Ohio State strips itself of wins, but officials need to take hit

Jim Tressel lost his job at Ohio State, but he should be followed out the door by the school's president and athletic director.

Jim Tressel lost his job but he should be followed out the door by Ohio State's president and athletic director.

After ignoring, scoffing, stalling, tap-dancing, denying and eventually begrudgingly admitting that, OK, yes, rules were broken and since-resigned football coach Jim Tressel may have fibbed, Ohio State finally fell on the sword today.

But the Buckeyes are going to need a bigger sword.

Hoping to limit the damage, Ohio State has informed the NCAA that it is “embarrassed” by Tressel’s actions, put its football program on two years probation and vacated all wins from last year’s 12-1 season, including the Sugar Bowl victory over Arkansas.

The university’s actions merely beats the NCAA to the punch. This is common in college athletics because it enables school officials to appear responsible, concerned and law-abiding, when in fact they’re only instituting penalties that the NCAA is expected to slap them with any way. But the fallout shouldn’t end there.

Ohio State president E. Gordon Gee — who infamously cracked, “I just hope [Tressel] doesn’t fire me,” when allegations of Tressel hiding and lying about NCAA violations occurred — and athletic director Gene Smith also should be out of their jobs. Both protected Tressel when it was clear violations had occurred.

Either they knew of what was going on or they didn’t want to know what was going on. Why? Because the football program represents the biggest ATM machine on campus.

Either way, Gee and Smith are culpable. But they’re not accepting responsibility. They’re going with the “Beverly Hall Defense”: Let everybody else get thrown under the bus while you protect yourself.

Consider an excerpt of Ohio State’s response to the NCAA, via the Columbus Dispatch: “The responsibility is upon Tressel. No other institutional personnel were aware [of the violations]. The institution is embarrassed by the actions of Tressel.”

The NCAA is not going to remove Gee or Smith. That’s up to the university. But don’t be surprised if the NCAA further penalizes the program with a loss of scholarships and a post-season ban. Vacating wins is somewhat of a hollow punishment since the games already have been played and receipts already collected.

Gee and Smith shouldn’t be able to walk away from this clean.

By Jeff Schultz

Follow me on Twitter @JeffSchultzAJC; friend me at Facebook.com/JeffSchultzAJC


68 comments Add your comment

Buh Bye Mark Richt

July 8th, 2011
2:27 pm

Caleb King is done and so are you…

Worm

July 8th, 2011
2:30 pm

Buh bye, We shall see..Plenty of running backs on campus including Richard Samuel…We’ll let Crowell get his feet wet early and it’ll pay dividends down the road..

frannie mae

July 8th, 2011
2:33 pm

Like Tarkenton said ” UGA isin BIG BIG trouble ” .

onecreditshort

July 8th, 2011
2:34 pm

Give up Jeff. I’m a UGA fan, but it appears other UGA fans (and detractors) are too provincial to be bothered with what’s going on at Ohio State.

Woody Hayes punched a Clempson player

July 8th, 2011
2:37 pm

Who really cares about Ohio State?

Jamaaliver

July 8th, 2011
2:38 pm

Hollow punishment indeed.

That statement by Gee regarding Tressel will live in infamy. I’m sure he wishes he could take that one back.

P-Man

July 8th, 2011
2:39 pm

OK…

I thought this blog was about Ohio State. Go spew your venom elsewhere, in a more appropriate forum/place…

Anyway, you are right on the money, Jeff. Maybe next time, when I get caught speeding, I can just punish myself. Think the cop will let me slide?

Dooley Noted

July 8th, 2011
2:39 pm

Who cares about Ohio State? When are SEC media days?

Paul in RDU

July 8th, 2011
2:42 pm

Jeff – I agree with you here 100%. How Smith, in particular, has kept his job is unbelievable. The guys is still claiming that he did everything right and that OSU has an excellent compliance department.

skram30082

July 8th, 2011
2:43 pm

Enter your comments here

P-Man

July 8th, 2011
2:43 pm

If you don’t care about Ohio State…

don’t read the article, and don’t comment.

