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Did Ohio State get too light or too tough a penalty? [Poll]

December 21, 2011 |  7:47 am

The Ohio State football program received a one-year bowl ban and lost nine scholarships over the next three years after a yearlong investigation by the NCAA's Committee on Infractions
The Ohio State football program received a one-year bowl ban and lost nine scholarships over the next three years after a yearlong investigation by the NCAA's Committee on Infractions ended Tuesday.

Among the violations, eight players were found to have received substantial cash payments or preferential treatment from the owner of a tattoo parlor. One player also received a loan and discount on a car, according to the committee.

Overall, Ohio State was cited for failure to monitor, but not lack of institutional control, which, as any USC fan knows, is a more serious finding. Columnist Bill Dwyre addresses the topic in Wednesday's Times:

Out here, USC loyalists can feel Ohio State's pain. Except that most would testify that theirs has been worse. Most would also wonder aloud, again, why they took such a hard hit when other situations, certainly including Ohio State's, seemed similarly egregious.

The comparable pertinent details are that the Buckeyes were penalized a season of no titles, no bowls and a loss of nine football scholarships over the next three years. USC has just finished its second straight no-title, no-bowl season and its scholarship assessment from the NCAA was 30 scholarships lost over three years.

Writers from around Tribune Co. will also be weighing in on whether the Buckeyes were punished too severely or not enough. Check back throughout the day for their responses -- and join the discussion by voting in the poll and leaving a comment of your own.

[Updated at 9:16 a.m.:

Matt Murschel, Orlando Sentinel

It’s been almost a year to the day that the scandal at Ohio State first reared its ugly head, and from the start the Buckeyes tried to sweep all of this under the proverbial rug. The NCAA pulled that rug out from under the football program on Tuesday when it handed down a one-year postseason ban.

The penalty is a harsh one -– no Big 10 or national championships in 2012 -– but it could have been a whole lot worse.

Just ask USC fans, who had to suffer through back-to-back seasons without postseason play.

While Ohio State is no USC -– there’s a big difference from “failure to monitor” and “Lack of Institutional Control” -– it did drop the ball when it came to compliance. You only have to look at Jim Tressel’s handling of the situation to see why.

With schools like Miami and North Carolina still under investigation, the NCAA wanted to make an example of Ohio State. It’s a painful lesson for the Buckeyes.]

[Updated at 9:54 a.m.:

Gary Klein, Los Angeles Times

Ohio State probably got an appropriate penalty for the violations that occurred on Jim Tressel's watch. The problem is that, compared with USC, the Buckeyes got off easy.

USC's football program was hit with a two-year bowl ban and lost an unprecedented 30 scholarships, largely for the actions of one player. Ohio State got a one-year bowl ban and lost nine scholarships for the actions of multiple players, boosters and Tressel, who covered up violations.

The NCAA Committee on Infractions might be the only judicial body in the United States that does not use precedent in determining punishments.

And USC's mishandling of its own case provided a template of what NOT to do. Ohio State and others have since learned that admitting to some violations, self-sanctioning and cooperating with the NCAA goes a long way toward easing the pain.]


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Photo: Former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel. Credit: Charlie Neibergall / Associated Press