OT: NCAA Prez Signals Bigger Penalties for Rulebreakers

Submitted by BlueNote on May 11th, 2011 at 12:11 AM

Mark Emmert wants to start hitting NCAA rule-breakers hard.

The governing body's president said Tuesday he wants schools that violate the rules to pay a stiff penalty -- one that's punitive enough to make coaches and others think twice about cheating.

"We need to make sure our penalty structure and enforcement process imposes a thoughtful level of concern, and that the cost of violating the rules costs more than not violating them," Emmert said.

He also said that he is committing more resources to investigations.

Given the timing of this announcement, and the fact that OSU is the main school in the NCAA's crosshairs right now, this could be a signal for a monster hammer coming down in Ohio.

Link to ESPN article


Marley Nowell

May 11th, 2011 at 12:16 AM ^

I'll believe it when I see it.  NCAA is littered with OSU supporters and the school is a cash cow.  A show cause penalty gets rid of Saint Tressel but a real punishment would be scholarship reductions and postseason bans.


May 11th, 2011 at 12:45 AM ^

However, the new car scandal is not isolated to Tressel like the previous allegations.  The car salesmen claim that they cleared all car sales with the Athletic Department, which the Assistant AD denies. 

Trying to cut through the carefully worded public statements, it seems like what might have happened is that the car people were sending information to the compliance staff, but the compliance staff claims they didn't always review the information.

Sounds like a lack of institutional control to me.  That's bigger than Tressel. 

As for the critique that these are just words and not actions from the NCAA (who doesn't want to damage their OSU cash cow), that  could very well be true.  On the other hand, it could also be a way of signaling to the OSU supporters in the NCAA administration that they need to be prepared for some pain.  After all, once college sports slip too close to professionalism, people will cease to be interested in college sports. That's bad for the NCAA as a whole.  Perhaps it'stime to sacrifice some Buckeyes for the greater good.

Also, the Department of Justice has shown a willingness to wade into college football recently.  I would not downplay the effectiveness of fear (of the DOJ or other government bodies) in motivating institutional action.


May 11th, 2011 at 1:00 AM ^

I don't really get the "cash cow" argument. The college football landscape is littered with cash cow programs. The fact that OSU generates a lot of money doesn't make it any different USC or Michigan or any other football program that has had sanctions levied against it.

[NOTE: I am in no way comparing USC's violations to Michigan's. Simply putting them in the same group as big-time, money-generating programs that have run afoul of the NCAA recently.]


May 11th, 2011 at 1:19 AM ^

When you think about it, the NCAA doesn't directly benefit from any of these programs to any great extent. They get no money out of football, and while they control basketball OSU has a marginal (if any) benefit compared to another B1G team going into the tournament. Not to mention that the NCAA is locked into a contract that, to my knowledge, doesn't reward a good tournament any more than a bad one.

The cash cow argument would work a lot better if people were talking about conferences, who actually benefit from having a big time program.


May 11th, 2011 at 9:03 AM ^

Additionally, if Ohio State disappears into the void because they get sanctioned, then another program would likely benefit from moving up in the rankings, getting into bigger bowl games, etc.  There are 120 programs out there, and most programs from BCS conferences are looking to get bigger and better.

If Ohio State was consistently in a BCS bowl game, then it will be Michigan or Penn State or Wisconsin or Nebraska.  There will be no shortage of teams vying to take Ohio State's place near the top of the college football world.


May 11th, 2011 at 12:16 AM ^

Look's like OSU's "compliance" strategy of self reporting ~500 secondary violations for no punishment has come to an end.  I, for one, am going to be glad to see this loophole closed.


May 11th, 2011 at 12:18 AM ^

This night could literally not get better. WIngs come back and win, Shane Morris commits, and the NCAA president basically said that he wants to crush OSU. Wheeeee!