This is a SPORTS blog, and last I checked, Ohio State still plays sports. If you want to comment on only the SEC, go to an SEC blog. If you are interested in sports, in ALL forms, by all means, stay here and comment.

That being said, When is the Count coming back? I miss him…

skram30082

July 8th, 2011
2:45 pm

Beverly Hall, meet Jim Tressel

258DAWG

July 8th, 2011
2:46 pm

I guess Everyone took Friday off. What coverage

Worm

July 8th, 2011
2:46 pm

OK, since this is an Ohio State blog..If they’d never played Pryor in the Sugar Bowl, then they wouldn’t have to strip themselves of that one..
They should be forced to sit out the 2012 season and all players are eligibile to transfer immediately and play this year..That would empty the cupboard..

CHARLOTTE DAWG

July 8th, 2011
2:47 pm

The coveted “first” comment had nothing to do with the story….TROLL!

I agree that Tressel is not the only one at fault here. Sounds like there are some slim balls in Columbus.

Wouldn’t Richt have loved to have AJ the first 4 games? But Richt and UGA actually faced the music.

And vacating wins is a “hollow punishment”. Well said. If Auburn has to eventually vacate their 2010 wins, would any UGA fan feel any better about the loss, late hits from Fairley, and Chiznik squakking on the sidelines like a drunk chicken when the game was getting out of hand? Wouldn’t make me feel better at all.

The NCAA needs to hit OSU where it hurts to send a message. Less scholarships, bowl probation, etc.

Russ, the Temporary Mascot

July 8th, 2011
2:48 pm

I heard there’s going to be a new UGA dorm called Beverly Hall where everybody passes every class. Guaranteed.

Bill

July 8th, 2011
2:48 pm

I’ll bet the Vols are watching this with boots quaking.If the NCAA drops the hammer on the Buckeyes they may put UT in front of a firing squad.

258DAWG

July 8th, 2011
2:49 pm

P-man, I’m pretty sure I hit the UGA icon. Just an edjucated guess but wouldn’t that make it a UGA Blog??
Maybe you’re lost!

joe

July 8th, 2011
2:56 pm

BREAKING NEWS: Caleb King ruled ineligible for 2011. That suspect O takes another hit…panic set in yet??

spider

July 8th, 2011
3:01 pm

When is BYU Going too get hit for cheating in a game at the end and changed the out come of a game. That also made them bowl eligible?

A Gordon fan

July 8th, 2011
3:03 pm

Gordon Gee may utter comments he lives to regret (who doesn’t?), but it’s hard to believe he knew what Tressel was up to. Remember, this is the same guy who once stared down the Vanderbilt athletic dept.and said academics comes first. Would that same guy risk losing his post over the football coach’s antics? Nope.

Adam

July 8th, 2011
3:04 pm

Jeff, I would be willing to wager that if the NCAA would not only strip wins from a team, but make them forfeit a substantial if not 100% of the proceeds they received from those games, then a lot of this mess would stop. The only way to make a difference is to hit them in the pocketbook. That way ALL of the benefit from those games would be forfeited…

ita

July 8th, 2011
3:07 pm

Coach Mark Fox’s wife covered up violations that the basketball program committed when Fox was at Nevada. Nevada protected her. She was a top administrator there. Why not report on that?

LHarding Dawg

July 8th, 2011
3:09 pm

Buh Bye is delusional. Coach Richt is where he will be coaching for many years. And by the way Buh Bye, the story is about Ohio State. Get a life!

P-Man

July 8th, 2011
3:18 pm

285Dawg:

No, This is Jeff Schultz’s column. He’s not the Georgia guy. Chip Towers is.

[...] Earlier: Ohio State strips itself of wins but officials need to take hit [...]

