initial reaction to this whole situation was to completely cut ties with the five players and move on. Suspend them for the bowl game and force them to go pro. In this way Ohio State could completely wipe their hands of the mess and send a clear message to its student athletes, its fans, and the college football community.

The players would be punished and the integrity of Ohio State’s football program would remain intact. Read More