The news that first broke on Yahoo Sports is true—Coach Jim Tressel knew about the violations that at least two of his top players had been / still were committing as early as April, 2010.
Originally, Tressel and the University said they knew nothing prior to December, after the season, and before the Sugar Bowl.
Sadly, they lied.
I'd like to believe that Tressel and Ohio State are above this, but alas they are not. In fact, similar situations very likely exist in almost every big-time DI college football program, but it should not have happened here, period.
Tressel is facing a two-game suspension to start the 2011 season and a $250,000 fine. These are self-imposed sanctions. The NCAA will get involved, and could also increase the punishment for Tressel and the program.
Further sanctions may include more suspension time, loss of scholarships, and probation. A bowl ban, however, would seem excessive at this point, but perhaps we don't know everything yet. Hopefully we do, but there's no way to be sure as of now.
Here is video from ESPN about the story and the press conference Ohio State held Tuesday evening.
Personally, I have got to be honest...I am surprised and very disappointed in Tress.
Obviously he didn't give the players money, but he knew they did this and basically said nothing...
That being said, this is nothing like the USC situation, which I only mention because I have already been hearing comparisons to USC in terms of what violations were committed and in terms of what punishment OSU should receive.
That is beyond absurd. Ohio State / Tressel did not pay the players or buy them hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of gifts (cars, homes, etc...)
They turned a blind eye to what THE PLAYERS THEMSELVES DID, and that was wrong, but many people (fans, haters, and the media) are way overstating the "crimes" committed and the punishment that should and will be handed down by the NCAA.
I'm embarrassed and ashamed of the black eye this has given to our program, but I am also optimistic that this will not happen here ever again, at least as long as JT is at the helm.
Let's hope so.
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Photo Copyright: Terry Gilliam/AP
Video Copyright: ESPN/ESPN.com