Ohio State has ‘vacated’ it’s wins from the 2010 football season, including their Big 10 Championship and their Sugar Bowl win, due to NCAA rules violations. The violations centered around quarterback Terrelle Pryor, running back Dan Herron, receiver DeVier Posey, offensive lineman Mike Adams and defensive lineman Solomon Thomas, who were accused of selling athletic awards, memorabilia, clothing and/or equipment to a local tattoo parlor owner in 2009. Coach Jim Tressel is accused of covering for the players.
Ohio State points the finger at Tressel, saying no one else at the school was aware of the violations, and due to that, the school should not be blamed. The school has imposed it’s own punishments, including vacating it’s 2010 wins and two years of self-imposed probation, and says it will increase compliance efforts and staffing.
Gene Smith, the athletic director of Ohio State, contends that this case is different that any other violations that other schools have dealt with. In an interview with USA Today, he said the decision to vacate the wins was “Real painful. Very hard. We tried to benchmark our case against previous cases, which is really difficult to do because our case is a little different. But we felt it was the right thing to do.”
In an announcement, the school said “The responsibility is upon Tressel. No other institutional personnel were aware of the violations, and the former coach failed in his obligation to report them. The institution is embarrassed by the actions of Tressel.”
They also said that Tressle “…has paid a terrible price for his mistake, losing his job at one of the premier programs in the country.”
The school may be throwing the blame on Tressle, but they also say they will not impose a $250,000 fine that was previously assigned to Tressle, and have changed his status from ‘resigned’ to ‘retired’. He had resigned on May 30, as we reported here. He will now be paid $52,250, the amount of his salary and benefits if he had stayed on through June.
The NCAA will have the final say on whether Ohio State has punished itself enough. As SportingNews points out, OSU stopped short of giving itself any scholarship losses or a postseason bans. The NCAA Committee on Infractions meets with school officials on August 12th, and can consider additional penalties if it decides that Ohio State has not done enough.