under self reported. Tressel professing ignorance all along may have helped him short-term, but it kills the school. Him not knowing anything is just as bad as a coverup when it comes to LOIC.
Let's Argue With The Devil
Not really the devil, as I have met(!) Jason of 11 Warrior and had a cordial experience. Also he runs Drupal.
So Eleven Warriors took me up on my "someone argue OSU's sanctions shouldn't be as a bad as USC's" challenge, and even did so with a table. Let's take a look:
18 specific instances of violations by Reggie Bush or his family, including a house for his parents, a car (with new rims and a stereo), airfare, hotel stays, limo services, meals, car repairs, clothing, furniture and and appliances.
12 similar instances of violations out of basketball player OJ Mayo.
Running backs coach Todd McNair was found to have known or should have known of Bush's activity and was also cited for lying during the investigation.
Further violations by the women's tennis program and a failure of the athletic department's infrastructure when it came to oversight and policing.
Together, these findings led to a charge of Lack of Institutional Control.
An email trail that proved the head coach had knowledge of players forfeiting their eligibility, but did nothing to notify his superiors or compliance/enforcement staff.
UPDATED: Further, Tressel signed a statement attesting to the fact that he was unaware of any violations in the fall of 2010.
Additional athletes may have been involved in memorabilia-for-tattoos.
Potential improper benefits in the form of car deals for football players.
Terrelle Pryor allegedly received benefits in the form of free golf at a country club and is also alleged to have received $20,000-$40,000 in exchange for autographed memorabilia.
|FATE OF HEAD COACH||Bolted early for the NFL.||Forced the resignation of a beloved coach with otherwise excellent reputation amongst peers.|
|LEVEL OF COOPERATION||None||Ohio State has reported all findings to the NCAA on their own and has stayed in contact with the organization to assist with the investigation.|
|TAUNTING||Hired habitual scofflaw Lane Kiffin to replace Pete Carroll. AD Mike Garrett claimed the NCAA report was "nothing but a lot of envy".||None, unless you wanted to count the fumbled presser on March 8th. Which you shouldn't.|
Let's play the Feud!
USC's lack of institutional control charge was the major factor here and while Ohio State has not yet been hit with that allegation the Pac-10 has a primer on what does and does not qualify for a LOIC charge featuring a lot of components that should make OSU fans nervous.
Specifically called out is a head coach's responsibility:
A head coach fails to create and maintain an atmosphere for compliance within the program — the coach supervises or fails to monitor the activities of assistant coaches regarding compliance.
A head coach has special obligation to establish a spirit of compliance among the entire team, including assistant coaches, other staff and student-athletes. The head coach must generally observe the activities of assistant coaches and staff to determine if they are acting in compliance with NCAA rules. Too often, when assistant coaches are involved in a web of serious violations, head coaches profess ignorance, saying that they were too busy to know what was occurring and that they trusted their assistants. Such a
failure by head coaches to control their teams, alone or with the assistance of a staff member with compliance responsibilities, is a lack of institutional control.
This is not to imply that every violation by an assistant coach involves a lack of institutional control. If the head coach sets a proper tone of compliance and monitors the activities of all assistant coaches in the sport, the head coach cannot be charged with the secretive activities of an assistant bent on violating NCAA rules.
In this case Tressel can't even attempt to pass the buck since he is directly responsible.
Meanwhile, there have been multiple incidents that suggest institutional control is weak at best: the Plain-Dealer reports OSU was warned about Talbott in 2007 but still allowed players to leave tickets for him and remain on the sidelines as a photographer; a 2006 audit of OSU's car tracking found it inadequate, then found a third of the athletes were driving vehicles unknown to the department. They discovered this by checking cars at practice and examining university parking pass and ticket records. Ohio State stated it looked at Terrelle Pryor's three loaner tickets and decided a test drive to Pennsylvania did not constitute an extra benefit. As late as May Doug Archie, the director of compliance at OSU, responded to a question about why nine players had been issued citations in cars with dealer plates with "you'll have to ask the dealers"; even after the USC case established the need for "high profile compliance" of high profile players, Archie disavows any special attention to Pryor and other football players.
