In the midst of all the revelations coming out about shenanigans at Ohio State, Dan Wetzel points out the following:
If there are deposited checks from a memorabilia dealer in Pryor’s account, then the school should have found them in December. There is simply no excuse for not uncovering them. This isn’t a hundred-dollar handshake in a back alley somewhere. It’s all there in black and white. All they had to do was look at the statements.
Instead, 11 days later, a time frame that included repeated lobbying to the NCAA reinstatement committee in an effort to maintain a full roster for the Sugar Bowl, the school concluded its investigation with no such discovery.
I apologize for leaning so heavily on quotes (see below), but there's not much point in my trying to restate the written equivalent of a foot to the ass.
Wetzel also points out that the discovery time-line during Terrelle Pryor's time as an active player doesn't help matters:
USC was drilled with a two-year bowl ban and the loss of 30 scholarships for not keeping tabs on star player Reggie Bush and his dealings with two separate sports marketing agencies. A key part of the case came down to the NCAA claiming that the school (through one assistant coach) either did know or should have known about the relationships. It also leaned on a concept that claimed "high-profile players demand high-profile compliance."
The initial news of Bush receiving impermissible benefits didn’t come out until three months after the Heisman winner had left school and turned pro.
The word on Pryor came while he was still a student-athlete. It was followed by the push to keep him eligible for the Sugar Bowl.
Indeed it was.
When it comes to the NCAA, the issue isn’t usually the initial violation (those happen everywhere). It’s how the school responds.
For Ohio State, it was another form of the cover-up Tressel started nine months prior. This is college sports’ highest-paid AD (Smith), highest-paid president (Gee) and arguably most-powerful person (Delany), millionaires one and all, making a mockery of the very NCAA statutes and procedures they create, enforce and claim to hold dear.
We've all learned not to assume any consistency from the NCAA - as stated in their Emerson's Hobgoblin Policy - but this is really rather poor. I've read some folks from Ohio State writing things like "well at least we're cooperating, unlike SC." If there's a new commonly understood definition of "cooperation" that means "slowly admitting after the fact to things documented by others," then I think Ohio State is cooperating exactly like SC's Athletic Department under Mike Garrett.
All of which is not to say "hahahahaha Ohio State," so much as to wish our Buckeye brethren the best of luck - because if the NCAA chooses to take the Wetzel view here, and the information certainly would support it, they are in for a very unpleasant time in 2017 or so.