Vacating Losses?

Submitted by Yostal on July 9th, 2011 at 7:53 PM

So according to this piece from the Cleveland Plain Dealer

Ohio State mentioned five self-imposed sanctions in its response to the NCAA:

• Vacating the 2010 season, including the Sugar Bowl win. According to Ohio State, this means the entire 12-1 season, making Ohio State 0-0 last year.

• Vacating the 2010 Big Ten title, originally shared with Wisconsin and Michigan State with a 7-1 conference record.

• Suspending several players for games during the 2011 season, as was originally done in December.

• Seeking and getting the resignation of football coach Jim Tressel.

• Two years of probation.

Now, we all know that vacating wins is standard practice in situations regarding eligibilty of players, but vacating losses seems like a new one to me.  What's worse is that it allows Ohio State to not have to claim the loss or the game played in their all-time record.  That seems like having their cake and eating it too.  Has anyone ever heard of a school vacating its losses?  Could schools just start vacating their losses and claim the game never happened for one reason or another?  Could Michigan go in and vacate the 2010 OSU loss on the grounds that Ohio State claims the game never happened?

I know there's a tinge of sarcasm in this, but I am trying to figure out if this has precedent.



July 9th, 2011 at 8:00 PM ^

I cant believe there ignorance. They actually believe they are going to get away with that shit it is ridicolous. I was just on hineygate they were blasting desmond howards tweet comparing there self imposed sanctions to the casey anthony trial. They were pissed but you know i hate to say it they are did this to themselves time to man up and take it. Everybody takes a beating once in a while just looks like they are going to be taking beatings on the regular now. I am not sure if we get a win for that or not.

Waters Demos

July 9th, 2011 at 9:25 PM ^


"With sarcasm," bitches - with a healthy dose of fucking sarcasm.  Because apparently sometimes it's not clear; either I'm a random dumbass OR I'm not willing to take the "risk" that it might be misinterpreted by some other random dumbass. 


July 10th, 2011 at 11:10 AM ^

I just wanted to let you know I am officially boycotting RCMB from now on.  The stupid and the daily sex threads have overwhelmed even my most deep-seated cravings for schadenfreude.

The Only Colors had an interesting statistical take on big plays and what they mean for teams:


July 9th, 2011 at 8:02 PM ^

I say we vacate every game we lose because of ineligable practice time before every loss. If we win, we conduct an internal investigation and nothing ever comes out. Ever.


July 9th, 2011 at 8:13 PM ^

Vacated wins always count as a game unplayed for the school vacating, and a loss for the school that lost.  Jay Bilas had a whole run on Twitter about Kentucky getting in hot water with the NCAA for celebrating Calipari's 500th win which was "not" because of his vacated wins at UMass and Memphis.  So Bilas said "fine, why couldn't they celebrate Calipari having 500 games where the opponent lost.  Under NCAA logic, that's unassalable.


July 9th, 2011 at 8:15 PM ^

I suspect that the Plain Dealer is in error here. I know, it's shocking to think that a professional newspaper could have screwed up.

I think the loss counts, and no other team's records are affected.


July 9th, 2011 at 8:23 PM ^

I think OSU confused matters in their response to the NCAA notice of allegations.

At one point, the document says:

Vacate all victories during the 2010 football season, including the 2011 Allstate Sugar Bowl

At another point it says:

Therefore, the institution vacated all games from the 2010 season, including the 2011 Sugar Bowl.

OSU is probably vacating just the victories, and they simply did a poor job of copyediting their response.

EDIT: There is also an OSU press release that says only wins are being vacated:

Vacating the football program’s wins in the 2010 season, including its Sugar Bowl victory in January 2011


July 9th, 2011 at 8:41 PM ^

I noticed that they had the seasons mixed up in their response to the NCAA as well. They has 2010 season labeled 2011 and vice versa (sp?). Sounds like that great educational institute is having issues putting together anything without making a bunch of mistakes. I hope the NCAA castrates them.

