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Ohio State meets with NCAA

Published: Sat, August 13, 2011 @ 12:02 a.m.



Former Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel arrives for a hearing in Indianapolis, Ind., Friday, Aug. 12, 2011. Tressel had hoped to travel to Indianapolis to be a central figure at the inaugural Big Ten championship game in December. Instead, he's in the city to testify about his role in NCAA violations which have shaken the foundation of Ohio State's powerhouse football program and cost him his job. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Associated Press


Ohio State’s hearing before the NCAA took only four hours. Now it must wait up to 12 weeks to find out how it will be penalized for rules broken by its football program.

A memorabilia-for-cash scandal that resulted in player suspensions, coach Jim Tressel’s forced resignation and the departure of star quarterback Terrelle Pryor also led to Ohio State’s hearing before the NCAA’s committee on infractions on Friday.

No one from the public or media was allowed into the guarded meeting room in the ballroom of a downtown hotel.

Apparently Ohio State officials felt the penalties they had self-imposed earlier — Tressel’s departure, vacating the 2010 season including a victory in the Sugar Bowl and a two-year NCAA probation — were not enough to mollify the NCAA’s version of judge and jury. Athletic director Gene Smith said that in addition to those previous sanctions, Ohio State will forfeit its $338,811 share of the Big Ten’s payment for having played in the bowl game.

Previously, Smith had said that Ohio State had already offered “severe” sanctions.

Smith also said he looked forward to hearing Ohio State’s final penalties in 8 to 12 weeks — much longer than the 6-to-8 week window he had mentioned previously.

Tressel declined to answer questions as he hustled with his attorney through the hotel’s lobby and jumped into an elevator.

He did leave behind a news release.

“I had an open and constructive exchange with the committee on infractions,” the statement read. “They were well prepared and will now go about their work in deliberations. Again, I would like to apologize to the Buckeye nation, most especially to the players, staff and fans who remain so dear to me.”

ESPN.com reported earlier this week Ohio State had received a letter from the NCAA saying that it was looking into additional allegations. But Smith, reading from a statement, said, “The NCAA staff concluded that the evidence at this time does not warrant additional allegations and that our joint review of any remaining items did not necessitate a delay to today’s hearing.”

Ohio State president Gordon Gee also weighed in.

“I appreciated the opportunity to appear today,” he said in a statement. “The committee treated us fairly and gave us ample time to share our perspective. Throughout, we have been determined to do what is right in responding to the information we discovered.”

The central point of the hearing was the contention — admitted by Tressel — that he alone among Ohio State officials broke NCAA bylaws when he learned some of his players had accepted improper benefits from a Columbus tattoo-parlor owner in April 2010. He then declined to tell Ohio State or NCAA officials for more than nine months, contrary to his contract and other NCAA rules.

In effect, Tressel knowingly played ineligible players throughout last season.

Tressel’s decision led Ohio State to pressure him to step down in May after 10 seasons, a 106-22 record, seven Big Ten titles and the 2002 national championship. It also sparked the NCAA investigation.

The NCAA committee will determine if Ohio State’s sanctions went far enough. It could tack on a bowl ban or limit the Buckeyes’ number of recruits, among other possibilities. The NCAA has informed Ohio State that the two most serious findings it could hit the school with — lack of institutional control and failure to monitor players and coaches — are off the board based on information it has received so far.

Six Ohio State players were suspended for the first five games this fall for trading memorabilia for cash and discounted tattoos. Pryor, one of those suspended players, gave up his final year of eligibility for a shot at playing in the NFL. One other player has left the program; yet another player will sit out the season-opener.

Smith told The Associated Press earlier this week that the investigations into the players’ actions and those of Tressel have cost Ohio State’s athletic department about $800,000 so far.

The hearing took place in the large Indiana ballroom on the first floor of the downtown Marriott. The room had 38 microphones placed on tables set up in a square. There were guards preventing the public or media from entering any of the 14 doors along two sides that open to a common hallway of the hotel.

Ohio State and its NCAA consultants, The Compliance Group, met for almost 5 hours on Thursday night to discuss its case.

The 10-member committee on infractions, chaired by Mideastern Athletic Conference Commissioner Dennis Thomas, heard testimony and asked questions.