May 11th, 2011 at 12:23 AM ^

The writing is on the wall here. You notice how even the president of OSU hasn't made any dramatic statement of support for Tressel recently? They know everything they say in his support can be used to impeach them. They're hanging on by prayer, hoping they won't have to fire him. It is all but done.


May 11th, 2011 at 12:26 AM ^

Meh. I'm not so sure. I know it doesn't mean a great deal for our program most years, but the NCAA is a scam. Some rules are fair. Others get to be ridiculous. You're telling me current athletes can't let prospects sleep on the floor of their room? They've overstepped bounds on too many occasions.

Tressel is a lying bag of cheat, but what he did was not without cause and the NCAA is a major contributor to that cause. They allow exploitation of student athletes, but they don't allow fair compensation. (See: The "Fab Five" shoe.) Not that I'm for pay-to-play; I'm very much opposed to it, but I'm even more opposed to exploitation of students.


May 11th, 2011 at 1:11 AM ^

Whoa, buddy, whoa there. I don't know if I agree that "what he did was not without cause." It's debatable how fair of a rule the original five players violated (for instance, as a comparison without the OSU burden, I thought A.J. Green's suspension was pretty bogus). But I seriously don't think what Tressel did was some kind of stand against the exploitation of student athletes.

He lied to OSU, the media (and, in turn, the public which includes his own fans), and the NCAA repeatedly in an effort to keep star ineligible players on the field and cover his own ass. You may disagree with some of the NCAA's rules, but they are rules that the entire league agrees to abide by (in theory), and Tressel has shown that he is someone who is willing to not abide by the same rules than govern everyone else. (Also see his long track record of these exact same problems creeping up with a lot of his star players over the years.)

[Side note: I agree, those BSU infractions are stupid.]

Zone Left

May 11th, 2011 at 1:22 AM ^

The Boise violations (at least the football ones, the others are pretty bad) are really a product of a poorly thought out rule book. The NCAA tries to constantly play catchup by banning behaviors the Presidents don't like instead of figuring out what the Presidents do like and only allowing those activities.

For example, coaches can't call at certain times, but there wasn't a rule covering Skype, so coaches started to Skype. An easier method would be to only allow telephone calls during certain periods, for example, and make any other contact a violation. it makes things easy to understand and prevents stupid violations like $2 meals (Taco Bell, right?).


May 11th, 2011 at 12:24 PM ^

I don't think you're wrong. I think Tressel did what he did for several reasons. One of them was to keep his players on the field. But I think that his honest thought was that whatever the players were doing, they didn't deserve to be kicked off the team. I mean, when you consider the Fab 5, doesn't what they did seem a little more justified in light of how they were treated? There's a reason this is a recurring problem, and I don't think Tressel will be the first nor last to cover it up.

I think Tressel's worst offense is not coming forward when it came out. At the least, he should've had the integrity to do that. But the initial cover up seems very human to me, in the way that he thought the rule was unfair to his players and wanted a) to protect them, b) to keep them on the field, and c) to avoid what he thought might be unfair punishment from the NCAA. Does that mean he doesn't have to follow the rules? No. Does it culminate as the result of the NCAA having somewhat unfair standards? I would say so. I mean, when I consider all the people who say, "Come on, that's really their own property," I wonder why it matters as much as it does. If it doesn't mean a lot to them now, it won't in x number of years when they go pro, either, and they'll sell it then, for even more than they'd get if they sold it in college. The NCAA can't stop that. A D-I athlete who is a key player on a team is a star from the moment they take the field until the moment they get drafted, and onward.


May 11th, 2011 at 12:26 AM ^

longer head of, or associated in any way with the basketball tournament selection committee.  Total conflict of interest.

Hell, the compilation of violations at Ohio should be enough to get Tressel banned from D1 football for at least 5 years, and get Smith and Gee canned for their utter lack of regard and respect for the rules.

WTF, send the whole university, and I use that term lightly, to Bolivia.  Auburn can ride along as the faithful sidekick.