The Pac-10 document lays out a selection of "acts that are likely to demonstrate to a lack of institutional control," of which the head coach bit above is one. Ohio State appears to hit many of the others:
A person with compliance responsibilities fails to establish a proper system for compliance or fails to monitor the operations of a compliance system appropriately.
The explanatory text below notes that "the mere compilation and distribution of
rules and regulations, along with written compliance procedures, is not sufficient if no one regularly checks on the actual operations of the system."
A person with compliance responsibilities does not take steps to alter the system of compliance when there are indications the system is not working.
OSU's extremely high rate of secondary violations does not help them: "if there are a number of violations, even if they all are minor, indicating that the compliance system is not operating effectively, the person(s) responsible cannot ignore the situation, but must take steps to correct the compliance system." They constitute a warning that should have been, but was not heeded. They were an indication increased vigilance was needed.
A director of athletics or any other individual with compliance responsibilities fails to investigate or direct an investigation of a possible significant violation of NCAA rules or fails to report a violation properly.
Even if Tressel does not count here—and I'm pretty sure he doesn't since the next bullet is the one about head coaches—a pattern of evidence OSU players were getting deals on cars was either uninvestigated or rubber-stamped by the department; similarly, Ohio State's 11-day investigation into the tattoo business was insultingly brief and turned up no extra players whatsoever, something that has been brought into question by multiple media reports. Those media reports may involve dubious dudes name Ellis but they also involve former players like Robert Rose, who admitted his own NCAA violations, and Ray Small.
In light of the other issues it seems clear the goal of OSU's tatgate investigation was to offer the appearance of compliance instead of the actual thing. An actually diligent compliance department would have turned up more issues than those specifically told them by the Feds.
In conclusion, the guy whose job it is to ask the dealers responded to a media inquiry about the dealers by saying "you'll have to ask the dealers." When—and it is when*—the NCAA determines an unusual, easily detectable pattern of behavior was permitted to happen for years after Maurice Clarett's burglary report should have put the athletic department on alert, the LOIC charge will be inevitable.
Not very bonus for OSU fans: they are up for repeat violator status because of Boban Savovic, and unlike in previous cases where schools were technically up for extra penalties under that statute, here the nature of the violations is extremely similar.
*[This is the part at which Jason objects to most, I think:
MGoBlog, unsurprisingly, is more certain of that happening than you might be
I am inclined to believe there is not a reasonable explanation for the loaner cars, it's true. If you look at the situation at OSU—a dealership littered with memorabilia that sold some 50 Buckeyes cars and has seen nine different players ticketed in cars featuring dealer plates, including one Terrelle Pryor getting three separate tickets when any normal human would have been blacklisted after the first—and think the NCAA can possibly find no extra benefits, well… we are on different planets and talking to each other is pointless.]
Saying OSU self-reported its violations when they did nothing about the tattoos until they were notified by federal investigators is stretching things a bit. They literally took no action until someone else had done all the work for them. OSU's internal compliance measures failed to pick up any hint of wrongdoing. Meanwhile, it was OSU's legal department that originally caught the Cicero emails—not compliance.
So while OSU may have reported its violations to the NCAA, they only did so after a federal investigation and the legal department's intervention; in the aftermath they gave themselves a hilariously weak punishment.
Fate Of Head Coach
The only difference between the fates of Pete Carroll and Jim Tressel was Carroll's foresight in his constant flirtations with the NFL. The NCAA will not give Ohio State credit for doing something they were going to have to do anyway once they put a show-cause on him.
Level Of Cooperation
USC did the same song and dance with the NCAA. Todd Dickey:
Since the allegations surfaced, USC has been working closely with the NCAA and the Pac-10 in an attempt to get to the truth.
Working in conjunction with the NCAA and the Pac-10 — we have already interviewed approximately 50 people and spent many hundreds of hours investigating these allegations. We have no idea how long this investigation will continue — and no one is more anxious to bring this process to a conclusion than we are — but we remain committed to getting to the truth.
USC has participated in every interview — except those few from which we were excluded. Our exclusion from these interviews mainly stemmed from demands from those making allegations against our student-athletes, insisting that no one from USC be present.
We have cooperated and worked together with the NCAA and Pac-10 every step of the way during this process and we intend to continue to do so.
