Once again, I am giving my opinion on the latest Ohio State and Jim Tressel news. I believe that I am giving a very unbiased look at the allegations, sanctions, and possible punishment put forth by the NCAA. Just about every time I write something like this, I get bashed saying that I hate OSU. I do not. I just think that since the fan-ship runs so deep, people sometime blur their own reality and along with that the truth. I wrote about Tressel knowing about the tattoos right after that news broke. I received many messages saying I hate OSU, none of those are true, and Tressel would never lie like that. Well ladies and gentlemen, we are not living in the world we thought we knew.
First off, the biggest question is how big will the punishment be? The first news about punishments ranged anywhere from another slap on the wrist to "lack of institutional control", or aka, the death penalty. The good news is that the death penalty is already off the table. I highly doubt this would ever had happened being that OSU is the face of the Big 10. Nonetheless, the are still serious punishments on the table.
As ESPN's Joe Schad already reported, the possible punishments included an additional suspension, vacating wins, loss of scholarships, coaching staff restrictions, and probation. Lets pick a piece each possible punishment.
First being an added suspension. This seems like the most logical and easiest reactions by the NCAA. Bruce Feldmen said don't be surprised if the Tressel suspension is pushed all the way to a year in length. He also hinted that it may surpass that. This would obviously hurt OSU. Without Tressel calling plays, a run at the Big Ten Championship is almost out of the questions. This can also hurt recruiting effort for the following year.
Vacating wins would only be the case if they find proof the Tressel knew that he was playing players that should be suspended. Basically, he was playing ineligible players. This is grounds for vacating wins, the Big Ten championship, and the Sugar Bowl. There is a decent chance that this may happen to some extent. However, I don't think this would cause too much harm. Like Reggie Bush said, "You can take away the rings and the trophies. but you can't take aware the memories."
The next two, loss of scholarships and coaching staff restrictions, could severely hurt the program. As evident from other schools, taking away some scholarships can set a program back five years easily. Even worse, cutting the coaching staff down to eight coaches can really hurt recruiting efforts. About 80% of the day to day recruiting efforts in a college football program are handled by the assistant coaches. Phone calls, visits, and emails can only be done by assistants until the players are seniors. Even then, most of the effort is done by them. Cutting the staff down would obviously hurt.
After the NCAA makes its decision, many well question Tressel's job security. I personally do not think that he will get fired. He is the face of OSU over the past decade. But if this is more serious than we can imagine, how much can Ohio State take? If this puts the program as a whole back five or so years, can the administration can take anymore? One ESPN reporter brought up the sanctions brought on the school in 2006 for the basketball program when O'Brian was fired after violations. This could be used as a "second offense" for the university and make things worse.
Basically, this is going to be a very long summer for the Ohio State Buckeyes, the Tat Five, Jim Tressel, and worst of all the OSU fans. The fans are the people who get hurt the worse in all of this. We are going to have to wait all summer long and then face the penalties that are forced upon us. OSU fans might be waiting a couple seasons for a bowl game due to selfish players and a coach trying to cover it up.