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See, UT Fans, Ohio State Got A Kick In The Pants After All

A year ago at this time, Tennessee fans were growing weary of watching ESPN’s coverage of their basketball team.  That’s because every broadcast turned into a rehash of the Bruce Pearl situation — his NCAA violations, the timeline of events, UT’s decision to stand by him.

Eventually, the Tennessee administration saw the writing on the wall, ousted Pearl and told the NCAA, “He did it!”

So when the Ohio State/Jim Tressel scandal broke last spring, many Vol fans took to the comment boxes on this site to ask, “Why aren’t ESPN and the NCAA giving OSU as hard a time as they gave our Vols?”

“Why isn’t Tressel out of a job?”

Our answer at the time?  Be patient.

Indeed, the Tressel/Buckeye blow-up was ESPN’s go-to story all offseason.  Like Tennessee, Ohio State eventually nuked Tressel and said, “He did it!”

But that was OSU’s battle with the media.  Today the NCAA got their pound of flesh.

In all NCAA cases, the school getting smacked always believes it’s being unjustly penalized.  And everyone else believes that school is getting a hand slap from a velvet glove.

Tennessee fans should not be making any such claims about Ohio State today.  Here’s why:

* The NCAA handed Pearl a three-year “show cause” penalty.

The NCAA handed Tressel a five-year “show cause” penalty.

* The NCAA did not give the Tennessee program a postseason ban.

The NCAA did give Ohio State a one-year bowl ban for next season (in spite of OSU AD Gene Smith publicly stating that he would be shocked and angered by such a ban).

* The NCAA did accept Tennessee’s self-imposed sanctions.

The NCAA did not accept Ohio State’s self-imposed sanctions and instead chose to nearly double their lost scholarships (from five to nine over a three-year period) and to increase their probationary period from two years to three.

Today’s ruling shows us two things.  First, that the NCAA isn’t afraid to smack around a big-time program.  Sure, many national columnists will claim otherwise in the hours and days ahead because they know what kind of red meat their readers are hungry for… and can you ever remember a columnist not calling for someone to get rougher penalties and punishments?  (We are the Puritans of our age.)  But in reality, the oft-repeated idea of the NCAA looking out for big schools has been a myth for 20 years.  Alabama fans know what I’m talking about.  Ditto Southern Cal fans.  The NCAA is no longer going to hit Cleveland State with probation if Kentucky cheats, as Jerry Tarkanian once joked.

Second, the NCAA has shown again — as it did in Pearl’s case — that it has begun to go after coaches who cheat and lie with as much or more ferocity than it does the schools that employ those coaches.  Not even national the columnists desperate for pageviews can say the NCAA didn’t hit Pearl and Tressel with plenty of gusto.  Perhaps after decades of watching schools cheat, get caught and then cheat again, the NCAA has realized that the coaches — especially those who lie and cover-up — are the ones to spank.  If there’s a fear of unemployment, that might just change a coach’s ways.

All spring and summer we knew and we wrote that Ohio State and Tressel would get theirs.  Today they did.  And they got it a lot worse than Tennessee did, despite the fact that many Big Orange faithful had expected just the opposite.

 


26 comments
NewMarketMauler
NewMarketMauler

Mr Sec,

Please take a closer look at the so called show cause handed down to Tressel. There's one huge difference. Tressel can recruit. Basically, he has a 5 game ban. That's about it.

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

NewMarketMauler...

Yeah, I've heard this spin and it leaves out one pretty big aspect of the show cause penalty. Any school hiring Tressel in the next five years would find itself in double trouble if he so much as steps on a crack in the sidewalk. Any violation he commits at the new school -- any violation -- would be met with harsh penalties and not what might otherwise be considered first-offender status penalties.

Folks are looking for a spin. But the fact is, this five-year penalty make Tressel toxic to any program with sense. He won't be hired anytime soon... unless a school wants to get bombed in the press and put itself in the sites of the NCAA.

Bruce Pearl will return to college coaching before Jim Tressel will.

Thanks for reading,

John

MiloMoon
MiloMoon

I expect South Carolina to lose several scholarships over the next couple of years. The fact that Spurrier historically runs a clean program will protect USCe from major penalties. UNC had a coach on staff acting like and funneling money to/from agents. Major issue and something the AD should have caught, so I expect fairly harsh punishment, and possible bowl ban in that case. However I expect scholarships reductions. Miami? Their saving grace will be the fact that it appears that they are working with the NCAA. If it is half as bad as it has been published, that will save them from the death penalty. However I expect sanctions on the level of USCw. Oregon - it all depends on how you look at the evidence. I suspect that they will just lose a scholarship or two and that will be it.

Andthensome
Andthensome

Ohio State got what I call a 'reasonable' sanction for the 5 players that traded jerseys, etc. for tattoos and a couple of others receiving an extra $200 from a booster. Tressel got a 'show cause' 5 year sanction in which he deserved. That means South Carolina better be a little nervous because of the extra 'apartment' benefits totaled $47,000 and another $8,000 in extra benefits. Who's up next on the NCAA docket...North Carolina, Oregon or Miami?

