Friday, December 24, 2010

Ohio State Suspensions And Curious Sentence Are Driven By Money

The Buckeyes got into trouble from players selling items for money and got out of serious trouble because of the money they will bring to the Sugar Bowl, ESPN, and the Big 10.

Five Ohio State players, including starting QB Terrelle Pryor will be suspended for the first 5 games next season after the NCAA found they had football paraphernalia given to them.

Violations are nothing new in Columbus.  Since 2000, Ohio State has committed 375 plus secondary violations without a sanction levied by the NCAA.

But with a Sugar Bowl still remaining this season, why didn't the NCAA not suspend the players beginning with the bowl game?

Here is the explanation:
The decision from the NCAA student-athlete reinstatement staff does not include a withholding condition for the Allstate Sugar Bowl. The withholding condition was suspended and the student-athletes will be eligible to play in the bowl game Jan. 4 based on several factors.

These include the acknowledgment the student-athletes did not receive adequate rules education during the time period the violations occurred, Lennon said.

NCAA policy allows suspending withholding penalties for a championship or bowl game if it was reasonable at the time the student-athletes were not aware they were committing violations, along with considering the specific circumstances of each situation. In addition, there must not be any competitive advantage related to the violations, and the student-athletes must have eligibility remaining.

The policy for suspending withholding conditions for bowl games or NCAA championship competition recognizes the unique opportunity these events provide at the end of a season, and they are evaluated differently from a withholding perspective. In this instance, the facts are consistent with the established policy, Lennon said.

The real explanation is that the Sugar Bowl and its title sponsor, Allstate, as well as ESPN had a lot of money to lose if four key Ohio State players were not going to play in the bowl game.

The excuse about not being aware of the violations is laughable. Its all about money, just like it was when the players sold the items.

And why the five game amount for next season by the NCAA?  Well, a sixth game would ruin the Big 10 home opener for conference newcomer Nebraska.  I doubt Big 10 Commissioner Jim Delaney sat idly by when the sentences were being discussed.  He knew he had to protect that game for the Big 10's coming out party.

All of these players are draft eligible the following season and may decide to move onto the NFL where the real money is made.

Money was at the root of the Ohio State suspensions and at the root of sentence.

Time line of Ohio State violations

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