It’s as though it didn’t happen. And that is exactly what the Buckeyes want the NCAA to think when it comes time to hand down punishment for their wrongdoings.
In a not-so-surprising move, the University has willingly vacated their wins for the 2010 season, according to ESPN.
Ohio State’s 2010 Big Ten championship, its 12-1 season, its victories over rival Michigan and in the Allstate Sugar Bowl — all gone. Coach Jim Tressel is out and so is star quarterback Terrelle Pryor.
Left behind: two years of self-imposed probation.
The question now is whether it will be enough to save Ohio State from more severe penalties in an upcoming trip to see the NCAA committee on infractions.
In a reversal, Ohio State — which earlier said it had asked for Tressel’s resignation on May 30 — said Friday it had now agreed to allow him to call it a retirement. The school also said he did not have to pay a $250,000 fine levied against him for his actions. On top of that, Tressel will receive the last month of his base pay ($54,000) and has agreed to cooperate when Ohio State goes before the NCAA infractions committee on Aug. 12, and both he and the university agreed that they wouldn’t sue each other.
Just last month Ohio State president E. Gordon Gee vowed that Tressel “will pay the fine.”
In response to whether the punishment is adequate or not . . .
“All I know is that this is significant,” Smith said. “A lot of people may not view it that way externally, but this is significant. When you think about all the other athletes who participated in those games, those records will be gone.”
And what about all the athletes that played against the Buckeyes? Where’s their justice? Is vacating the win really going to atone anything for Arkansas and their fans?
Vacating wins is a rather lame punishment. Better than nothing, but still lame. I tried to come up with an analogy, but I fear I fell short of anything useful. It’s kind of like a gambler winning a poker tournament. He concedes he cheated and gives the trophy back, but not the money.
No one knows how well the Buckeyes might have fared without Pryor and the other tatoo-weanies. Assuming they wouldn’t have done as well, is a vacated win really just compensation for the team that should have gone to the Sugar Bowl, but didn’t?
I am still hopeful that the NCAA will impose further sanctions such as limiting scholarships to more adequately punish the school for breaking the rules and cheating.