The NCAA (Probably) Brings the Hammer

By Jake on May 11, 2011 at 1:00p
NCAA President Mark Emmert in his work clothes.

In any story in literature, there is a building of momentum as the author slowly adds conflict and tension. The protagonist faces obstacle after obstacle until, finally, near the end, climactically reaching cathartic release. If Ohio State is our protagonist, the author is ramping up the tension to 11 right now. With the slow drip of scandal leaking out of Columbus, the media is milking the clock while the offseason chugs along. However, the media isn’t the one in control of the narrative. Mike Emmert, NCAA President, issued what amounts to a shot across the bow of the Ohio State Athletic Department yesterday, and as they say, the consequences will never be the same.

Mr. Emmert, in a small press conference, offered three big things he’s looking to change with regards to NCAA enforcement. None of them bode well for the Buckeyes.

"We need to make sure our penalty structure and enforcement process imposes a thoughtful level of concern, and that the cost of violating the rules costs more than not violating them."

If you need some evidence he's not just spitting game here, think of USC. If there's been one clear trend over the past couple of years, it's been the steady tightening of NCAA enforcement. For Ohio State, this could mean that an "example" will be made. 

"We've made the commitment to provide enforcement with more staff, some staff has been added. It isn't really more investigators in the field, but it's freeing up more people to get them out in the field."

It's likely no coincidence that 2010 and, so far, 2011 have had so many heavily publicized scandals. There's no substitute for someone doing the legwork, and if the NCAA has hired more staff, they're going to be finding more dirt. More boots equals more rocks kicked over, as it were.

"This is my own opinion, but I do worry we have too much of a bivariate model. I personally would like to see whether we can have two, three or five different sort of categories and maybe that would make the cases go a little more expeditiously."

Here is probably the most interesting of the quotes. In a way, having two categories leads to situations where an infraction can get shoehorned into either a "major" or "minor" category, often leading to too many or not enough penalties depending on where it gets shoved. This could be either good or bad for Ohio State, assuming the NCAA institute such a reform, depending on whether Cargate would ultimately end up in the "major" or "minor" category. My instinct is to think it's the former, and if nothing else, this gives me some measure of optimism. 

"What are you going to pay them? Are you going to pay the quarterback the same as the guy who sits on the bench? Are you going to pay a gymnast the same as a men's basketball player? There is a model for that, it's called professional sports, and I love them. But that's not what college sports is about."

This is a subject covered earlier this year, and a constant issue in amateur sports. As much as Mark Emmert could be considered by some the "bad guy" here, it's also nice to see an NCAA president with some cojones. The worst situation for College Football to be in is one where it's an amateur sport in scare quotes. Even though Tressel, and possibly Ohio State, may end up a martyr to the cause, the legitimacy of amateur sports is important. At the end of the day, as Spielman said in Chris' Skull Session earlier today, Ohio State is bigger than any one person. So long as the president is Stern but Fair, all of College Football, including Ohio State, will be better off in the long run. If, on the other hand, Ohio State is merely an example to be made, and other schools (*cough* SEC *cough*) are allowed to continue on their merry way, then bring on the pitchforks.


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hangonskokie's picture

Here is my concern: the problems facing current NCAA targets (USC and Ohio State) are the result of the Buckeyes and Trojans being on top in the first place, not that they "cheated" to get there.

There is no evidence to suggest that either schools' football program came to promince because cheating occured; quite the contrary, shady agents, runners, and dealers converged on the programs because they got good, had a vibrant merchandise market, and became stocked with NFL talent. (You don't, for example, see "runners" [or generous tatoo artists] anywhere near Iowa State and Syracuse). So, in essance, USC and Ohio State were victims of their own success. 

This, as opposed the "Death Penalty" warrenting Cheating with a capital "C" that SMU did... as paying recruits is the only reason they ever got good in the first place. 

I'm interested to see how the NCAA begins to see this distinction with regards to Oregon, who allegedly paid a thrid-party agrent to bring in a top recruit.

