Ohio State penalties don’t bode well for ACC’s Hurricanes & Heels

First…before you do anything, you really must read the following entries.

NCAA Football Scandals Penalty Analysis

NCAA Football Scandals Penalty Analysis, Part II

Ohio State received a one year bowl ban yesterday that has a lot of college football analysts peering into their crystal balls and wondering aloud if a period of stringent NCAA penalties has arrived? From the New York Times:

Ohio State’s football team will not play in the postseason next year, and the program will lose nine scholarships over the next three years as a result of a scandal that cost Coach Jim Tressel his job in the spring.

The N.C.A.A. found Ohio State guilty of failure to monitor the program and of extra-benefit violations after it said eight players received more than $14,000 in cash or preferential treatment from the owner of a tattoo parlor in Columbus.

The N.C.A.A.’s findings Tuesday startled administrators at Ohio State, who expected lesser penalties. Athletic Director Gene Smith said the university was “surprised and disappointed” by the N.C.A.A.’s decision but would not appeal the findings.

The Ohio State president, E. Gordon Gee, said: “We’re very disappointed. We’re going to move on and move to a higher ground.”

Smith found out about the penalty at 7:48 a.m. via e-mail on the way to Gee’s house for a previously scheduled meeting.

“Thank God I parked,” Smith said. “I was livid.”

Gee said the meeting included Smith, the consultant Chuck Smrt and the university lawyer Chris Culley. After about a half-hour discussion, he said they made the decision to not appeal. Gee admitted that the university mishandled the investigation early on but said he was satisfied with the result.

In this article, Sports Illustrated‘s Stewart Mandel discusses how the Ohio State case could set precedent for future program penalties:

As soon as the news trickled out Tuesday that the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions had dealt Ohio State a one-year postseason ban for its booster- and tattoo-related infractions, people began asking the obvious next question(s).

What does this mean for Miami? Oregon? Penn State? North Carolina? Or any other school currently awaiting NCAA sentencing?


Maybe, just maybe, we can take an educated stab at what they’ll decide.

• North Carolina: If any program’s fans should be shaking after Tuesday’s ruling, it’s the Tar Heels’. UNC went before the Committee in October, and its verdict is expected shortly. When its Notice of Allegations came out this summer, fans hung their hopes for a lenient sentence on the following facts: 1) It avoided the dreaded Lack of Institutional Control charge, receiving Failure to Monitor instead; and 2) The school was proactive, suspending players itself as soon as allegations of misconduct arose prior to the 2010 season.

Well, Ohio State was also charged with Failure to Monitor. It self-reported every violation in Tuesday’s report, preemptively fired Tressel, disassociated Pryor and DiGeronimo and self-imposed several penalties — and still it got hit with a bowl ban. North Carolina should expect even worse, considering its case is wider in scope and involves two of the NCAA’s biggest no-nos — academic fraud and agent violations. I’d expect a two-year bowl ban and at least one docked scholarship for every player who received impermissible benefits or improper academic help.

• Miami: It could be a year or more before this investigation concludes. From the beginning, Miami’s fate would depend less on rogue booster Nevin Shapiro’s misdeeds and more on how much culpability, if any, the NCAA pegs on school employees. Yahoo!’s original report contends that several assistant coaches steered recruits to Shapiro, and that Shapiro nearly came to blows with the program’s compliance director in 2007, which sure seems like a red flag.

If any or all prove true, Miami is likely looking at USC-level sanctions. Remember, the NCAA hung that school based almost entirely on its belief that running backs coach Todd McNair knew of ex-con Lloyd Lake’s relationship with Bush and didn’t stop it. Shaprio also fits closely the profile of DiGeronimo in terms of his access to the program. The Committee faulted Ohio State for failing to more closely monitor DiGeronimo, and he’s only accused of handing out a few hundred dollars to a handful of players, not eight years spent showering 72 athletes with benefits. And Miami, like Ohio State, is considered a repeat violator. There’s no Jim Tressel smoking gun e-mail here that we know of, but if the NCAA determines even one staff member knew of Shapiro’s activities and didn’t do anything, Miami’s penalties will go far beyond those of Ohio State’s.

For another great read on this topic you can click here for Pre-Snap Read’s ‘Disconnect Between 2 N.C.A.A. Rulings’.

Scenario A: One player at a B.C.S. conference program accepts wide-ranging impermissible benefits. In response, the N.C.A.A. docks this program 30 scholarships over the following three years and a two-year postseason ban.

Scenario B: Multiple players accept impermissible benefits at another B.C.S. conference program. In addition, it is discovered that the school’s head coach not only had knowledge of the rule breaking but denied all such knowledge – covered up the information, even. For that, the N.C.A.A. docks the program nine scholarships over the following three years with a one-year postseason ban.

