Ohio State Vacates 2010 Wins, Self-Imposes Two-Year Probation
By Tony Gerdeman
In their response to the NCAA's Notice of Allegations, on Friday Ohio State announced that they have vacated all 2010 football wins, including the Sugar Bowl, and have placed the football program on a two-year probationary period effective July 8.
The University also announced that it has vacated the 2010 Big Ten Championship, which would have been their sixth in a row.
Along with the already known five-game suspensions of Boom Herron, Devier Posey, Mike Adams and Solomon Thomas, and the one-game suspension of Jordan Whiting, there was also another player implicated for having accepted twelve free tattoos. This player, who Ohio State has not yet named, will also likely fall under the five-game suspension penalty. The University has not yet sought his reinstatement, however.
As part of their pro-activity, the University also officially announced that they sought and accepted Jim Tressel's resignation, which they listed under their self-imposed “Punitive Actions” in their response to the NCAA.
Of note, the University claims they had initially intended to bar Tressel from any off-campus recruiting from June 1, 2011 to May 31, 2012.
In detailing the corrective and punitive actions taken by the University, they finished by saying that they felt the penalties disbursed were adequate and would not require any further tweaking by the NCAA.
“In summary, the University believes that the corrective and punitive actions are appropriate and negate any competitive advantage gained by the institution as a result of these violations. The University asks the Committee on Infractions to accept these penalties and take no further action.”
The University agreed with both of the allegations set forth by the NCAA. The first being that players received improper benefits surrounding Fine Line Ink, and the second being that Jim Tressel “failed to report his knowledge concerning potential violations; and permitted student-athletes to participate while ineligible.”
It's important to note that these remain the only two allegations from the NCAA at this point, and Ohio State has dealt with them harshly. Four players, and possibly a fifth, will miss five games this season, and Tressel was removed as head coach because of his violations.
The NCAA has not charged Ohio State yet with Failure to Monitor, or Lack of Institutional Control, and if the University has anything to say about it, they won't be. In their response to the NCAA's request to identify all of the athletics department staff members with knowledge of this preferential treatment, Ohio State named only Tressel.
“No other athletics department staff members, besides Tressel, were involved in or had knowledge of the receipt of preferential treatment by football student-athletes until December 2010 when the Department of Justice letter was received by the institution.”
Keep in mind that a school's self-imposed penalties are a baseline of how much they're willing to give up. And they certainly aren't above being increased by the NCAA. The NCAA Committee on Infractions will take Ohio State's suggestions under advisement and determine if there is a need for harsher punishments. This is not the final judgment, just an outline for a satisfactory resolution according to Ohio State.
The major fear going forward is that the NCAA will add on a post-season ban or a reduction in scholarships, and Gene Smith has stated that those penalties would not go over well with the University.
However, it's standard for a university to leave the NCAA some room to work with regarding bulking up the sanctions. Michigan self-imposed two years of probation for practicing too much, but got a third added on from the NCAA. Ohio State's self-imposed two-year probation certainly has room to grow.
The NCAA may certainly have more questions for Ohio State when the two meet on August 12, and the University may also have more information to relay. Since the initial Notice of Allegations, the University stated that they have not found any further violations, but they are still reviewing information.
“Information was reported to the University and the enforcement staff subsequent to the Notice of Allegations that still is being reviewed. This review continues and the University will report any additional violations if necessary in the future.”
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