Ohio State Cited For Failure To Monitor, School Receives Postseason Ban for 2012

December 20, 2011 by CFP Staff and NCAA

The Ohio State University was cited for failure to monitor, preferential treatment and extra benefit violations in its football program, according to findings announced today by the Division I Committee on Infractions. The former head coach also was found to have engaged in unethical conduct for not reporting NCAA rule violations.

The penalties in this case, some of which were self-imposed by the university and adopted by the committee, include a one-year postseason ban for the 2012 season, additional scholarship reductions, disassociation of both an involved booster and a former student-athlete, forfeiture of almost $340,000 and a vacation of records. In addition, the former head coach received a five-year show-cause order that limits his athletically related duties and applies to any NCAA member school which may consider employing him. The public report includes additional details.

According to the facts of the case, eight football student-athletes received more than $14,000 in cash payments or preferential treatment from the owner of a Columbus, Ohio, tattoo parlor. In addition to free or discounted tattoos and cash for memorabilia received by these student-athletes, one football student-athlete received a loan and discount on a car.

The committee also found the former head coach concealed these NCAA violations when he was notified of the situation, which led to his unethical conduct finding.

"Of great concern to the committee was the fact that the former head coach became aware of these violations and decided not to report the violations to institutional officials, the Big Ten Conference or the NCAA," the committee stated in its report.

Specifically, the committee noted that the former head coach had at least four different opportunities to report the information, and his failure to do so led to allowing several football student-athletes to compete while ineligible. Many of these student-athletes were key contributors to the team's winning 2010 season.

Following the Committee on Infractions hearing on August 12, the enforcement staff and university investigated additional allegations that had come to light. These additional violations centered on a booster providing nine football student-athletes with more than $2,400 in payments for work not performed and cash. The university also was cited for failing to monitor the booster's employment of football student-athletes. Ohio State conceded it could have done more to monitor the booster by taking additional steps that would have reduced the likelihood of these violations occurring.

The penalties, some of which were self-imposed by the university and adopted by the committee, include:

  • Public reprimand and censure.
  • Three years of probation from Dec. 20, 2011, through Dec. 19, 2014. The public report contains further details on the conditions of this probation.
  • Postseason ban for the 2012 football season, which includes the conference championship game.
  • Reduction of football scholarships from 85 to 82 for each of the 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15 academic years. This is an increase from the university's proposal of five initial scholarships spread over three academic years.
  • Vacation of all wins for the 2010 football regular season, including the 2010 Big Ten Conference co-championship and participation in the 2011 Sugar Bowl. The public report contains further details (self-imposed by the university).
  • Forfeiture of $338,811, which is the amount the university received through the Big Ten Conference revenue sharing for its appearance in the bowl game (self-imposed by the university).
  • Five-year show-cause order for the former head coach. The public report contains further details.
  • Disassociation of the booster for 10 years, including among other conditions, the prohibition of any financial or other support (self-imposed by the university).
  • Disassociation of a former student-athlete for five years, including among other conditions, the prohibition of any financial or other support (self-imposed by the university).

The members of the Committee on Infractions who reviewed this case include Dr. Dennis Thomas, the commissioner of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and chair of the Committee on Infractions. Other members are Britton Banowsky, commissioner of Conference USA; John S. Black, attorney; Melissa (Missy) Conboy, deputy director of athletics at the University of Notre Dame; Roscoe Howard, Jr., attorney; Eleanor Myers, faculty athletics representative and law professor at Temple University; James O'Fallon, law professor and faculty athletics representative for University of Oregon; and Gregory Sankey, associate commissioner of the Southeastern Conference.