Isn’t it amusing how perception is viewed locally compared to nationally regarding the Ohio State Buckeyes? After the NCAA finally issued its report concerning the transgressions involving former coach Jim Tressel and tattoo-gate, the Columbus Dispatch ran a front-page above the fold headline that read “Hammered” in large bold red letters. The caption below read, “NCAA rocks Ohio State football with postseason ban, other penalties.” Yet, every pundit on ESPN television commented that Ohio State should be thankful they got off relatively easy compared to other schools such as the University of Southern California, which received a two-year bowl game ban and a loss of thirty scholarships over the Reggie Bush infractions.
The sad part about all the penalties assessed against Ohio State is that Coach Tressel was penalized far greater than the university by receiving a five-year, show-cause sentence along with a five regular season game and a bowl game suspension should he be fortunate enough to be hired by another university. Considering he was fired from a dream job earning four million dollars a year, the former coach received the brunt of the penalties hand down by the NCAA. Granted, Coach Tressel lied in his attempt to cover up the misconduct of his players, but it is hard to believe that no one else in the athletic department was aware, or should have been aware of any of all the alleged illegal activities going on with the football team the past few years.
Not only has the Ohio State football team become a national embarrassment this past year, but the athletic department and the university president as well. Ohio State should have never been allowed to play in last year’s Sugar Bowl, and if Director of Athletics Gene Smith had any foresight, he should have self-imposed a bowl ban this year, considering all the suspensions, interim head coach and every other distraction facing this year’s 6-6 team. Coach Tressel should not have been the only person fired during this entire ordeal.
Steven H. Spring
OSU, Class of ‘87