Once you are in the hole, you can stop digging. Ohio State has stopped digging, but they are still in the hole. Way down in the hole. Not cooperating is asking to get SMU'ed; what Ohio State is doing now is the same thing USC did, the same thing any school does once in the crosshairs. It is not likely to see penalties reduced.
If we're counting Mike Garrett's ham-handed press conference, the "fumbled" presser on March 8th counts as well, as does Ohio State's excessively weak response to a serious every-coach-gets-fired 10.1 finding: a two game suspension.
Tressel later "resigned," something Gordon Gee insists was Tressel's own doing and not the university stepping forward to terminate the coach's contract. If he's smart—he's not—he will change that tune immediately, adopting a hang-dog Day of Great Shame rhetoric, and regretfully assert while Tressel was an excellent coach and leader of men he violated the principles the university lives by and had to be terminated.
And Then We Burn, But Not Together
Yeah, you guys are screwed.
Tressel in fact knew, way before the Feds contacted the school and they self reported. So in essence they did not self report when the school (Tressel) orginally knew.
The school had a head coach of the key sport not report several possible violations to compliance (or at least legal if he was so concerned about confidentiality) when it specifically says he is required to do so in his contract. It says that because the school relies on the coach as a key point of institutional control. So would this not be the key basis for lack of instituional control.
I expect that in many cases he instigated rulebreaking. I'm just pointing out that his excuse doesn't help, and in many ways is worse than pleading guilty. Pleading ignorance might absolve him of a minor offense maybe, but one of the cardinal sins in the eyes of the NCAA is being ignorant of wrongdoing. They pretty much say "you had better know or else." The hilarious new ignorance excuse from Fickell will actually work for one day, but from now on he had better know absolutely everything and be the one blowing the whistle or the Repeat Violater rule may actually have a chance of getting used again.
Good arguments. I would be very surprised if the NCAA doesn't come down hard...
Brian... Do you not count adding an assistant coach who's been with the program for 10+ years, and "knew of nothing going on" as taunting? Personally if I was the NCAA I would think this is very similar if not worse as USC's hiring of Lane Kiffin.
It's unrealistic to think they could find and hire a new coach outside of OSU before the football season and before they NCAA comes down with its findings. Fickell is deemed the interim coach for a reason.
In fairness, Fickell is an interim coach, not a hire.
Lloyd Carr *cough*
At this point Fickell is an interim coach and may not last out the year. Jim Hilles was interim coach at Wisconsin in 1986 after Dave McClain died in April of that year. The Badgers were 3-9 and Hilles was never a head coach again. Yes, Fickell could end up like Carr, but he could also end up like Hilles.
*cough* I'm actually sick *cough*
With the current state of things, I think we are getting very close to being able to remove phrases such as "potential," "may have," and "allegedly" from the findings/allegations section on the OSU side. The evidence that has accumulated is pretty damning.
is that tsio's Board of Trustees have scheduled a meeting for next week. I would think that this is initially going to involve discussions about A.D. Gene Smith. I do NOT see him surviving the summer. I would also suspect that President (hope tressel doesn't fire me & I think Auburn cheats) Gee is on the short list.
The Board of Trustees have the opportunity to show that the institution will not tolerate this behavior and very well may remove the AD & the president. A symbolic gesture to the NCAA "gods" ?
Go Blue !
Great post, Brian. Pretty much summed up by your last sentence, so thanks for that haha.
It was worth the read for the last sentence alone.
The last line sums it up perfectly.
this is one of those posts that makes this site so great.
I think some of the arguments put forth there are well reasoned and honest, but naturally I fall on this side of the line when all is said and done. I cannot see a rational NCAA* levying punishments weaker than USC.
*oblig. disclaimer goes here
....The smell, you know that gasoline smell... Smells like ... victory"
On an NCAA fire...
Wolverines nipping at your recruits...
Delusional fans supporting Tressel and coolers full of poop...
Proper Fisking 101
It seems Ohio may have to update that table.
NCAA investigators are coming to South Florida this week to look into the recruiting of several high-school football stars and the methods of several colleges in doing so, according to a source.
It just makes me giddy...
Among the schools whose recruits are in question: Ohio State, Louisiana State, Auburn and Tennessee.
Thank you OSU for making the off-season so much fun and lumping yourselves with the ESSS EEEE SEEE.
