As you have probably heard, it was recently uncovered that Ohio State head football coach Jim Treseel knew last April that five of his players had sold jerseys, Big Ten Championship rings, and other memorbilia to a Columbus tattoo parlor owner, accepted discounted or free tattoos, and been given a variety of loaner cars from a Columbus car dealership – all in violation of NCAA rules.
These five players, of course, were the players that were not suspended for the Sugar Bowl, but instead suspended for the first five games of this upcoming season. Yet when the news of these rules violations came out in December (a few weeks before the Sugar Bowl), Ohio State's athletic director explicitly stated that December 8 was the first time his department had heard about them.
Both NCAA rules and his contract require Tressel to report violations. So what was his excuse for not telling anyone at O$U in April? He didn't know who to tell. Are fucking kidding me? HOW ABOUT YOUR COMPLIANCE DIRECTOR?! Does Ohio State even have one of those?
What's not surprising at all is that Ohio State's AD and President have both said that Tressel's job is not at all in jeopardy. Instead, O$U has suspended Tressel for the Buckeyes' first two games next season – home games against Akron and Toledo – and fined Tressel $250,000. That is an absolute joke. When asked whether Ohio State would consider dismissing Tressel, Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee – who has a history of saying stupid shit – remarked, "No, are you kidding? Let me be very clear. I'm just hoping the coach doesn't dismiss me." Jesus Christ. That about sums up what Ohio State is all about. It cares more about winning than it does about integrity and NCAA compliance. Tressel committed a major infraction. If this would have been any other university (aside from Tennessee, apparently), Tressel would be fired or at least forced to resign.
Bear in mind that this isn't Tressel's first brush with NCAA impropriety. Tressel's teams have a sordid history of NCAA violations. When he was the head coach at Youngstown State, Tressel was found to have done an incomplete investigations into one of his players that was busted for accepting improper benefits, including cars (do we see a pattern here?), which resulted in Youngstown State later serving penalties. Several of Tressel's players at O$U, including Maurice Clarett and Troy Smith, have been suspended by the NCAA for receiving money and benefits from boosters. Here is the biggest one, in my opinion (quoting an ESPN article): " In May of 2009, The Columbus Dispatch reported that since 2000, Ohio State had reported to the NCAA more than 375 violations -- the most of any of the 69 Football Bowl Subdivision schools that provided documents to the newspaper through public-records requests."
This presents an interesting quandary for the NCAA, which has traditionally gone very light on football powerhouses when there is anything short of an SMU-style full-scale payment of players by boosters. Ohio State knowingly used five ineligible players every game last year, which means they should vacate all of their wins from last season – including their Sugar Bowl victory, which would be a big blow to Terrelle Pryor, Dan Herron, and the other three guys because they would have to give back their Sugar Bowl rings, which are probably worth at least $500 each. O$U should be banned from going to a bowl game for two years. They should lose scholarships for at least two years. Of course, I don't expect the NCAA to do any of this because, well, O$U makes a lot of money.