Earlier this week, news was reported that Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel was facing punishment for infractions on an incident that happened last December with a few members of the football team.
Before Ohio State’s appearance in the All-State Sugar Bowl it was reported that five players were involved in “deals” with a local tattoo parlor. Players were giving away and selling game worn uniforms, school issued equipment, and championship rings in exchange for money and free tattoos. Instead of suspending the 5 players for their Sugar Bowl game(Players included starting Quarterback Terrell Prior and starting running back Dan “Boone” Herron) Ohio State/The NCAA decided to wait to suspend the players for the first five games of the 2011 season and let them play in the Sugar Bowl. The five players will miss games against Akron, Toledo, Miami (Fl), Colorado, and Michigan State. This made people outside of Columbus very mad because of the fact that the players should have been suspended for the Sugar Bowl, but they got to play in it and now may feel they are “better than the system.” This is all old news, but the recent NCAA findings could be a very fun process to watch unfold..if it does.
After the NCAA found out that Jim Tressel had received emails from a colleague that his team was involved in these benefits, he was ordered to stop them but chose not to say anything. Whether it was for the protection of his players or himself, it was wrong. The whole Tressel ordeal was cracked open(ironic right) when Edward Rife, the man the team was said to be selling their equipment to, went under federal investigation for drug trafficking. The NCAA found emails that led to an investigation into Ohio State football where it was found that Tressel had known all along about his player’s doings.
Tuesday, Tressel was suspended the first two games of the 2011 season against hardly formidable Ohio foes Akron and Toledo. He was also fined 250,000, a petty slap on the wrist of the man who makes 3.5 million dollars a year. (Side note, Ohio State’s President Gordon Gee only brings in 1.6 million a year) It is now being known that Tressel had known about what his guys were doing since April, 2010 and chose to say nothing.
In the Collegiate code of conduct players are not allowed to sell anything given to them from the NCAA or their school. In Tressels contract, it blatantly states that if he knows ANYTHING about his team that he is unsure about, he is to report it to the NCAA. He failed to do that. Also, when asked if he had prior knowledge of the incident, Tressel said no. He publicly lied in a news conference and broke an oath that he locked with his own John Hancock. In most other incidents, when people break the code of their contract they are released from the duty of their job; not the case for Tressel and Ohio State. All of this leads me to believe the NCAA is showing that Ohio State is above them.
Recently in college basketball, BYU, who is having a season of the ages and was ranked highest in school history at #3 in the nation, kicked their second best player Brandon Davies off the team for breaking the school code of engaging in pre-marital sex while attending BYU. The clock may have struck midnight for the Cinderella story that BYU was writing after the decision was made, by the school, to have Davies kicked off the team immediately. This received public scrutiny and respect because the school was sending a message to its players and the NCAA that no one player was bigger than the institute. Although we are not to judge what is right and wrong in this case, we have to tip our cap to a school that stands by its guns.
Ohio State is one of the most successful football schools in the midwest and the largest public institute in the nation. The fans of the Buckeyes travel like no other fans in the nation. The money poured into the school and the NCAA from Ohio State football is second to none. Normally what happen with the NCAA sends chills down dirty coaches backs. Give them(The NCAA) an inch and they will take a mile. It takes one little lose strand and the NCAA will pull the sweater till it is just a piece of yarn. For some reason, I don’t believe the NCAA will do that thorough of an investigation into the subject because Ohio State is a sacred cow. The image of one of the most well known institutes in the nation can’t possibly be tarnished, can it? If it is cheating then yes.
I think what scares the NCAA is that they know they will find illegal things under Tressel’s fingernails, and they don’t want to. What makes people mad is how the NCAA protects those like Cam Newton, Jim Tressel, and the Ohio State 5, but would go as far as burying other schools with 2-3 years of sanctions that destroy any possibility of landing big name recruits. What should be done is what is done when other NCAA violations occur, the school should face penalties like a reduced amount of scholarships or a ban on post-season play.
Most would think a man who makes millions of dollars a year and commands one of the most successful teams in sports would have to be pretty smart, but when asked why he didn’t report his findings to the NCAA, Tressel said he didn’t know that was what he was supposed to do. This man seems like a tough nut to crack. I believe he is hiding something, but what do I know. I hope the NCAA would be unbiased about the entire situation and handle it how they would handle it with any other school, even if that means bringing down the giant that is Ohio State Football.
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