Jake's picture

I agree. There has been no evidence whatsoever that any systemic cheating by tOSU, nor that such cheating has directly led to on-field success (with the exception of the Tat-5 playing while ineligible, but that penalty has already been handed down).

However, in an example of something unfair to the individual but necessary for the integrity of the entire system, the NCAA punishes schools who don't police their own boosters well enough. Technically it's not Ohio State's or Michigan's or USC's fault if boosters take it upon themselves to give cash handshakes, but practically it's easier for the NCAA to place penalties on the schools then send out investigators themselves.

Good points.

Another Jason's picture

"...whether Cargate would ultimately end up in the "major" or "minor" category. My instinct is to think it's the former, and if nothing else, this gives me some measure of optimism."

In this case, the former would be "major," which doesn't seem to inspire optimism.  I'm guessing you meant the latter.

If Emmert is going to get tough on everybody and we just happen to be first, then so be it.  I'll believe that when I see it though.

Jake's picture

"In this case, the former would be "major," which doesn't seem to inspire optimism."

Well, if we would be categorized as major in the current system, then we're already at the highest point in the penalty sheet. Were there 4 or 5 categories, then it's possible that we would be categorized below what is currently "major." In that sense, I'm optimistic about any expansion in the number of categories. 

"If Emmert is going to get tough on everybody and we just happen to be first, then so be it.  I'll believe that when I see it though."

My feelings exactly.

buckeyedude's picture

Well, if Emmert gets tough on us 1st, at least we'll be #1 again!(just trying to lighten the mood a little). 

And where the hell did that picture of him come from? Geez! Was that a pose he did specifically for Ohio State?

BTW, what are the "5 catagories" going to be called? I hope they didn't/don't have a difficult time naming them, as the B1G did it's two divisions! 

My personal favorites:

1.) Bend over (___________________)<--------------enter your school here. 

2.) Pretty damn tough

3.) Tough 

4.) Not so tough

5.) Relax. Business as usual.



JakeBuckeye's picture

I couldn't tell if you were serious, but that's not really a picture of Mark Emmert, haha.

matti's picture

remember usc somehow with scholarship reductions they still signed 30 recruits this year. so the ncaa didn't really drop the hammer on them

slippy's picture

USC is or was still appealing in which case the penalties don't apply until after the appeal process is done.  Or after the year of the finish of the appeal process.  So if USC doesn't win its appeal, it will still have that reduction and they will have to cut a lot of players.  Another example in the 'Why Lane Kiffin is a terrible person' category.

OHIOinME's picture

In time we all shall see.  What was known, what should have been known and the punishment.  When the email gaffe first came out my wife said a co-worker (Florida Fan) told her that Tressel may be forced out at tOSU by the NCAA, if he isn't fired or resigns.  I said nope, not unless more come out.  Well, every day it seems we read and hear news that is building a plank.  At this point, I'd be surprised if JT coaches a game in 2011.  I also would be surprise if there is a contract issue and it is renegotiated.  Shoot; at this point in time, I'd be surprised if the B1G doesn't get involved an increase the NCAA punishment.

Having said that, Buckeye Nation lives on and Michigan still sucks. 



buckeyedude's picture

Michelin is still the "Crapperines" and they play in the Big Shit House. Nothing will EVER change that!



ih8rolltyde's picture

Michigan, most certainly, does still suck.

****igan smells like old water that hot dogs were boiled in.  FACT

Bucksfan's picture

Well, let's chill for just a moment.  I suppose I'm a little confused.  The NCAA can't just level new penalties on whatever whim that enters their small brains on impulse.  Emmert is talking about revising how they enforce the rules, and new penalties for rules that are being broken.  He's talking about evaluation.  That doesn't mean they're going to level Ohio State with new penalties, applying them retro-actively as if different rules were in place when OSU committed their infractions.  If that happens, then Ohio State should sue the NCAA.