This isn’t about U.S.C., and it’s not about Ohio State. It’s about the N.C.A.A., the governing body of collegiate athletics, which continues to rule arbitrarily – sometimes with an iron fist, sometimes with a slap on the wrist, and often with little sense of precedence whatsoever – when meting out penalties to those universities that flaunt the N.C.A.A. rule book.

This was an opportunity for the N.C.A.A.’s infractions committee, which could have followed up its hammer-drop on the Trojans with a similarly strong ruling on Ohio State’s own malfeasances. Say what you will about the differing levels in each case: at least the N.C.A.A., with a strong decision, would have been consistent.

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29 Responses to Ohio State penalties don’t bode well for ACC’s Hurricanes & Heels

  1. PackerInRussia 12/21/2011 at 2:58 PM #

    I didn’t realize that UNC proactively suspended players. I thought that was a NCAA decision and that UNC was appealing to get players back. I think the only thing UNC has done proactively is appeal, talk down the final verdict, and pretend that none of things they did are that bad.

  2. MrPlywood 12/21/2011 at 3:19 PM #

    Reading the IC boards reminds me of watching “Shawshank Redemption”… “didn’t do it, lawyer f*cked me”, and “everybody in here’s innocent, didn’t you know that?” They constantly crow about how UNX “cooperated” and were “proactive” but they were actually in full CYA mode. I hope the NCAA is more than harsh and leaves the Sheep Boards in a pile of smoldering rubble with the sound of 1,000 boys in blue crying “it’s not fair!” wafting down 15-501…

  3. StateFans 12/21/2011 at 3:25 PM #

    PackerInRussia — they appear to now proactively suspend players…they just don’t proactively monitor what their players do (especially on social media) despite looking down the barrel of the gun for those very transgressions of failing to monitor.

  4. NCStatePride 12/21/2011 at 3:30 PM #

    GoldenChain has mentioned this several times and I think he has a good point. The NCAA has an image problem and what’s better for an image problem than to make an example of someone so you can pat yourself on the back.

    Carolina messed up. They messed up BAD. The NCAA has an image problem of not coming down hard on offenders of their own policies. Carolina has a lot of name recognition but is not a major money-maker or fan favorite in the football world. This makes Carolina a perfect candidate to prove to the world that they ‘aren’t afraid’ of punishing high-profile sports programs, yet they don’t have to damage the ‘product’ by highly penalizing a major football program.

    The NCAA can have it’s cake and eat it, too.

  5. graywolf 12/21/2011 at 4:06 PM #

    ‘The NCAA can have it’s cake and eat it, too.’

    I’ve been waiting for this for a very long time. I hope it really does come true and the program suffers for the next decade because of it.

  6. wufpup76 12/21/2011 at 4:10 PM #

    I hope I am wrong, but I don’t think much will happen.

    First time offender (known), “it’s xarolina” … blah blah blah.

    Would love to eat my words.

  7. Pack78 12/21/2011 at 4:15 PM #

    I think that Plywood has ID’d the wildcard in the deck on the unx CYA lying and stonewalling (Blake, Butch, tutor, 216,lying players, etc.) every inch of the way. We still don’t know how the NCAA will react to this constant and ongoing BS, but the McAdon’t case hopefully gives us a clue: the very sharp NCAA attorney was pissed at the unx legal horse$hit in the court and the judge wasted no time in knocking them out. Seems that all this crap may play well to the underinformed, but surely da judge (NCAA) is not amused…

  8. tuckerdorm1983 12/21/2011 at 4:35 PM #

    My friends that are UNC fans (diehard) say the Ohio State case involved a coach that knew what was going on and looked the other way and there was evidence of it. Because Butch is innocent (a victim of circumstance) that the committee will go easy on them Tar Holes and will not hit them with the lack of institutional control. They point out that Butch was never named. They may be right. Tar Holes may get a light punishment. If so, then there is no justice in the world.

  9. Wufpacker 12/21/2011 at 4:35 PM #

    I hope all of you who are expecting and reasoning that Carolina will get what’s coming to them are proven correct. As wufpup said, I would love to be wrong…but I’ll believe it when I see it and not a moment before.

  10. packof81 12/21/2011 at 5:06 PM #

    I’m with Wufpacker. I’ll believe when and if it happens. And if it happens, the wheels sure turn mighty slow.

  11. pack76 12/21/2011 at 5:35 PM #

    I disagree. That “runner for an agent” is going to bite them bad! It will be worse than Ohio State got. A two year bowl ban and 3 years probation, 12 scholarships over 3 years and maybe even a TV ban for a year.

