2010 Season Gone, Not Forgotten
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The NCAA can take away Ohio State’s wins from the 2010 season, but not the blood, sweat and tears that went into them.
In 50 years, it will likely be remembered primarily as the final season of Jim Tressel’s coaching career, at least in Columbus. It will also be remembered as the season that, technically, never happened; although that is not at all how those who played the games will reminisce.
“The film is there and everyone saw what happened,” Ohio State tight end Jake Stoneburner said.
“It might not technically be there, but everyone knows what happened in the 2010 season and that's good enough.”
The Buckeyes were a win away from playing for another national championship last season. They had to settle for a Sugar Bowl win over Arkansas, but finished the season 12-1, tying the 2006 team for the second-best record during the Tressel era.
It was an important season for then juniors like J.B. Shugarts, who admitted it was a little frustrating to hear that his school was going to vacate the wins from last year.
“I mean there’s nothing we can really do about it,” Ohio State’s starting right tackle said Tuesday.
“The university decided to make that call and we gotta accept it. We just gotta be worried about next season and worried about winning all fourteen games next season.”
The NCAA has yet to rule on the sanctions headed Ohio State’s way, and they won’t until 6-8 weeks after the University’s Aug. 12 hearing the Committee on Infractions. Athletic Director Gene Smith and the Buckeyes have been working closely with the NCAA and decided vacating the wins was a necessary punishment.
“We watched it together and then we talked about it a little,” said senior defensive back Tyler Moeller, who was with a group of his teammates at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center when the story aired on ESPN.
“Then we moved on. We're kind of past it now.”
Being past it and forgetting about it are two very different things. In the history books it will show up as 13 blank spaces, but that doesn’t begin to describe the effort and dedication that went into those 13 Saturday’s.
Certainly the Buckeyes may not have won as many of them without Terrelle Pryor, DeVier Posey, Boom Herron, Mike Adams and Solomon Thomas in the lineup for the first five weeks, but training for a college football season is a 24/7 commitment.
“I was part of (those wins). I was out there sweating and bleeding trying to get those wins,” Stoneburner said Tuesday.
“But the decision is in, that's what they had to do, and we just have to move on and hopefully repeat that this season.”
Because the violations—particularly Tressel’s—weren’t revealed until after the conclusion of last season, Ohio State will be without Posey, Adams, Herron and Thomas for the first five games of this season. They will also be without Pryor—who left the team in June—and Tressel—who resigned his position back in May—along with two years of probation.
There could be more punishment coming down the pipe, but Stoneburner and his teammates believe they have suffered enough already.
“I really think this probably is it,” the Dublin native said optimistically.
“I am not sure, I don't work for the NCAA, but I feel like we served our punishment already with guys being gone five games and vacating last season and Tress being gone.”
Based on the timeline provided by Smith, the Buckeyes won’t find out their ultimate fate until the middle of the season. The players know that’s not something this team can afford to be focused on.
“All that matters is that we have a season to play for,” Stoneburner added.
“That's all we care about right now.”
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