With the appeal officially behind us and the sanctions in full effect many are now turning their attention form USC to Ohio State.
Nobody really knows how that mess will end up but the conventional wisdom would suggest that Jim Tressel and Ohio State are in for a rough ride...Of course when it comes to the NCAA, conventional wisdom goes right out the window. Unfortunately, sometimes basic common sense and fact checking goes out the window as well.
Enter Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free Press ...
But there's an important point lost in the rush to bury the Buckeyes that bears repeating. Despite all appearances of decorum run amok, all the NCAA asks of its member institutions in these situations is to stay out in front of the matter. Don't obfuscate: Investigate. Admit you screwed up. Hit yourself over the head with the hammer first. Even those that overtly lie and cheat will still get leniency if they come across as forthright in their internal probe.
Ohio State's doing that.
That's why the NCAA nailed the Trojans with the most severe major allegations allowable -- lack of institutional control and failure to monitor -- in its formal list of charges against USC. The Buckeyes avoided that double dilemma in its NOA last month.
Whatever people want to think is fine, but the NCAA in its hammering of USC never said USC didn't cooperate. Infact with what we have seen in the NCAA's willingness to open the flood gates with regards to punishing USC nothing would have made the happier to hit USC with a few punches for not cooperating.
As much as it pained them to write that USC cooperated in their report, that is exactly what USC did. The NCAA may have been pissed that USC did not throw the football team under the bus once it was clear Reggie Bush was ineligible for the 2005 season but USC certainly cooperated throughout the 4-plus year investigation.
Jim Tressel on the other hand, hid the information he had for months, lying about it multiple times and he then allowed ineligible players to play. In the process embarrassing the NCAA further by convincing the NCAA to allow the Tattooed Five to play in the Sugar Bowl.
How is that not obfuscation?
I have said it before...Jim Tressel IS Ohio State! He is the point man when it comes to compliance issues with the football team...after all, these are his guys right?
Ohio State the institution isn't off the hook here either.
They have boasted the largest compliance compartment in all of D1 yet they failed to properly educate their players of a pretty basic bylaw? It's clear this wasn't a first time thing...See Ray Small. Then there is the car situation where the chief compliance officer can't seem to get his story straight about how many times he spoke to the car salesman.
But to me here is the kicker...The NCAA prides itself and expects its member institutions to self-report. To them it shows that the compliance office is taking an active role in policing its players activities, but at what point should the players start getting the message. With almost 400 secondary violations in the Tressel era at OSU it makes one think that message isn't getting though.
Violate then report...violate then report...violate then report.
Looks like the implication is that it is easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to ask for permission.
If the behavior doesn't change with same "minor" violations being committed over and over then how is that not a Lack of Institutional Control?
Circling back to Drew Sharp...I have seen some of things he has said about the corruption in college football. He is most certainly against paying players like Jim Delaney is suggesting. He sees where the problems lie over the grand landscape but he is missing a lot here.
Not surprising...Sharp is just another bomb thrower who doesn't do his homework...