Ohio State filed a written response to the NCAA today over the allegations of impropriety, and in it, the the Buckeyes said it is all Jim Tressel’s fault.
Ohio State said it will enact self-imposed sanctions by putting itself on probation for two years and by wiping the 2010 season off the record books – at least as far as the wins were concerned – even the Sugar bowl win over Arkansas.
The arrogance and/or ignorance of Ohio State continues unabated.
They did suggest that their actions are good enough and that the NCAA doesn’t need to pile on by say, adding scholarship reductions or a ban from post-season play.
Ohio State claims that they don’t need to have any more sanctions, because darn it, they were a victim as well.
When it comes to NCAA violations, Ohio State subscribes to the "Lone Gunman Theory."
Ohio State concedes that there were major violations, but they claim that, "The responsibility is upon Tressel. No other institutional personnel were aware of the violations. Ohio State went on to say, "The institution is embarrassed by the actions of Tressel."
So, Ohio State thinks they cleared this up and that the NCAA should just "move along, nothing more to see here." Ohio State believes taking the 12-1 record from 2010 and changing it to 0-13 in the record book will cause enough shame.
Remember, these guys in charge – OSU President Gordon Gee and Athletics Director Gene Smith – are the same ones who totally backed Tressel when reports surfaced that several Buckeyes players were selling memorabilia for cash and tattoos.
Then when the story played out, Ohio State officials reacted swiftly and with authority: they suspended Tressel for two games in 2011 – against MAC opponents Akron and Toledo. Public pressure soon expanded the suspension to equal what the returning players got from the NCAA – a five game suspension. Finally in May, Tressel was out. That’s what Ohio State did when confronted with Tatgate.
Here is what Ohio State won’t do.
They won’t give back the $17 million pay out from the Sugar Bowl.
They won’t make Jim Tressel pay the $250,000 fine they imposed for his breaking NCAA rules.
They also didn’t force Tressel to resign – they let him retire. That means that they cut him a check for $52,250, the equivalent of the salary and benefits he would have earned through the end of June 30th.
And since he "retired" Tressel will collect his unpaid sick and vacation time up to 250 hours and will be eligible for health-insurance coverage for himself and his family under the plan available to all state retirees.
Ohio State understands that it could face harsher punishment from the NCAA. They could be considered a repeat offender since they were placed on probation for five years in 2006 for violations by then-basketball coach Jim O’Brien. But again, the two people in charge – Gee and Smith – believe it all began and ended with Jim Tressel and that wiping the wins from 2010 is punishment enough.
Ohio State just doesn’t get it. But they may when they appear in front of the NCAA infractions committee on August 12th. USC fans for one, will be watching with great interest.