Mr Miggle

July 9th, 2011 at 8:46 PM ^

Are they trying to demonstrate their incompetence? This was a small inconsistency. Their original response to the NCAA had a major one, claiming on the cover page that Tressel would be suspended for several games and spring practice, while later saying it was a two game suspension only. I don't know who's writing and reviewing these things but it makes you wonder whether they're taking it seriously. 


July 9th, 2011 at 8:33 PM ^

Of course they can.  We vacated around 50 losses during the Ed Martin era.  The point is to officially remove any evidence that the ineligible players played.  Imagine if Pryor had set some kind of record during that loss.  If only wins could be vacated, his record would still stand, despite his being ineligible.

It's a one-way thing, though.  As far as Wisconsin is concerned, the game still fully counts for them, just as Duke and UNC fully count their wins over us in the NCAA championships.


July 9th, 2011 at 8:40 PM ^

Are you sure this is the case? Is it possible Michigan considers the losses vacated, but the NCAA doesn't? See page 56 of the NCAA's Division 1 Records for a listing of vacated and forfeited games. Only a few losses are indicated as vacated. For example, the record for Michigan's 1993 season goes from 31-5 to 0-4.



July 9th, 2011 at 8:55 PM ^

It's clear from various articles about this that the NCAA vacates only wins not losses, plus (as you suggest) they also vacate a team's appearance in a postseason tournament or presumably a bowl game in the case of football. So, yes, the only vacated losses the NCAA recognizes are postseason.

And that's what's indicated on the page in the record book I referenced above.

Michigan, on the other hand, at, says the basketball team's record for 1993 is 0-0.

I suppose it's possible OSU will do the same thing, and the university will claim a 0-0 record for 2010, but the NCAA records will show a record of 0-1.


July 9th, 2011 at 9:03 PM ^

Makes sense I suppose. The Universities claim 0-0 so that the players have no ties to the University whatsoever. They just wipe them off the record. Whereas the NCAA honors the wins of other teams, bcus they won even on an unlevel playing field; and like I said, you can't have a win versus nobody. Also they cant make then 0-13 or whatever because theres no way to tell who would have won a game that only eligible players played in. It would be unfair to teams that didn't play Ohio State if teams that did play them got a W just for having them on the schedule. For example, it would give UM a free win, which would improve their overall win% lead all-time and improve the gap between ND.


July 9th, 2011 at 8:58 PM ^

That's weird.  I'd never seen that before.  I assumed we and the NCAA were on the same page. 

The 1993 one makes sense, I suppose, but I don't understand the logic of vacating only the Cincinnati win in 1992.  How did we advance to lose to Duke in the final if the previous game didn't happen?  Also a little odd that we gained a forfeit win in 1996 despite vacating all the others.




July 9th, 2011 at 9:12 PM ^

Regarding 1992: When a team's victory is vacated, doesn't that just mean that the win doesn't count in the record books or can't be recognized in the record books? I don't think it's meant to convey that the game never happened.

The 1996 forfeit must be from Purdue, which forfeited all its regular season games that year. Perhaps a forfeit trumps over a vacation?


July 9th, 2011 at 9:24 PM ^

That could be the case, but it still seems like the NCAA took a different approach to the '92 and '93 tournaments.  I guess their explanation would be that they couldn't pretend that we didn't participate in the '92 Final Four, since we rightfully qualified. 

Looking at some of these other ones, it seems like the NCAA kind of makes up the guidelines as they go.  (Why did Purdue forfeit, while we vacated, games?)


July 9th, 2011 at 8:56 PM ^

I think the key on Michigan vacating the one loss in 1993 is that they vacated their entire participation in the NCAA tournament because they would not have been selected on account of the vacated wins (Michigan, IIRC, also returned their participant's share to the NCAA.)  So that would make it easier to understand that vacated loss.

