It just came down the pipeline recently that USC has had their appeal denied by the NCAA infractions committee, which has now set the precedent of not letting a school who has multiple violations off the hook. USC is on the hook for players taking payments from an agent in both Football and Basketball. While it has been a number of years since the violations actually occurred, it seemed like a easy opinion to think USC would get their punishment lessened. Mostly because nobody on the team, or even coaching staff was around when the violations occurred. But the NCAA saw otherwise and has chosen to uphold the punishment.
Now this brings up the question of what will happen to Ohio State? They have been in a bear trap of ever evolving issues since December. They were first put into the spotlight when it came out that five players were receiving discounted tattoos at a local tattoo parlor for selling items given to them by the athletic department. But the NCAA was going to be lenient and let them serve a five game suspension at the start of next season, while playing in the bowl game. Which seemed laughable at the time it was announced. Then the news broke that head football coach Jim Tressel knew about what was going on, because he had received emails from a former player and current booster about it. This just made the story that much worse when it broke in the media, but the school let Tressel say that he was going to sit the first two games, which later turned into five. And that was supposed to be the only punishment handed down.
But as usual, things went from bad to worse when another story broke about a possible deal for discounted(free?) cars from a Columbus car dealership. As the months have clicked off, Ohio State seems to be making the case for the NCAA an open and shut case. Ohio State will not know their fate until they have a meeting in August, and punishment probably won’t be handed down until October at the earliest. But the way things are going, more news will be uncovered and the school will just get dirtier and dirtier in the eyes of the NCAA. So, if the NCAA has been strict with USC and has started showing it’s teeth more and more when it comes to punishments, what lies in store for Ohio State?
The NCAA will most likely throw a lack of institutional control at Ohio State and punish them in line with that kind of ruling. But the NCAA needs to seriously look at blowing the dust off the death penalty. They used it once before on SMU back in 1987, and with each passing month, Ohio State is pushing into that realm. Will the NCAA dare push the death penalty on a cash cow like Ohio State? I don’t think for one minute they would dare. But they could really set a strong precedent and strike fear into dirty programs if they wielded that big stick again. We won’t know what will happen with the Ohio State saga until later this year, but for the average fan, who wants to see bad deeds get punished, then the NCAA needs to really lay a hay maker on Ohio State and make it known, dirty programs will feel a lot of pain if they get caught.