So, it's still 1 guy lying about some players breaking some rules in a lone incident.  That's bad.  But remember, they didn't label us with the "lack of institutional control" language.  The players have already been suspended - that investigation is over.  The coach fucked up, and he's been penalized by the school financially and with suspension, and then that penalty was further increased.  I've brought it up on previous posts, but firing a coach in this situation 1) does not deter future behavior of any other coach across the country, 2) does nothing to fix what has transpired so far, and 3) teaches a lesson that only an unrealistic perfect record is tolerated.

Cross Village's picture

Just own up.. 

Tressel is cooked meat.  Perhaps for the better.

Gene Smith is a shill.... as AD, he is responsible for every digression from the good.   He should have resigned a month ago.   As should E Gordashe Gee.   His issue is Oral Athlete's Foot... both feet incased in stinky socks inserted in his mouth simultaneously. 

They let all of us down.   For the millions they pull down, they failed... as in crash and burn.  Too much salary and no stones or brains. 

The image of The Ohio State University is tarnished... these dorks are why.  

It is time for a Sheriff's Sale.




William's picture

How is Gene Smith responsible for his coach lying to the NCAA or the players selling their items? He can tell them no as much as possible, and he can host compliance seminars, but that doesn't mean they still wouldn't have sold THEIR property or Tressel woud have lied. Be rational for once, there is no reason for Smith to resign. Also why are you calling for the resignation of Gee? He's an excellent school president. So what if he has made silly comments about the state of college football and ohio state football. That shouldn't matter, he's led Ohio State to great success academically, and last time I checked that is his actual job. But you're right we should force the resignation of the AD who overseas the largest Athletic Department in the nation, and has had considerable success in the plethora of sports that it provides for. You're also right in that we should force the resignation of the school president who has led Ohio State to become one of the greates research universities in the nation, I mean throughout Gee's term, we've only had a top 20 college of engineering, top 10 business school, and have had one of the top medical centers in the US for the past 18 years. But you're right, Smith should go, and so should Gee even though they had absolutely NOTHING to do with this mess..

Cross Village's picture

You suck down excessive millions for knowing nothing about athletics, your job is to keep this sort of mess from ever happening.


It is pure and simple... you make exorbitant money to keep things clean... you fail and leave when there is this kind of stench..    Simple.  These clowns should go.  They failed.

JakeBuckeye's picture

If you think Gee's job is to make sure that this sort of thing never happens, then you are terribly mistaken at what Gee's job is. Or at least I assume that's whom you were speaking of.

And by the way, I know that you are a Michigan fan bud ;)

Cross Village's picture

Dear Bud  ;) .... ,

You are ever so very wrong.... multiple degrees from OSU, a Varsity O member, and a full career at OSU's Medical Center.... and I still have critical thinking skills.

Deal with it.


JakeBuckeye's picture

Either an extreme coincidence in forum names or you are refferring to Michigan as "we" in a comment on this page:

Cross Village's picture

Read the comment........ clearly you don't quite understand subtlety.

You present yourself as a bit of a shrill Buckeye "homer" - perhaps of the Simpson variety.  The sort of lout that throws beverages at visiting team fans and spews profanities at the Shoe so intensely that even Ohio State fans with children under 12 leave by the end of the first quarter.  Sportsmanship, my friend, sportsmanship. 

BTW -- It is "referring"

JakeBuckeye's picture

I did read the comment. You referred* to Michigan as "WE" in the comment, including yourself in that very "WE." I guess I haven't met too many buckeye "fans" who are willing to do that.

And I'm sorry that you feel you can make such judgments off of an internet forum. I'm pretty young and have only had the ABSOLUTE privilege to go to only a few Ohio State games. One of them happened to be the most embarrassing loss this decade: The 2007 NCG against Florida. I'd say if there was ever a time to cuss and be insane that would be the game, so I'll take it as a good sign that I was well behaved towards our team, Florida's team, our fans, and Florida's fans.