Once the committee’s recommended penalties are announced, Ohio State can appeal the verdict.

Ohio State officials have worked closely with the NCAA since last December in a climate where several big-time football (Southern California, North Carolina) and men’s basketball (Tennessee, Connecticut) programs have been or are in trouble. There is an undercurrent that the NCAA may choose to take a hard line on the Buckeyes’ violations.

The most recent spate of rule-breaking at Ohio State overlapped with probation remaining from when the men’s basketball program committed major violations under then-coach Jim O’Brien in 2004. That makes Ohio State a so-called repeat violator and could affect the school’s treatment by the NCAA.


1woolyd(579 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Overkill huh? Wow but i bet if this was Michigan you sorry hairless nuts(thats what a buckeye is) would be asking for the death penalty. The problem is that you "fans" cant accept the fact your lilly white coach was dirty and your greatest years of success ever against Michigan is tainted like an hiv infected needle. Get over it, take the punishment like men, and lastly go get a tattoo of "cheater" somewhere on your collective scarlet butts

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2woolyd(579 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Oh i happen to be white so i dont know how i brought race into it but ok hairless nut. No we diddnt win a National Title since the 1990s but the title you guys recently one may be tainted. Reece may not have been eligible because how many oral exams do most college students get? Ive spent 7 years at YSU received two Bachelors degrees and a Masters and yet never once did i have an oral exam.
All high school athletes going to the college ranks are unproven so thats not a valid point.The forfeit well we have to take it. The question of Michigan being back are you serious? 57-44-6 vs Ohio State,most wins in Cumblowus, and the most wins in NCAA HISTORY, and more National Titles then Ohio State so undoubtedly Michigan will be back. The hiring of this new coach and the offense being transformed back to the offense that needs to be run in the Big Ten and the new Defensive Coordinator which emphasizes defense will surely help. Now remember over the course of the last decade the Big Ten has been ridiculed and considered weak and guess whos been up and down at that time? Michigan. Whos been on top O-H-N-O St.So guess what in order for the Big Ten to gain the respect and prestige they once had Michigan gotta get back and you hairless nut fans need to realize that as well. Because your run at the top is when the disrespect has started two butt whippings in the title game and now Tattoogate.

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3mrblue(1175 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

I am tired of the whole mess and especially tired of the press that Tressel is getting. He screwed up, so get over it and move on. You can't feel sorry for a man that made over 20 million dollars in the past ten years. Just like so many other coaches who thought that they were smarter than everybody----he got caught!

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4woolyd(579 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Well if you allow players to run amuck and promise them they can sell apparel, skip classes, etc etc etc to get these kids while turning a blind eye then you are cheating. You hairless nuts got caught now stop whining.
So Thunderboom how long have you been a fan? I remember 10 years ago barely anyone wore O-H-N-O ST gear then all of a sudden the band wagon formed. What do you guys really have during that time 1 controversial title and two embarassing title runs. Oh and 0-13 last year, a coach forced to resign, and potential NCAA sanctions. Yeah we suck but we suck playing fair you guys were winning bending the rules. I d rather lose honestly then win by cheating. Lastly 57-44-6 Michigan leads all time series. nuff said

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5woolyd(579 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Well good for you you arent a frontrunner congratulations. So you have seen alot of Michigan beating OSU. Maize and Blue ugly? No many more teams wear those colors and you guys have incorporated black to brighten up your dreary colors. Yes Arch is only two time winner but thats the only thing you guys have more then Maize and Blue. Wins Michigan, National Titles Michigan and most importantly head-to-head Michigan. Maybe buddy if you live to be 200 the series will be tied.Rich Rod yes he did do that but Tressy boy donated his vests tattoo discounts and ineligible players to beat Michigan and Arkansas. Oh and also to win a National Title last year with his preseaon contender. What happened there? Oh Wisconsin. Now take your Sugar Bowl and Big Ten Champs tshirt back to Everthing Hairless, Poisonous Nut store and get a refund because they are based on a lie and tattoo. And the gold pants this year melt that medal down because its useless.