258DAWG

July 8th, 2011
3:32 pm

Really P-man, feel free to read the column listing below. I’m pretty sure it says UGA COLUMNISTS!
Real Bright Guy!

UGA columnists
Mark Bradley »
Guess which team that played for the BCS title is in trouble
Jeff Schultz »
Ohio State strips itself of wins, but officials need to take hit
UGA recruiting:
Michael Carvell »
Where was UGA’s head coach on first day of NCAA contact period? (UPDATED)

nsnstv

July 8th, 2011
3:40 pm

skram30082

That’s funny.

DC

July 8th, 2011
3:43 pm

Chip Towers is a good guy..but why every time people start going on the bash UGA train he has to close the blog?…Jeff sorry…but UGA issue is bigger news right now than ohio state deal…WAR EAGLE!

P-Man

July 8th, 2011
3:43 pm

OK 258 Dawg. You win. But that’s not how it shows up on my page. For some reason, we see different things. Despite that, this was still an article/column about OSU not UGA, regardless of where it is placed.

Please accept my humblest apologies. I shall strive never to err again…

RedandBlackDAWG

July 8th, 2011
3:45 pm

Now all they have to wait for is the penalties that the NCAA can impose on them as well. It is a sad commentary in college football, when you think that most of OSU problems originated because Alumni and fans coddle and give special favors to kids playing football. The whole system of the NCAA is at fault here, as it sets up these type of situations and then acts like they are all so terrible. The NCAA allows the special privledges to athletes and sets lower standards than they do for other students. Then they expect college coaches to baby sit these folks and hope they grow up off the football field as well as on. UGA’s Caleb King is another perfect example of this. In a lot of cases, these kids let themselves, the school they attend and the people that trusted them down.
To be truthful, as long as the bucks rule the game, coaches like Tressel, are going to contiune to get caught up in affairs like this. The pressure to succeed and the high salaries place unrealistic demands on these folks.
I don’t know the answer but I would think at the very least, academic standards for the players have to be more realistic so that some of these kids, that do not belong at a college, don’t end up ruining their lives as well as others. You can’t watch over a kid 24/7, but perhaps if we insure the kid really belongs at college in the first place, the good ones will stay out of trouble. Let the NFL start their own minor leagues, and these kids that have no place in college, can go to that.

msd

July 8th, 2011
4:01 pm

Nothing will change until you really make it hurt those involved. the school, who snactioned it – give up the money via big fines; agents involved – lose your NFL license (and income for all players) for a year, coaches – easy – NCAA banned for a year without pay (no more hopping to a new school to avoid the fallout. caught again – done. Athletes (can’t really call all of them students), lose eligibility.

Only pain changes behavior.

OSUalumKyle

July 8th, 2011
4:08 pm

Jeff, what is your deal? Why do you have such a personal vendatta against Ohio State? I will conceed, Gee and Smith did not exactly handle themselves well with this issue. However, there is much more to Ohio State then the football program. Gee has done absolutely wonderful things for this university in many areas including academics, philanthropy, and fundraising. Do you realize Ohio State just graduated 9,800 students?!!? No, you probably don’t, cause you are as narrow minded as every other SEC fan… Do yourself a favor and open your eyes and start looking at the bigger picture before you start to write your opinions down.

The Spirit of UGA VII

July 8th, 2011
4:29 pm

What the heck is going on down there? How do you flunk out of UGA? There’s people walking around with UGA degrees that couldn’t spell CAT if you spotted them the C and the T. Don’t believe me? Just read some of the posts here from UGA fans.

And now Ohio State wants to forfeit all its wins from last year—but not the money they made from them. And even the Big Guy up here is raging that Ohio State changed its mind and wants to say Tressel was “retired”, not resigned. I guess that means he won’t have to pay the $250,000 fine either. He’s even being sent by Ohio State to answer to the NCAA.

Straighten up down there! Don’t make us come down there to do it for you.