Cross Village's picture

Read shrill Buckeye Homer simpson... Did you witness your ilk at The Shoe in September of 2006?  Buckeye "Fans" screaming endless profanities at anyone dressed in Burnt Orange. .... tossing beer and regressing to pre-adolesence.  A friend of mine who had been a OSU varsity wrestler tagged a "Buckeye" "fan" who simply went too far. None of us take young children to the Shoe because of your rampant partisanship.  Being a BUCKEYE should not require you to become uncivilized. 

No perspective.  But yet I am grateful as I have sold my tickets in C Deck for 400% profit ever since and my children don't get exposed to churls such as you.  Brent Musburger is far more civilized - however boring- as we watch in Marblehead or Traverse City or Paris where me watched last year's Michigan game on the profits of our ticket sale.  Still fans... but sick of illiteracy. 

Adios & au revoir to the churls.

JakeBuckeye's picture

Cross Village: You are by far my favorite poster on here. Never change, man, never change. But just one thing... Why are you still here again? You know, with the illiterate "churls" like myself?

Another Jason's picture

First of all, the Texas game at the 'Shoe was in 2005 (and yeah, I get to do that since you made it a point to correct someone's extra "f") and I was there.  I neither witnessed nor participated in any "screaming [of] endless profanities."  I would also be interested in what the Texas fans were doing before these supposed attacks, because I imagine that if we took to the streets of Ann Arbor (or anywhere else) after a victory chanting "O-H-I-O," the reception would not be a pleasant one.

But what I really don't understand is how you're making the connection between a supposed "homer" on a message board to some immature, drunk college students acting inappropriately at a football game.

Denny's picture

A good buddy of mine stayed at my place on E Lane that day. He spent all day yelling 'Texas FIIIGHT' and being super drunk (not any different from the rest of us, yelling aside). Nobody gave him more grief that the standard fare before the game, even though he was belligerent.

The street was under construction (sewer modernization) back in Fall 05, so the street was closed and there were bails of hay on the street to block the drains (I think?). Why this was a good idea I'll never know - because there was kindling sitting in the street. After the game, all of that stuff got lit up in the middle of the closed street.

The further we got from High, the bigger the fires got. My buddy was terrified of going outside, and just sat on the couch in his booze coma. Everyone I went to the game with was too sad to try and fight people. I don't recall anything crazy happening aside from the horse cops walking our back alley and the forced crowd control/police state that was going on.


buckeyedude's picture

I have to side with you Jake on this one. But I agree with Cross that fans should be more civilized. But Crossvillage needs to concede that there are bad fans of every team. UF and TTUN are no exception. He makes it sound as though this only happens at OSU. And I read Cross' comment on the MU site, and he did say "we."  Don't pull a "Tressel," Crossvillage.



JakeBuckeye's picture

"The image of The Ohio State University is tarnished... these dorks are why."

These are the most ignorant comments. No the university's image is not tarnished, the football program's is. I can assure you that when Ohio State is sharing its latest cancer and scientific research, nobody is going to stand up and say: "Hold up, remember that football scandal a year ago?!?"

Cross Village's picture

If The OSU is such an academic bastion, tell me why the Athletic Department, more precisely the Tressels, had to bail out the Library renovation?  If this were a real University, that could never have happened.  Impossible in a true academic setting where learning is valued.  

Gee is not an Academician....  He is nothing more than a glorified fund raiser and sophomoric cheerleader with a bow tie. He has never contributed anything to the academic credential of Ohio State. 

If you were living in Berlin in late 1944, you would still be organizing a Hitler '45 Election Campaign.   Things change and so should you.  

Critical thinking:

In a narrow sense, critical thinking has been described as “the correct assessing of statements.” It has also been described popularly and narrowly as "thinking about thinking." It has been described in a much more comprehensive sense as "the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action" More recently, critical thinking has been described as "the process of purposeful, self-regulatory judgment, which uses reasoned consideration to evidence, context, conceptualizations, methods, and criteria." Within the critical social theory philosophical frame, critical thinking is commonly understood to involve commitment to the social and political practice of participatory democracy, willingness to imagine or remain open to considering alternative perspectives, willingness to integrate new or revised perspectives into our ways of thinking and acting, and willingness to foster criticality in others.