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6woolyd(579 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Hahahaha wow yeah we lost to Appy State. And yes alot of players have come from "the worst state ever" to get away from "the worst state ever". Ah no I diddnt try to get into OSU im sure i could have i mean Reece made it, Terrelle made it, etc etc, etc,. Wait was that a shot at YSU? Isnt that where you guys recruited your now infamous Tressel? Two games I wont forget Florida and Louisiana State and the whippings they gave the poisonous nuts. We will see now how this plays out I predict the world will get back on its axis and stud Ohio high schoolers will trekk back up to Michigan and you guys will be back to the second tier team you are. Now go get a tattoo and maybe some prostitutes and have a great day.

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7woolyd(579 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Appalachain State the team that won 3 national titles in that era and beat other Division 1 schools. Well you have stated facts and so have I. Personally I dont care where the players and coaches come from. The fact is Texas, Florida, California, Pennsylvania, and Ohio are the high school hotbeds of the world so no surprise that where Michigan players come from. The question is why have so many left Ohio to go to Michigan? And why have so many over the years had success? In closing my final comments are factual Most wins ii college football history MICHIGAN, more National Titles Michigan or Osu MICHIGAN, overall head to head 57-44-6 MICHIGAN. And how many times did a subpar Michigan team beat OSU causing them to fall short of a national time? Many. And coaches Woody punched em, Cooper couldnt beat em, and Tressel lied to em.

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8woolyd(579 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

NEWSFLASH: According to MaxPreps Michigan currently has the #1 recruiting class for 2012 in the nation. 11 are from Ohio out of the 22 commits. So you keep talking buddy boy it appears as if now Ohios best are gonna be wearing Maize and Blue. Doesnt pay to cheat. End of story

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9woolyd(579 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

NEWFLASH 2: O-h-n-o St not even in top 25

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10woolyd(579 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Thunderboom you my buddy are misinformed. Yes Ohio State is ranked 16 and yes that recruiting class is on point for last year. My buddy you obviously diddnt read or understand my post. I said 2012 recruiting class which would be high school seniors and those who will be incoming freshmen next year, not already on campus. This may indicate that Osu transgressions last year will effect their future recruiting classes. So my buddy i know as an Osu fan its hard but try to understand im talking about the future beyond this year. 2011 oSU graded better but next years class Michigan is rated #1.
So Charles Woodson, Ty Law (from Pa), Desmond Howard, Elvis Grbac, were castoffs? Wow so sad history man. Remember a 4 loss Wolverine team in the 90s who beat a undefeated osu team? Two words Tshiamonga Biakabatuka. Lastly name me an Osu quaterback that graded better in the pros then Tom Brady and 3 of the four previously mentioned castoffs as you say are first ballot Hall of Famers.

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11woolyd(579 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Also i did some more research Appalachain State 2005, 2006, 2007 National Champions with four wins in those years over Division 1 schools. At least we had the "hair on our nuts" to play them. O-H-N-O St played a Youngstown State team that lost over 20 players to graduation including Tom Zetts QB. So mock all you want but we will never know how the App St vs O-H-N-O St game woulda went but im sure that it couldnt have ben worse than the Florida and LSU games did. Oh yeah Les Miles "a Michigan man" coached LSU to victory, and Urban Meyer "an Ohio man" did you in the other time. I suppose he was just a "castoff" coach from Ohio. Painful truth for you to sip on while taking your morning pills.

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12LRG5150(17 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

So you are proud of losing to Appy State? Congrats. You bring up tOSU's losses to Florida and LSU. How about scUM's 0-3 Rose Bowl performance in the last decade? Something to be proud of. Any isn't scUM on probation as we speak for NCAA violations? Yes...for cheating by violating practice rules to get a competitive advantage on the field. Probably worse then trading something for a tattoo.

Keep on hanging onto your 8 pre-1950 national titles and your early 1900's dominance of tOSU. Your great grandfather can tell you about those teams.
By the way - your god Bo never one a national title.

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13LRG5150(17 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

*"won", not "one" in that last sentence.

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14woolyd(579 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Wow LRG so angry must be the fact you guys got caught and the tide is turning. Your teams best run against Michigan and yet seems they were doing illegal acts to get players and benefits. Go turn on ESPNU right now and you can watch that butt whipping Wisconsin put on you again.

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15woolyd(579 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago


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