Jim Tressel and his Ohio State football team broke NCAA rules when eight players accepted cash and tattoos worth $14,000 in exchange for jerseys and other Buckeyes memorabilia and although they were still allowed to play in the Sugar Bowl they will now be forced to sit out any chance at a bowl matchup next year.
The NCAA ruled on Tuesday that the college football team will be suspended from one year of Bowl play just as new head coach Urban Meyer begins to run the team.
At the heart of the issue was the fact that Jim Tressel heard about the violations in April 2010 but refused to report those players involved in the cash transactions.
While they were caught last December the Ohio State players were allowed to make a Sugar Bowl appearance if they agreed to serve suspensions to start the 2011 season.
Now with possibly one of the easiest schedules in the 2012 season and perhaps the best college football coach in Urban Meyer the team will be forced to tune in on national television to watch 2012 bowl games.
After hearing about the NCAA’s decision Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said:
“Had we known what (Tressel) knew, we would not have played those young men in that bowl game.”
Tressel has since left the team to take on a coaching role with the Indianapolis Colt and his attorney Gene March said of the ruling:
“He’s not going to appeal. He accepts the committee’s decision. That’s all there is to say.”
Before the decision was made Ohio State had instead offered to vacate the 2010 season, return their bowl money and be placed on a two year NCAA probation period. The school also said they would offer five less scholarships over the next three years, a plan that was ultimately shot down by governing officials at the NCAA.
After hearing of the NCAA decision Meyer said in a statement:
“It is still my goal to hire excellent coaches, recruit great student-athletes who want to be a part of this program and to win on and off the field,” while adding, “The NCAA penalties will serve as a reminder that the college experience does not include the behavior that led to these penalties.”
Do you think the NCAA made the right decision in taking away the teams chances at a bowl victory in 2012?