This is death by repeated, prolonged orgasm!
I don't think I can take much more.
While obviously all the signs point towards OSU getting the hammer, my only fear is that despite all the evidence to the contrary, the NCAA will treat OSU lightly solely because of their position as a powerhouse/money machine.
Case-in-point: In December, it was clear that the five players should not have been eligible for the Sugar Bowl, yet due to the money involved, they were allowed to play.
Now: With the Big Ten adding another powerhouse team, OSU may just get a slap on the wrist so that there are four true "power" teams, as opposed to a weakened OSU program for the next few years.
This is not based on any of the facts, just based on the NCAA clearly wanting money rather than justice (Cam Newton, Tat5, etc.).
Either that or I've just learned to expect the worst of any situation since I came to Ann Arbor with the team ranked 4th in the country and.. experienced the '07 season and everything since.
In December there wasnt any evidence saying that JT knew about it for months.
The NCAA had no clue at that time how far deep this went.
even with the preponderance of evidence, I know theres going to be some sort of back door loophole, finding, or declaration or some other bogus messed up sack of pig slop that is going to end up with the NCAA lightly patting tsio on the hiney and saying "ok just dont do it again"
Perhaps that is just me though. I think a 2 year bowl ban and 10 schollies a year for 3 years seems like "getting off easy". If they aren't hamstrung in some real way, then it is further proof the NCAA is a traveshamockery
I don't think a 2 year bowl ban and 10 schollies per year for 3 years is getting off all that easy. Midwest recruits have a lot of good options, and if OSU becomes a pretty good Big Ten team instead of the dominant one it has been, things will be very different for the better part of a decade. They'll be playing with much less talent and depth than they have, all while teams like M, PSU, Wisco and others are building very good Big Ten squads. When the Outback Bowl becomes the norm for OSU for a few years, the recruits won't be lining up to commit.
but like Sundance said to Butch when they were running from Joe LaFours, "I hate these guys"
because if OSU couldn't go to a bowl game for the 2011 and 2012 season, that means that kids in the recruiting pipeline now, who are entering their senior year or h.s.) could still redshirt and play in 4 bowl games for osu.
So a 2 year only bowl ban doesn't do deter recruits from going to osu. SO, it must be a 3 year ban.
From that standpoint you're correct, but two things:
With the USC sanctions, they let any player transfer who was a junior or senior because of the bowl ban. That might not be a huge deal, but if a few depth guys take off, that hurts OSU.
Also, bowls are big for exposure for recruits. Just because a recruit isn't affected by the bowl ban in terms of playing, it doesn't mean that their recruitment isn't swayed by seeing all their top choices except OSU in a bowl. Also - extra bowl practices - OSU won't have em.
This goes to one of my concerns. The first concern, obviously, is that the NCAA pulls its usual stunt, gives Ohio a stern frown and a plea to never ever do it (whatever) again, and walks off.
The second concern is that they do hand out an actual punishment, but it's not enough to alter the cost-benefit analysis for any program that actually conducts such an analysis, which would be any program that's willing to consider cheating if it can get away with it for long enough to make it worthwhile. (You can stop reading now, the rest of my rambling just expands on this point.)
Every team in the B10 goes through periods where they're "pretty good." For NW or Minnesota these are their peak years (or weeks), obviously, for Ohio that's a lull between long streaks of being a good, even a worthy rival. So. If its punishment, even for the better part of a decade, is to only be pretty good, so what? Take a hypothetical (not really):
B10 team has a decade in which they cheat, wholesale, and...win a national championship, win nearly every B10 championship in sight, beat their conference rival down into whimpering wrecks of wolverines looking around in dazed pain wondering wtf is going on, and rake in every big-name pre-felon recruit they want--and a lot of good guys too, probably.
They do this, gain fame and noteriety as a national powerhouse and are at the top of every football poll during football season for years, impressing the heck out of kids in grade school.
Then, shhh, off-season, everything comes out and the NCAA says tsk and they lose some bowl games and can't offer quite as many free rides for a while. Becomes old news, doesn't get talked about much after the first year except on certain exceptional blogs.
The next four years of high school superstars and pre-felons say meh, not so much to recruiting trips and offers, the team struggles through a few seasons of not winning the conference championship and--maybe, maybe--even have a losing season. One.
