Friday, July 08, 2011

Ohio State will not respect your authoritah

The downside of having a job is that it consumes my all-important blogging time and demands that I prioritize my daily activities, with "things that make money" coming in first on the list. Hence my late reaction to this:
Ohio State is vacating its wins from the 2010 football season, including its share of the Big Ten championship and the Buckeyes' victory over Arkansas in the 2011 Allstate Sugar Bowl.

Responding to the NCAA's investigation of a memorabilia-for-cash scandal that cost former coach Jim Tressel his job and led to star quarterback Terrelle Pryor leaving school, the university also said Friday it is waiving a $250,000 fine imposed on Tressel and changing his resignation to a retirement. The move contradicts a comment university president Gordon Gee made last month when he said Tressel "will pay the fine."
Calling this a slap on the wrist would be an insult to the concept of a slap on the wrist, which at least causes some non-zero level of pain. We've known for months now that OSU/Tressel knowingly played ineligible players -- any games those guys participated in last year were going to be vacated, and that was basically the starting point for punishment. In other words, this was literally the least Ohio State could do.

This is not surprising in the slightest. Throughout the entire process, the laughably incompetent Ohio State administration (led by Orville Redenbacher) has been saying things like "this is an isolated event" and "I just hope the coach doesn't dismiss ME" and blah blah blah, and they've been sweeping things under the rug only to have them come flying back out directly into their collective face. Their goal has been to admit nothing, do nothing of relevance and just hope the NCAA won't find enough proof or motivation to hammer them.

I didn't expect them to change their strategy now.

Here's the complete sum of self-imposed "penalties":
  • Loss of all 2010 wins (a given from the beginning)
  • Two years of probation
Amazing. They also managed to remove some of the original punishment, saying "don't worry about the fine, Jimmy -- happy Easter to you." So yeah ... the coach who covered up years of extensive NCAA violations is off into his cushy, parade-honored "retirement" with no official punishment whatsoever. I mean ... whaa??? This would be flat-out unbelievable if it weren't coming from the same school that originally thought a two-game suspension would be fair punishment.

It's one thing to snub your nose at the NCAA; it's another to laugh directly in its face.

A not-insignificant notation goes here: This announcement is in response ONLY to the NCAA's original notice of allegations, the one that came out a few months ago following the original TatGate investigation and coverup. This was before all the car stuff, before the Sports Illustrated reports, before the Dennis Talbott allegations. And with all that craziness not yet included, OSU had little motivation -- other than appeasing the NCAA, which isn't a bad idea but has been off their radar so far -- to do much of anything now that Tressel is gone.

The message: Tressel was a naughty boy who has been badly punished via retirement (?), and nobody left behind should have to suffer for his silly misdeeds (which of course should be considered meaningless next to his near-biblical acts of greatness).

That argument worked so well for USC, yes?

OSU is past the point of covering up and is now publicly challenging the NCAA: Punish us. Prove that "the cost of violating the rules costs more than not violating them," as NCAA prez Mark Emmert claims.

The ball's in your court, Emmert. Authoritah FTW on August 12.

NOTE: No, Michigan doesn't get credit for a win, and the OSU win streak isn't over. The 2010 game just gets erased from the record books, which doesn't change the horrifically depressing fact that Michigan hasn't beaten OSU since (gulp) 2003.


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