The Sports Illustrated article about more Ohio State allegations came out Monday night which featured more players who received tattoos-for-memorabilia as well as other possible NCAA infractions:
SI learned that the memorabilia-for-tattoos violations actually stretched back to 2002, Tressel's second season at Ohio State, and involved at least 28 players -- 22 more than the university has acknowledged. Those numbers include, beyond the six suspended players, an additional nine current players as well as nine former players whose alleged wrongdoing might fall within the NCAA's four-year statute of limitations on violations.
One of Tressel's duties then was to organize and run the Buckeyes' summer camp. Most of the young players who attended it would never play college football, but a few were top prospects whom Ohio State was recruiting. At the end of camp, attendees bought tickets to a raffle with prizes such as cleats and a jersey. According to his fellow assistant, Tressel rigged the raffle so that the elite prospects won -- a potential violation of NCAA rules. Says the former colleague, who asked not to be identified because he still has ties to the Ohio State community, "In the morning he would read the Bible with another coach. Then, in the afternoon, he would go out and cheat kids who had probably saved up money from mowing lawns to buy those raffle tickets. That's Jim Tressel."
There is a bunch of other stuff in the article about other improprieties such as party room set up for Ohio State players who would be given whatever they wanted from food and drinks (not a big deal in my opinion but still a violation), but the big deal is that some players traded memorabilia-for-marijuana.
Ohio State meets with the NCAA on Aug. 12 about these allegations and it will be interesting to see what the NCAA does in regards to penalizing Ohio State. All eyes will be on the NCAA since this is their biggest case since the USC scandal that saw the Trojans be placed on five years of probation where the Trojans will lose 30 scholarships over a three-year period, received a two-year bowl ban, vacating two wins from the 2004 season -- which include the BCS title -- as well as 12 wins from the 2005 season and they removed everything of Reggie Bush from USC, including his 2005 Heisman Trophy.
Now what will the NCAA do with Ohio State?
The USC involved one player in Reggie Bush whose parents received cash and a house. While the Ohio State situation involved over 20 players and possibly nine more players than the six that have been mentioned in earlier reports about Buckeyes who traded memorabilia for cash or tattoos. Those additional players mentioned fall into the four year statute of limitations for the NCAA to levy penalties against. Then include the separate investigation against Terrell Pryor which in addition to getting discounted tattoos-for-memorabilia is being investigated about cars he borrowed or intended to buy from Columbus-area used-car salesman Aaron Kiffin.
To me the USC situation is worse for what was involved, but the rampant "I don't know' from Jim Tressel shows a more wide-spread problem and when looking at the entire scope is worse because of the totality of the players involved. The situation was so well-known that students from Ohio State would go to the tattoo parlors looking to see if any football players were there to get autographs.
The penalties against USC were harsh, but has the NCAA painted themselves into a corner since the punishment against USC was so large?
I am no lawyer and do not pretend to know what the NCAA will do, but the 2010 season looks to be completely vacated -- assuming the NCAA goes with what they have done in the past. Beyond that, I am not sure what the NCAA will do. There is a possibility that the additional current players who were caught selling memorabilia could be suspended for five games to match what Terrell Pryor and the tat-five received prior to the Sugar Bowl.
As for scholarship loses, bowl bans and amount of probation, to mee it seems that it will be at worse on par with what USC received since the Ohio State problem has shown to bee a constant problem. With Jim Tressel being fired, that could lead to a lesser penalty since the man in charge is no longer there.
My assumption is that the penalties will be similar to USC's but a longer time frame due to the totality of the events that have been uncovered, so perhaps something like losing 10 scholarships per year for four or five years or maybe a less amount of scholarships over a longer period of time, a three- or four-year bowl ban while being on a probation period of five or more years.
So, what do you think will happen to Ohio State?