Strangely, however, it does seem that Ohio State has a history of vacating losses:

Ohio St. ........Jim O’Brien..........1999......... 27-9...........1-1...................V: RS 22-7, Tr 4-1
Ohio St. ........Jim O’Brien..........2000..........23-7.........11-3...................V: RS 11-3, Tr 1-1
Ohio St. ........Jim O’Brien..........2001.........20-11........0-0.....................V: RS 20-10, Tr 0-1
Ohio St. ........Jim O’Brien..........2002..........24-8.........0-0.....................V: RS 23-7, Tr 1-1

In this case, OSU vacated 27 losses during the Jim O'Brien era.  That just seems weird.  New Mexico State, according to my quick glance at that page, is the only other one to vacate non-tournament losses.


July 9th, 2011 at 9:45 PM ^

The OSU basketball case sort of undermines my theory about the NCAA not vacating losses, although that's what a number of news reports say is the case. All I can think of is that the OSU case involved a player who was later found to be ineligible, so perhaps in cases like that any game that player participated in is vacated.

Picktown GoBlue

July 10th, 2011 at 2:13 PM ^

but would not find it surprising that OSU football ends up with both wins and losses vacated in 2010 since they were playing numerous ineligible players in every game, just like the eastern European players on OSU's basketball teams in the O'Brien era who got improper benefits.  Gee, doesn't sound like a repeat offender or anything...

Nice to see the Dispatch today (Rob Oller) arguing that they need to be punished with schollie losses and or monetary penalties, otherwise, what is the deterrant (note, NCAA doesn't even maintain a page on forfeited/vacated football games like they do for basketball)?


July 9th, 2011 at 8:51 PM ^

Are you the same Craig Barker that was on Jeopardy?  If so, I was at Boys' State with you.  I still remember you destroying everyone at quiz bowl.


July 9th, 2011 at 10:14 PM ^

The forfieted win still counted ( the only win the fab 5 got to keep I believe) is because since the game wasn't played, no ineligible players were used so the win stands.


July 9th, 2011 at 10:52 PM ^

You might be right about why the win by forfeit still counted, but I just wanted to point out a few things. If you are referring to the win by forfeit in 1996, that was after the Fab Five era. The sanctions for 1996 and beyond related to Traylor, Taylor, and Bullock.

Also, the 1996 game is one that Michigan lost, and so it was a victory that Purdue had to forfeit. You can't forfeit a loss, can you?

Not every victory of the Fab 5 era was vacated. The sanctions start with the 1992 Final Four because Fisher let Ed Martin use two of the hotel rooms that had been allotted to Michigan. Martin gave one of the rooms to Webber's father, which was deemed an NCAA violation.


July 10th, 2011 at 12:54 PM ^

would not let that Jug go until they pried it out of his cold dead hands.

I also bet Steven Threet would hate to see the Wisconsin game un-won.

This is the unfairf aspect of vacating games. Somewhere in those games were guys who had an individual performance to remember. At the same time the vacated games don't really do anything for the opponent.


July 9th, 2011 at 11:01 PM ^

At this point, OSU is going to be losing quite a few games fair-and-square in the coming years, so I'm not super-worried about whether or not a single loss to Wiscy shows up on their record.


July 10th, 2011 at 9:53 AM ^

Gene Smith was quoted in a Dispatch article saying that OSU wouldn't be giving the money back:

Smith said OSU and the other Big Ten members who share revenue from bowl appearances will not return money from its Sugar Bowl appearance.

"There's no financial penalty associated with the (vacated wins)," he said.

The NCAA can't force OSU to return its Sugar Bowl money because the NCAA isn't in charge of any of the bowl games. The situation is different in basketball. The NCAA runs the tournament, so when a school's appearance in an NCAA tournament is vacated, the NCAA typically requires the school to return any tournament money that went to the school.


July 10th, 2011 at 3:03 PM ^

This was UM's records from 1992, 93, 96, 97, 98, and 99


1992- 25-9 record adjusted record was 24-9

1993- 31-5 record adjusted record was 0-4

1996- 21-11 record adjusted record was 1-10 (win by forfiet)

1997- 24-11 record adjusted record was 0-11

1998- 25-9 record adjusted record was 0-8

1999- 12-19 record adjusted record was 0-19

Boy, this brings back some awful memories...