They come out of the bowl ban, hire a big name coach to a lot of fanfare, high-schoolers with the attention span of a gnat (thus not Michigan candidates) who remember loving that school when they were in grade school say hey, sign me up.
Lather, rinse, repeat.
No matter how I play this out in my head, I don't see a school that's willing to cheat in the first place deciding a decade of blazing glory isn't worth a few years of relatively quiet ignominy (yeah, oxymoron, but you know what I mean). Perceived benefits still outweigh the costs for a program that's willing to undertake the analysis. Please tell me I'm wrong, and remind me again when the NCAA wimps out.
This is where the vacated games come in. When you have to forever explain that a certain number of games "never happened," it causes institutions a lot of embarassment., and generally prods them to clean up the program's act
I'm nervous about that too, but consider the fact that in December, the NCAA had no idea that Tressel had known about, and actively covered up, the whole thing. Kids got some cheap tats, but I don't think that's something the NCAA is going to go crazy over. They probably figured 5 games next season was a reasonable punishment and went on their merry way.
Now that the cat is out of the bag, I can't imagine them witholding the hammer.
but my fear is that money is going to be the ultimate hammer
doesn't that Sugar Bowl incident work against OSU here? If I were the NCAA officials that approved the agreement to permit players to participate in the bowl game, I might be a bit unhappy that Tressel flat out lied to us while negotiating the deal - makes the NCAA look very bad in hindsight - hell hath no fury like a bureaucrat scorned.
I think this incident - Tressel, Smith and Delaney making a play for the OSU players to participate in the Sugar Bowl - will ensure a year or two longer on the bowl ban.
If I was an NCAA official who had taken OSU at their word and then had to deal with the backlash over that decision in December and January, I would be doing everything in my power to ensure it.
But how is OSU any more a powerhouse cash cow than USC was, who along with Florida was the program of the last decade? And they got sanctioned. I don't think OSU rates over them.
That's why at the end I pointed out it could just be my ever-growing cynicism from the four terrible years (sports-wise) I spent at Mich.. If something can go wrong, I fully expect it to.
OSU might be every bit the cash cow that USC is, but they're at best the third biggest cash cow in the Midwest. Knocking OSU down a peg would allow the top two cash cows in the region (UM and ND) to get back on top (not to mention cash calves like PSU and Wisconsin), which would be a net gain for the NCAA, if we're looking at it from a financial perspective. If the NCAA could replace OSU with M or ND (or both) I'm sure they'd be just fine with that.
From the NCAA's perspective, OSU is a much bigger cash cow. The NCAA makes exactly zero dollars off of football. It's biggest chunk of revenue comes from the basketball tournament, and we know who's been better at that over the last 15+ years.
OK, but we're really not talking about basketball at all as far as I know, so then the cash cow argument is moot.
What I'm saying is that the NCAA isn't going to replace OSU with Michigan, because they don't get any money from either.
that and a few other violations too. LOIC looks like a guarantee no matter how you measure the infractions, but the Sugar Bowl is odd because they already ruled the players eligible. I think that if they rule the entire season vacated then they flip the Sugar Bowl ruling too, especially because Pryor and others broke a thousand other rules which didn't weigh into the original Bowl ruling.
I'm still wondering about all the other current players who were named for receiving the same benefits and how that will play into this season. If they finish investigating and rule before November then the buckeyes lose starting and backup DE's and LB's, or almost their entire pass rush. It doesn't seem like an issue of proving if it happened, it just seems like an issue of when the ruling happens. Will the buckeyes continue to play those kids and have all of this upcoming season possibly vacated after the fact as well? All signs of arrogance and deflection point to yes unless the NCAA ruling preceeds the season and doesn't give them a choice as to who they play and who they bench.
it will feel (to us, anyway) like they got off lightly......
It might be starting to set in for Buckeye Nation.
There seems to be many that are still trying to rationalize it into being smaller than USC.
What will it take for those bucknuts to come to the realization that OSU is not going to get any brownie points for "self-reporting". Self-reporting would have happened if Tressel reported in April 2010, not Dec 2010.
Kind of living in the Worst State Ever, but awesome anyway. Thank you.