MiloMoon
MiloMoon

One of the reason USC was hit so hard was not the crime that they were convicted of. It was the fact for 4+ years the school hid behind the fact it was a private school and fought the NCAA every step of the way. So the NCAA had proof on one major violation, but a lot of smoke on many others. Since USC refused to work with the NCAA on the investigation, the NCAA threw the book at them over the one violation they confirmed. There is one item that has been consistent with the NCAA, if you fight and hide stuff from them during an investigation, you are going to have the book thrown at you. If you work with the NCAA, you receive a much softer penalty. I think that was the reason the NCAA accepted all of UT's self imposed penalties and stopped there while adding on additional penalties to OSU like the one year bowl ban. When your AD and President announce in a media conference "if we get a one year bowl ban I am going to be so mad that you will not even recognize me" you are just asking for it. OSU should have self imposed a bowl ban this year. They are 6-6 with a new coach coming in. Much better to put this season in the books than penalize the team next year. But one thing that has been shown through out the whole episode at OSU, their leaders are not smart.

Andthensome
Andthensome

@MiloMoon I agree with you about tOSU leaders. I have to watch and listen to them all the time. Trust me, we're all frustrated.

Henry Earle
Henry Earle

Seems fair to me. I think the only people who really have much of a right to complain would be USC fans. Didn't they get harsher penalties than OSU for similar, perhaps even lesser, offenses?

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

Henry Earle...

The difference -- according to the NCAA -- was Ohio State's administration being more helpful behind the scenes than Southern Cal. Mike Garrett -- USC's AD -- was blown up soon after the NCAA weighed in because he'd not done a good job of handling the school's internal investigation.

Thanks for reading,

John

AlanPowell
AlanPowell

So where is Urban going to go now?

Guest
Guest like.author.displayName 1 Like

John you compare the punishments without comparing the crimes. Should I be surprised that a BMW costs more than a Kia? What competitive advantage did Pearl get for his lying - absolutely nothing. What competitive advantage did Tressel get for his - many ineligible players participating for an entire season plus BCS bowl, including the starting quarterback and running back. Yes, both cases involved lying but you can't not consider to what degree and impact. Also note that Pearl's lie was a relatively spur of the moment reaction to being surprised by photo evidence being put in front of him while Tressel's lie was very deliberate and sustained. So yes, OSU's punishment was worse - as it should have been.

I think the more interesting comparison (though I grant you it is outside your coverage area of the SEC) is between OSU and USC.

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

Guest...

You miss the point. Regardless of what UT and OSU did, this site received hundreds of emails from Vol fans saying OSU would walk after UT got smacked. We pointed out that OSU would get hit harder. We still got more emails.

John

MiloMoon
MiloMoon

I was very happy that UT did not receive any harsher punishment that they did. I wondered why OSU did not "ban" themselves from a bowl this year. They are 6-6 with a coaching change happening. If I was in charge of OSU, I would have assumed that a post season ban was happening and self imposed it this year.

omahahog
omahahog

@MiloMoon

They probably knew the NCAA was going to add something on their own, so they didn't ban themselves. I suspect it turned out just like they hoped. No proof, just my opinion.

Canweuseeminebowlgame
Canweuseeminebowlgame

Pearl's ( and Tennessee's) offenses were nowhere near as bad as Tressel's ( and OSU's).

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

Canweuseeminebowlgame...

That's not really the point. We stated time and again that OSU would get smacked worse than UT because of what OSU and Tressel did. Hundreds of Vol fans emailed this site to claim their school would be hit harder because the NCAA would take it easy on the Buckeyes and their coach.

This post is basically a "told ya so."

John

Canweuseeminebowlgame
Canweuseeminebowlgame

@John at MrSEC Well that's journalism at it's finest. "I told ya so!".

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

Canweuseeminebowlgame...

Glad you liked it. And I tell you what... you get peppered with hundreds of emails on the same topic for more than half a year and we'll see if you don't point out that what you said did occur.

Merry Christmas!

John

Denny
Denny

" Not even national the columnists desperate for pageviews can say the NCAA didn’t hit Pearl and Tressel with plenty of gusto."

That's one helluva accusation against columnists, John. I assume you must include Mike Strange in that group.

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

Denny...

I've always felt murder was a helluva'n accusation. Suggesting that some of the national columnists would scream that Ohio State didn't get hit hard enough -- something they scream whenever any school is penalized -- is hardly an accusation at all... especially since many were already doing just that on Twitter.

As for The Knoxville News Sentinel's Mike Strange, no, I don't include him in that. He's not a national columnist for a major publication... those are the guys who chum the waters often times.

John

Denny
Denny

I don't understand this post. No UT fan was complaining when UT got their penalties for football or for basketball. No one. They were quite happy. The comparisons of Pearl to Tressel were made before UT got their penalties.

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

Denny...

I got a ton of email from Vol fans even after Tennessee's penalties suggesting that Ohio State and Jim Tressel would get off easy because the NCAA was anti-UT and pro-OSU. Hundreds of them.

I thought I made that clear in the piece.

John

Canweuseeminebowlgame
Canweuseeminebowlgame

@John at MrSEC - Sounds more like you're trying a little too hard to justify your own disdain for the UT fan base. The original post itself being directed at UT fans is evidence of such.

ice2cold
ice2cold

@John at MrSEC Its pretty clear you didn't do your homework on this one!

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

Canweuseeminebowlgame...

Ah, yes, the old faithful -- "You hate our school/fans" routine.

Nope. Even though I hear that from 12 fanbases a week, it's not true.

What I do hate are those fans who are so blind to their own prejudices that they truly believe that the NCAA, every media member in the country, and the heavens above are out to get them. Every fanbase has some of those. (Usually they're the ones who post 15 comments under one story.)

I'm simply pointing out to those type fans in the Vol Nation -- those who peppered us with that nonsense about OSU/UT -- that in reality, the NCAA smacked OSU harder than it did UT after all... just as we said it would.

We thought the violations were much different, but that didn't stop the emails from rollin' in.

John

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