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NCAA penalties do not have to dictate Ohio State’s future

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Today, the NCAA announced their ruling after investigating Ohio State‘s violations. Their determination bans Ohio State from any post-season play next season (Big Ten title game or bowl); an additional reduction of three scholarships for the next three seasons and the Buckeyes will have a three-year probation period (2011-2014) as the NCAA cited Ohio State with failure to monitor.

Former head coach Jim Tressel also received a stiff punishment. The NCAA determined Tressel had unethical conduct for failing to report that he knew some of his players sold memorabilia and allowed these same players to play all that season. For this, Jim received a five-year show clause penalty, which means if he would coach again in college, he would have to sit out the first five games of his first season and any post-season games. Of course, the school could appeal the ruling.

While the post-season ban wasn’t a surprise, Ohio State didn’t help its case with the way it handled the situation.

If the Buckeyes would have handled this correctly, they may not have received such a tough penalty. They could have improved their case by doing things right the first time such as:

  • They should have benched Terrelle Pryor, DeVier Posey, Dan Herron, Mike Adams and Solomon Thomas for the Sugar Bowl for violating NCAA rules.
  • Firing Jim Tressel immediately when they found out he withheld information about the violations.
  • Kicking Posey and Herron off the team when both became repeat offenders for accepting money at a part time job for hours they didn’t work.
  • Self impose a bowl ban this season so some of the players that were responsible for the violations wouldn’t have the privilege to play in a bowl game.

Now it’s easy to second-guess everything from a distance when time has passed, let’s hope that they learn from this and these issues won’t arise in the future.

The one thing they have done right since is stating they won’t appeal these punishments. This means the Buckeyes can get back to focusing on what really matters, their future.

They have a great opportunity to send their seniors out with a win in the Gator Bowl. A win would be a huge momentum boost for a young team heading into the off-season.

The post-season ban also doesn’t mean the 2012 season is lost. In fact, they can use next season to grow in a new system, develop better character, re-establish strong leadership and build toward a promising future. Instead of looking at the current circumstances, the players must look forward and see what they are doing now will make a huge difference in the future.

If they do, these current penalties will only be a small hurdle on their way to great success.

Feel free to contact Sean with any questions or comments.

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