Further adding to what already has been a disheartening and humbling offseason for Buckeye fans, the university announced today that it is vacating all of its wins from the 2010 season, including its share of the Big Ten championship and victory in the 2011 Sugar Bowl.
This, along with a self-induced probation of two years for the football program, is the university’s response to the NCAA’s letter of allegations stemming from the memorabilia-for-cash scandal that has rocked the proud and tradition-rich program to its core and already cost former head coach Jim Tressel his job.
However, by no means is the university in the clear as it prepares for its Aug. 12 hearing before the NCAA infractions committee. Given the amount of media attention Ohio State’s situation has attracted in addition to the number of cases of wrongdoing recently uncovered at other schools (most notably North Carolina’s academic scandal and the most recent recruiting one involving Oregon), no one will be surprised if the NCAA goes a step further, if not two, with the penalties the schools has recommended, mainly in the form of a postseason ban and/or reduction of scholarships.
Ironically enough, the issue of the postseason has already played a role in this. When the story of players selling memorabilia for cash and other benefits first came to light, it was Tressel who proposed a five-game ban for the 2011 season so the affected players (Terrelle Pryor, Daniel Herron, DeVier Posey, Mike Adams and Solomon Thomas) could play in the Sugar Bowl vs. Arkansas. Then as more information was uncovered revealing the depth of the allegations and more importantly, his own involvement in the investigation into them, Tressel accepted a five-game suspension of his own.
Today, with the announcement of the vacating of all of last year’s wins, including the very bowl game Tressel fought so hard to get them to play in, one thing is crystal clear. The Jim Tressel and Terrelle Pryor era will never be looked at the same again and neither will the proud and tradition-rich football program that is Ohio State.
To read more on this story, click here