Ohio State Sanctions
December 21, 2011 by staff
Ohio State Sanctions, One signature football program, Southern California, re-enters the bowl mix next season. Another, Ohio State, falls out as the drumbeat of scandal in college athletics continues.
The NCAA on Tuesday punctuated an ignominious year for the Buckeyes, hitting them with the postseason ban, deepening self-imposed scholarship reductions and subjecting former coach Jim Tressel to restrictions for five years if he manages – or cares – to land another job.
The number of major football-playing schools currently on NCAA probation now is 25, or more than one in every five. Sixteen are in bowls this season. Four are in Bowl Championship Series games, including national title finalists LSU and Alabama.
USC is sitting out despite a 10-2 record, having drawn a two-year bowl ban in 2010 related to extra-benefit violations revolving around star running back Reggie Bush.
“Institutions of higher education must move to higher ground,” said Ohio State athletics director Gene Smith, who acknowledged his school’s infractions but expressed disappointment in the postseason ban.
It means new coach Urban Meyer, named Nov. 28 as Tressel’s replacement, will go into his first season with no prospect of getting to the Big Ten Conference title game or a bowl. The Buckeyes haven’t sat out the postseason since 1999, a 12-year period featuring eight BCS appearances.
Their current team, which struggled to 6-6 amid multiple player suspensions related to the violations, is free to play Florida as scheduled Jan. 2 in the Gator Bowl. The sanctions hanging over the game “will serve as a reminder that the college experience does not include the behavior that led to these penalties,” Meyer said in a statement.
Ohio State’s transgressions ran deeper than USC’s, dating to November 2008 and involving 14 players the NCAA said accepted more than $16,000 in illicit benefits. The case revolved around former quarterback Terrelle Pryor and several others who got cash and free or discounted services from the owner of a local tattoo parlor.
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