September 1st, 2011 at 5:23 PM ^

So player receives impermissible benefits and misses a game the team will win anyway? Something is wrong with this picture. Wish they would start missing games against the highest ranked opponent on their schedule instead.


September 1st, 2011 at 5:28 PM ^

How would they get benefits at a charity event.  Is this getting lunch, a car ride, or a stack of cash?

"Benefits" isn't very discriminating  


September 1st, 2011 at 5:32 PM ^

I agree completely, but you'd think that these kids would know not to accept anything.  Is the temptation so great that they forget that no good can come from accepting even a free lunch?  In this day and age, where kids are more plugged in than ever, they should know better (especially the upperclassmen).



September 1st, 2011 at 5:34 PM ^

Can't really fault OSU for anything here. They suspended the players. Who cares if it's only against Akron? It's their first game and the reported amount was less than $300.

OSU finds itself in a funny place these days. They seem to want to regain their identity of midwestern values and Big Ten (relative) ethics while winning, yet they are also dealing with a base that has the same rabid enthusiasm and sleaze factor of prominent southern programs.



Wolverine 73

September 1st, 2011 at 5:31 PM ^

Does everyone on that team have his hand out?  This stuff is just astonishing--not the magnitude of the benefits, but the sort of casual way so many players seem to treat a couple hundred here or there.


September 1st, 2011 at 5:35 PM ^

which is what's so hilarious about OSU's IT'S TRESSEL'S FAULT HE DID IT HE DID IT stance.  where's compliance insisting on a different environment?  where's the AD having any idea at all what's going on with his flagship sport?  


sigh.  whatever.  like we should have expected differently.


September 1st, 2011 at 5:41 PM ^

WTF is their compliance department supposed to do? They found out about this and suspended them.

Is anything short of an inventive tether system that sends alerts when any their players are within 50 yards of some greenbacks not enough for you? Seriously, what would you suggest?



September 1st, 2011 at 5:51 PM ^

I think of it as being a parent.  If my kid is doing drugs, the parent can't say "well what am I supposed to do, follow him around everywhere and make sure he doesn't do drugs?" and think that's a reasonable excuse.  It's the parent's job to let his kids know why it's bad to do drugs, and for the kids to know that they will get caught, what the punishment is, and that the punishment is too much not to risk it. 

In these instances, the parents (compliance) either don't do a good job of educating these kids on what the rules are, haven't made it clear that they will get caught, and haven't shown that the punishment will be enough to deter the crime.  This is clear since it happens so repeatedly - these are isolated incidents anymore.


September 1st, 2011 at 6:14 PM ^

Sorry, I don't think that analogy flies at all. Taking pocket money is not anywhere CLOSE to doing drugs and the fake gasping I see from people in these situations is beyond tiresome. No one is ever going to successfully convince every player they ever get that taking pocket money is wrong in their situation because some old white men in Indianapolis long ago declared that it is wrong. Money is a powerful thing. This is human nature.

Secondly, they aren't little kids, they are young adults. They are past the age of being highly moldable and even if they were, some tool in a bow tie does not command the respect of a parent.

How is suspending them now not deterring the crime (and I use that word very loosely)? How do you know what is and what is not said to them behind closed doors? I have a very hard time envisioning scenes at places that supposedly offer superior education on NCAA rule-breaking that poor college kids consistently say "No sir, I can't and I won't take that." 

I maintain that the heart of the issue is that Buckeye football is way, way, WAY too important to the lifeblood and happiness of Ohio. That state has all the zeal for it that Alabama does, but with a greater and generally less poor population that focuses on one major program instead of two. If that's not the perfect recipe for a booster problem, I don't know what is. Even if they show an improved commitment to staying on the straight-and-narrow, it will not be easy for them to control.






September 1st, 2011 at 6:15 PM ^

So pick a different mistake - not telling the truth or skipping class or something.  Point is, not every school does this.  It's not like fans of Michigan or PSU or ND or dozens of others don't have plenty of passionate fans but don't have such rampant problems. 

I do expect poor college kids to say "No sir, I can't and I won't take that because I worked hard to be here and my teammates and fans are relying on me."  If the punishment to them and their teammates was enough, they'd say no.  But it's not, so they don't.  Bottom line. 

Maybe Brady Hoke tells a kid that if he gets caught taking money his entire side of the ball will be up at 5am all offseason rolling plates across the practice field.  That way he has accountability to his teammates to do the right thing.  Clearly OSU isn't doing a good enough job in that regard.


September 1st, 2011 at 6:24 PM ^

I think we can all agree that Jim Tressel cared about the rules less than your average bear. There's a lot to back that up.

But my initial response was to a poster saying "A-ha! See, it was more than Tressel" and I simply pointed out that there was really nothing more OSU compliance could do in this situation.

Until I see otherwise from them, I won't automatically lump their past in with their present. I already laid out why I think OSU institutionally has more of a problem with this than normal, but it has nothing to do with who works in their compliance department. 




September 1st, 2011 at 6:29 PM ^

Yeah, but I still don't agree.  At USC, there were institutional problems, similar to OSU.  They ousted their Athletic Director, gutted their athletic department and rewrote how they ran things, and by all accounts it's pretty clean under Pat Haden who really knows his shit, it seems like. 

OSU, OTOH, used their coach as a scapegoat and seems content running business as usual in every other regard.  Saying "A-ha it's not just Tressel" is 100% correct, since these things go higher than just the HC.  The HC is a big part of it, but if you have a department and compliance team that won't put up with breaking the rules, a rogue coach won't get very far.  But in addition to a rogue HC, OSU had a completely corrupt system that they haven't attempted to change. 