  12. 61Packer 12/21/2011 at 6:03 PM #

    What OSU got was a slap on the hand. 9 scholarships lost over 3 seasons and a bowl ban for next season when the team’s outlook was essentially non-relevant?

    This school has enough money to easily offset the loss of revenue from even the Rose Bowl, plus their fan base is just about everywhere. Top-tier talent will still want to come to OSU and play even w/o a athletic scholarship. Like Vitale would say, “Are you kiddin’ me?”

    OSU will be back in the hunt for a Big Ten title (and Rose Bowl) in 2013, and in 2014 they’ll be in the hunt again for the national- er, excuse me, BCS title.

    And UNC? They will skate thru this, mark my words. The golden rule of athletics will apply again- they who have the gold, rule.

  13. TheCOWDOG 12/21/2011 at 6:05 PM #

    The extended period of time is cause enough for me to project those shitheads will approach USC notoriety.

    They won’t get hit with 30 over three, but because a lesser number would do as much damage to a UNC as 30 to USC, 15 over three, with the 2 yr holiday vacation.

    Same as what I believed a year ago.

  14. Mike 12/21/2011 at 6:46 PM #

    One interesting fact about the Ohio State response – they do NOT plan to appeal. They are taking their medicine and moving on.

    What is the first word from Chapel Hill with everything? APPEAL. Let’s see what happens.

  15. MrPlywood 12/21/2011 at 7:03 PM #

    Here’s hoping that the Dwight Jones issue will be another “they just don’t get it” nail in the coffin. The straw that broke the camel’s back. Even LOI since staff has been fired yet these things STILL happen.

    re: ^Mike’s comment – ain’t that the truth, they’re probably gathering documents as we speak…

  16. VaWolf82 12/21/2011 at 7:28 PM #

    There is virtually no chance of UNC getting a TV ban.

  17. Wolf74 12/21/2011 at 7:36 PM #

    pack76 says: “A two year bowl ban and 3 years probation, 12 scholarships over 3 years and maybe even a TV ban for a year.”

    This would be about right if it were 4 years probation, 20 scholarships over 4 years and a for sure 1 year TV ban.

  18. baxter 12/21/2011 at 7:38 PM #

    no way in hell a tv ban will happen. What does that do to the rest of the ACC but hurt its media package. Never going to happen.

  19. tuckerdorm1983 12/21/2011 at 7:56 PM #

    whatever the outcome I think you folks are right that the heels will appeal

  20. coach13 12/21/2011 at 8:05 PM #

    the punishment that TOSU got will not hurt them much beacause, well, they are OSU. The same penalties to a wannabe like UNC will have much worse effects. I hope they allow tranfers without penalties. That is how you really hurt a program. Loss of schollies AND transfers means loss of talent and depth, and they would suck for at least 4-5 more years.

  21. sundropdrinker13 12/21/2011 at 8:31 PM #

    A 1 year post-season ban will not make players transfer. A 2-3 year ban would. The reason OSU is not appealing is because they know it could have and should have been worse than it was, so they will look better if they don’t appeal. Their punishment was a joke.

  22. logarithm 12/21/2011 at 10:01 PM #

    Ohio State’s penalty might look disproportionately heavy compared to some other penalties but it looks like a slap on the wrist compared to USC’s penalty for Reggie Bush’s shenanigans. Maybe that was all due to Reggie Bush being a bigger name and the wrong-doing being found years down the road, but still. The one predictable thing about NCAA violations is how unpredictable they are. The sheer breadth of the UNC-CH violations gives me hope that they get some significant punishments for significant time as it appears the whole program needs cleaning up, not just some small elements that need to be punished.

    I doubt I’d be satisfied with any punishment for UNC-CH, always wanting them to get hit with something harder.

  23. Packfan28 12/22/2011 at 8:58 AM #

    I think the disparity between OSU and USC’s punishment actually bodes well for UNC. If the NCAA had of been consistently harsh with OSU as with USC, then we would have a very strong indication UNC is in deep trouble. Now, who knows?

  24. Prowling Woofie 12/22/2011 at 9:13 AM #

    14 scholarships lost for the 14 players held out of games…two year bowl ban… 3 years probation…

    If there is any justice in the Halls of NCAA Justice. Especially since UNX continues to thumb their noses at the process, failing to monitor their thug wannabe’s and appealing every decision that comes down.

    But you know there isn’t any justice where UNX is concerned, and UNX will get a ‘time served’ non-penalty. Move along, nothing to see here.

  25. primacyone 12/22/2011 at 10:06 AM #

    “Should I have done more? I wish I had” BMFD

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