Don't Blame NCAA: Blame Smith, Tressel, and Players

I just wanted to put out a quick note for my fellow Buckeye fans that are piling on Twitter, Facebook, and various message board sites to voice your opinion about the Ohio State 2012 bowl ban.  THIS IS NOT THE NCAA’s FAULT!!!  Be mad that the team won’t be able to play in any postseason games next year (including B1G Championship and bowl game), be upset that this affects the players on next year’s team, and feel bad for Urban Meyer for accepting a job under circumstances that we can only assume went differently than planned.  However, don’t blame those things on the NCAA; instead, if you’re going to insist on pointing the finger (whichever one you choose) at certain individuals or groups, then at least put the blame where it belongs.

Terrelle Pryor, Mike Adams, Boom Herron, DeVier Posey, Solomon Thomas, and a couple of other players, including the Bobby DiGeronimo issue, broke the rules when they accepted tattoos and/or cash in exchange for memorabilia.  Jim Tressel then proceeded to essentially cover for these players by not taking the proper steps in ensuring that they were disciplined, and lied to the NCAA about having knowledge of these events.  On top of all that, Gene Smith, the director of all athletics at Ohio State mishandled this situation at nearly every step in the road.  He consistently downplayed the issues, did not take proper steps to gather all information and report it, and most certainly did not do an acceptable job of self-imposing punishments.  For instance, he had a golden opportunity to give OSU a bowl ban THIS year, with a team that was already struggling, yet decided to accept an invitation to the Gator Bowl for his 6-6 team.  It’s anyone’s guess as to whether or not that would have appeased the NCAA and taken the place of the 2012 bowl ban, but it was definitely worth the shot.

That said, in no way am I suggesting that your blame should be dealt with in any way other than angry/grumpy updates to your own Facebook and Twitter accounts, but if you are mad, then make sure it’s at least focused where it should be.  The NCAA did its job and handed OSU a punishment for its misdeeds.  I just hope that the actions, or lackthereof, of some of these people don’t continue to affect the current players any more than they already have.

Follow me on Twitter @AJBorland

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Tags: Gene Smith Jim Tressel NCAA Sanctions Terrelle Pryor

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