September 1st, 2011 at 6:36 PM ^

I think compliance difficulty is a function of

  • passion of the fan base
  • population of the college town
  • other sports distractions in the area

So the worst case is a large town, with a passionate fan base, with no other sports to care about.  That's Columbus to a tee.  

The population isn't as high, but I suspect it makes things difficult in the SEC, as well as places like Nebraska, Oklahoma and Oregon.

ND and PSU are in small, isolated towns (though I suspect much of this stuff happens there, just less because there are fewer wackos around).

Michigan has enough other distractions (MSU, decent Detroit pro teams) and is in a smaller town.


September 1st, 2011 at 6:42 PM ^

I don't think population of the college town plays much of a role at all.  This happened at a charity event.  It's not like these guys are randomly running into them in the suburbs.  All of the boosters who would be at a chariy event in Columbus would be at one in South Bend or State College or Ann Arbor. 


September 1st, 2011 at 6:58 PM ^

I think compliance difficulty is largely a function of past compliance attentiveness. If it gets into people's heads that they can get away with this stuff, they will. If a booster knows that the slightest slip can cost him his season ticket and access to the program, he's less likely to run the risk.

This time they seem to have done the right thing. If they do it again, consistently, the next couple of dozen times, and if they go back to trying to uncover violations instead of trying to find ways not to notice them, they might be able to get the ship turned around.


September 1st, 2011 at 11:02 PM ^

OSU gets serious and scraps their entire compliance department. They fire equipment managers that look the other way. They sack quality control staff.  They hold coaches and assistants accountable. They ban boosters that may foster an environment of non-compliance from sporting events. They hammer players with real suspensions.

As of right now, they are an institution that has a "nothing to see here" attitude. There is a huge difference between reporting secondary violations that will get your program nil and actively covering up anything that could throw your program under a bus.

A compliance department is supposed to do their job and be proactive, not just be reactive. Oh, and it would help if the rabid portion of their fanbase would get a clue and stop dismissing their systemic problem as "you just hate us because we win."


September 2nd, 2011 at 1:45 AM ^

This proposal is not unreasonable in the light of these recent suspensions.  Chalk up a major FAIL for OSU Compliance Dept. on this one.  Surely the rest of the team can avoid any more suspensions by Saturday?  Embarassing.


September 1st, 2011 at 5:36 PM ^

Is it really astonishing? It's a few hundred dollars. If you were ever a poor college kid, especially one who worked his ass off, that wouldn't seem too bad to you.

They have a culture of boosterism there that isn't going to change overnight and they are going to self-report like mad at this time with the NCAA watchdogs on them. Nothing is shocking at all about this.


September 1st, 2011 at 5:58 PM ^

I agree with your second paragraph, disagree with your first. It will take a long time to clean up, but some people have what's called "character," and that prevents them from having their hand out, no matter how hard they've worked.


September 1st, 2011 at 6:57 PM ^

what hint did i give that it was astonishing to me?  read the last sentence.  the point was that none of this is especially surprising given what we know and that it's amusing that OSU is being allowed to argue their way out in this particular way.


September 1st, 2011 at 5:43 PM ^

How long would it take to arrive at the conclusion that perquisites are beyond rampant, they are the expected norm? Clearly, this has to be the fault of the students, how could the university, the coaches and the support staff have any responsibility for their behavior. There must be a very large sand trap near the NCAA HQ for them to hide their heads.


September 2nd, 2011 at 2:02 AM ^

has not lost to an Ohio school in football since the 1920s, except for the "Graveyard of Coaches" claiming yet another career in disgrace, that of once-heralded football coach Jim Tressel.  Regardless, I doubt the Zombie Horde will falter against Akron.  Toledo might have an outside chance, but they'll still lose by two scores.  

I guess it's time to BlueDragon my Daring Predictions for OSU Week 1 and 2.


September 1st, 2011 at 5:50 PM ^

Does the Compliance Department at OSU exist only because it needs to nominally exist or is there actual monitoring involved? Lack of Institutional Control? No such control seems to exist in Columbus. 


September 1st, 2011 at 8:58 PM ^

Hence the problem.  There is no real deterence.  They will sit out a meaningless game and get plugged back in when it really matters.  They seem to know that.

If the coach/complaince said clearly: "DON'T F'ING TAKE STUFF.  If you do you will sit out the Michigan game, the Wisconsin game, the Nebraska game at minimun." . . . they wouldn't take stuff.  


September 1st, 2011 at 9:39 PM ^

I wouldn't say there's no deterrence--players want to play, regardless of the game.

I don't feel like I can evaluate the punishment without knowing the crime. If they went home with the same crappy $5 t-shirt everybody else at the event got or if they accepted somebody's offer of a ride home, this is probably enough. If they took something of value as a condition of appearing, this isn't nearly enough.


September 1st, 2011 at 6:00 PM ^

Game suspensions should work in reverse.  If you take benefits you miss games starting at the end of the season, with bowl games and moving back from there.  I guarantee that would have a deterrent effect. Coaches would be all over their players.


September 1st, 2011 at 7:12 PM ^

I think it's more important to be a big game if it's a star QB or RB.  It's a team game, and you're responsible for your teammates.  If a player knows he could be ruining the season for his teammates who are likely his closest friends, he's much less likely to break a rule.  Also, knowing this, his teammates who are likely to be around him or know about him breaking rules will be there to tell him what he's doing is stupid. 

In high school, our coaches knew we all hung out together, and they'd tell us that if we were at a party and we saw our teammates doing something stupid that we should look out for them because it could affect the team.