The NCAA announced today that it sanctioned Ohio State for “failure to monitor, preferential treatment and extra benefit violations in its football program” in connection with the tattoo-for-stuff scandal unearthed late last year. Former coach Jim Tressel was also punished for failure to report the rule violations.
The punishment: a one-year ban from postseason games, scholarship reductions (five over three years), forfeiture of almost $338,811 and the disappearing of records. The university also must disassociate itself with a booster an former athlete at the school
As a reminder, the NCAA found that eight Buckeyes received more than $14,000 in cash and tattoos from the owner of a Columbus tattoo parlors in exchange for memorabilia. One Buckeye also received a loan and discount on a car, the NCAA said.
You can read the full infractions report here.
“Of great concern to the committee was the fact that the former head coach became aware of these violations and decided not to report the violations to institutional officials, the Big Ten Conference or the NCAA,” the NCAA investigating committee said in its report.
The NCAA said Tressel could have reported the incidents at least four separate times. Or he could have at any time on any given day, a Daily Big Ten investigation found.
Tressel’s punishment: A five-year show-cause order. That means that if any school wants to hire him – they better have a real good reason because his penalties will come with him.
For their part, Ohio State seemed surprised by the severity of the punishment.
“We are surprised and disappointed with the NCAA’s decision,” Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said. “However, we have decided not to appeal the decision because we need to move forward as an institution.”
Incoming coach Urban Meyer added, “The NCAA penalties will serve as a reminder that the college experience does not include the behavior that led to these penalties.”
While more severe than Ohio State was expecting, it isn’t as bad as what USC got (two years), and the Trojans seem to be coping just fine.
For the Buckeyes, however, I’m guessing they wish the wheels of NCAA justice would have turned more quickly – making this the year the bowl ban took effect. The Urban Meyer Bowl could have easily been missed.