SecGuy

July 8th, 2011
4:53 pm

SUalumKyle,
When it comes to cheap shots and sanctimoniously reveling in the problems of others, Schultz is the Nanny who never sleeps.

VININGS DAWG

July 8th, 2011
5:07 pm

Two Year Probation and no scholly loss and post season ban. Then what is the real 2 year probation? Please and to forgive the $250,000 fine to Tressel. That is hush money!

Beast from the East

July 8th, 2011
5:09 pm

Jeff,
The whole thing is ridiculous. If Tressel had just notified the AD and compliance officer when he first became aware of the situation then the kids that broke the rules would have been the only ones punished.
Because he didn’t, it has created a snowball effect. He’s gone and many are calling for the heads of Gee and Smith. Bet he wishes he could go back and do that over again, huh? You can’t hide from the truth and NOTHING (wins included) is worth sacrificing your integrity. He damn well should have known that. Didn’t he write a book on integrity?

Saywhut

July 8th, 2011
5:09 pm

Vacating LAST season’s win– BFD!!! That’s like a teenager missing his curfew and his parent says your punishment is, “You didn’t have any fun tonight.”

Vince

July 8th, 2011
5:11 pm

….and did anyone REALLY think the suspended players would come back to play?

So, does this mean the SEC’s record against THE OSU remains untarnished?

Vince

July 8th, 2011
5:12 pm

@ Spirit of UGA

So, you really think all UGA fans actually WENT to Georgia?

fitzgerald

July 8th, 2011
5:22 pm

Since it seems that everyone else has said everything about everything, I don’t have anything to say about anything. Have a great weekend.

OSUAlumc/o96

July 8th, 2011
5:27 pm

No matter what happens or doesn’t happen, people will always have something negative to say about The Ohio State University……Haters. GO BUCKS!!!!!!

The Osu

July 8th, 2011
5:29 pm

maybe gene smith, the osu AD, can make another “statement” to the media in front of fake law books to look “official” and “intelligent.” That should work.

Paddy

July 8th, 2011
6:20 pm

OSU fans……beating the drum for Ohio State football is not good common sense. They made major, major mistakes. Hide for a while and try to let this be settled by the NCAA. Now is not the time to pop off. Come out later when the dust settles and root for your team. Anything you say now is suspect and falling on closed mind across the nation. You can’t win this one!

Jamesd

July 8th, 2011
6:30 pm

Same story different team. If anyone is really concerned about this, the penalty would include taking any income from the games and giving it to the other teams. Nothing say “I wouldn’t do this again” like a loss of revenue. This can and should be extended to the coaching staff as well. Send their paychecks to the opposing team’s coaching staff. Follow this and we will see true and complete change of behavior.

MountainTiger

July 8th, 2011
6:56 pm

Get ready Auburn you’re next!!!!!!!! Hope Cam was worth it.

TeflonDon

July 8th, 2011
7:10 pm

Wouldn’t a better self-imposed penalty be that Ohio State drops “THE” from its official name, just so we wouldn’t have to hear it said ever again at the start of MNF?

Lib in Cobb

July 8th, 2011
7:23 pm

UGA, UGA, UGA, SEC, SEC, SEC. It’s all good if you like watching a bunch of “Billies” knock each others brains out.

Bob

July 8th, 2011
7:56 pm

It’s too bad writers like you just read other horrible writers columns instead of educating yourselves on the facts. Headline’s “OSU players get special deals on cars” and then a long report. Investigations show up no wrong doing but there are no reports on that….and because it doesn’t hit the headlines, you don’t know anything about it do you Jeffy boy? I know its popular to rant about Ohio State, but try to be a little more responsible in your “journalism”. If the coach doesn’t tell anyone, he IS the only one that knows. Oh but you know better…..everybody should be fired.

GR82BAG8R

July 8th, 2011
8:42 pm

Well, it looks like THE Ohio State University still has zero victories against SEC teams. All that arrogance and nothing to show for it.