May 11th, 2011 at 12:37 AM ^

I would love to see the NCAA make an example out of TSIO.  It could very well happen.  Emmert is almost backing the NCAA into a corner with statments like these.  They will look like hypocrites, idiots, or both if they go "business as usual" on TSIO this time.  Maybe they will look into how the TSIO basketball program is gettting all of these short-term players on their way to the NBA to stop in Columbus for a year or two, too.


May 11th, 2011 at 4:29 AM ^

Not to get too defensive over OSU here (I'd like to see the hammer come down as much as anyone), but it's not like their basketball team is getting 5 stars from outside of the midwest. Outside of Deshaun Thomas, all the major parts of their team last year are from Ohio. And even at that, Thomas is from Indiana.

Turner was from Illinois, Oden and Conley were from Indiana, and Koufos was from Ohio. They weren't grabbing 5 stars from the prep schools in New York, Virginia, North Carolina, etc. While that's not saying there's no way anything shady was going on, it's also not nearly the wildly obvious cheating everyone wants to think.

Indiana Blue

May 11th, 2011 at 9:28 AM ^

However plese note the use of "that school in Ohio" should not be capitalized as it is unnecessary ... only the O is a relection of a proper name, which could require capitalization.  But since the other 3 letters of the acronym are not part of a proper name, I believe the 75% of the acronym takes priority, therefore resulting in tsio (all lowercase).

Plus making tsio smaller simply fits my perception of them.

Go Blue !


May 11th, 2011 at 11:59 AM ^

Congratulations, I am aware of that...(in musical performance?) My point is, if the ohio state is not prestigious enough to capitalize the acronym, don't bother hanging the diploma you earn from there on your wall in the office when you are practicing medicine. I just wouldn't want you to be a hypocrite about it.


May 11th, 2011 at 12:48 AM ^

this is directed primarily at OSU and not primarily, or even just equally, at Auburn or BSU or whoever else? Seems to me violations are out of hand lots of places, and this is a warning shot. I wonder if he's just recognizing aloud that previous violators got off too lightly.


May 11th, 2011 at 1:10 AM ^

Considering this comes on the heels of the OSU situation, I hope this signals huge sanctions against the school. It would make the NCAA look bad if it didn't.

As for the NCAA presidents claims of more "investigation" and "enforcement", we'll just have to wait and see. The NCAA currently spends too much time investigating small infractions (the Boise State situation, for example), and misses out on some of the bigger infractions until later. The presidents statements don't seem to show that this trend will be reversed any time soon. If anything, it will be augmented.


May 11th, 2011 at 3:10 AM ^

The same NCAA that let the Tat5 play in the Sugar Bowl despite knowing about their violations before the game?  The same NCAA that would probably say "my defendant didn't know it was illegal to kill people and therefore deserves a lighter punishment" if it was an attorney for a murder suspect?  [Okay, stretched a bit, whatever...]

No, not THAT NCAA.

Words sound great.  Actions are better.


May 11th, 2011 at 7:57 AM ^

 What you said is actually another reason I think the NCAA will have to hammer the buckeyes.

They Allowed them to play after digging up an old rarely used bylaw that could be bent into OSU's favor.  So the ncaa went to bat for the buckeyes , but got burnt by Tressel also ( considering he knew the players where ineligible 6 months before).

 The whole thing made the NCAA look stupid , well that and the Cam Newton investigation. you add those with the possible Oregon violations and you have got to do something drastic if you are the NCAA.


May 11th, 2011 at 8:38 AM ^

"And we're gonna get started right after we get this little OSU thing out of the way.  Getting tatoos of cars or whatever it was.  Oh dear, those Buckeyes are so silly sometimes ... welp, boys will be boys!"


May 11th, 2011 at 12:28 PM ^

I am hopeful but skeptical. Let's see what they do to tsio in August. If they come down on them hard, I promise at least 1,000 words on how the sherrif is back in town. Nobody will read it but damn it I will do my penance.