Another Jason's picture

Godwin's Law:

Godwin's Law is a humorous observation made by Mike Godwin in 1990 which has become an Internet adage. It states: "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1." In other words, Godwin put forth the hyperbolic observation that, given enough time, in any online discussion—regardless of topic or scope—someone inevitably criticizes some point made in the discussion by comparing it to beliefs held by Hitler and the Nazis.

btalbert25's picture

You forgot that most important part thought.  

When such an event occurs, the person guilty of invoking Godwin's Law has effectively forfieted the argument.

Another Jason's picture

Sorry, I'm waiting on Cross Village's course in copying stuff from Wikipedia.

Buckeye in Athens's picture

I almost linked to the "reductio ad hitlerum" wiki page too haha

Cross Village's picture

Here is lesson # 2.   You obviously could benefit.

Critical thinking is self-guided, self-disciplined thinking which attempts to reason at the highest level of quality in a fair-minded way.  People who think critically consistently attempt to live rationally, reasonably, empathically.   They are keenly aware of the inherently flawed nature of human thinking when left unchecked.  They strive to diminish the power of their egocentric and sociocentric tendencies.  They use the intellectual tools that critical thinking offers – concepts and principles that enable them to analyze, assess, and improve thinking.  They work diligently to develop the intellectual virtues of intellectual integrity, intellectual humility, intellectual civility, intellectual empathy, intellectual sense of justice and confidence in reason.  They realize that no matter how skilled they are as thinkers, they can always improve their reasoning abilities and they will at times fall prey to mistakes in reasoning, human irrationality, prejudices, biases, distortions, uncritically accepted social rules and taboos, self-interest, and vested interest.  They strive to improve the world in whatever ways they can and contribute to a more rational, civilized society.   At the same time, they recognize the complexities often inherent in doing so.  They avoid thinking simplistically about complicated issues and strive to appropriately consider the rights and needs of relevant others.  They recognize the complexities in developing as thinkers, and commit themselves to life-long practice toward self-improvement.  They embody the Socratic principle:  The unexamined life is not worth living, because they realize that many unexamined lives together result in an uncritical, unjust, dangerous world.
~ Linda Elder, September, 2007

Cross Village's picture

Clear that you have only a superficial understanding and have missed the point.  A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

No one was more abusive of Godwin's Law than D Cheney and his organ grinder simian G Wack Bush. So, why would some half baked dork put up a W thumbs up bonobo shot? 

Thus expect nothing more from this forum.   Intellectual it is not and confusion reigns anytime thinking for oneself comes up.

Denny's picture

Because the picture was captioned 'Cool Story, Bro.' - that's not that hard to grasp, is it?

It's cool though, I'm glad there's someone more smug and self-congratulatory around here than I am. It's a shame you're not sticking around.


Matt's picture

Denny, don't let anyone ever cause you to think that there is someone more smug and self-congratulatory around here than you are.  It is simply not true.  It shall never be true.  And for that, you should smugly congratulate yourself.

JakeBuckeye's picture

At least many of Denny's comments are somewhat amusing.

Denny's picture

Oh man, Catch 22 moment you guys!


Cross Village's picture

I doubt that many here could have a bright, interesting discussion even about football strategy.   So chatting here about anything more is unlikely to elicit much good thought.

I would probably get a better alpha brainwave response from our 22 year old senile cat........

Go Bucks!™





William's picture

You're right everyone on this site in comparison to you is some mindless proletariat. If you're tired of our diminished IQs, and our thought process that is below that of a cat, then why do you continuously post?

Denny's picture

You can't take an integral of a tilde. That's just silly.


Buckeye in Athens's picture

Isn't Gee's - and any university president's - job an administrative one instead of an academic one? Some of hiis primary functions as a policy executive are fund raising, instituting policy, and rallying support for the university. 


Ohio State is of course a "real university" - it is one of the best public institutions in the country. Just because the university has non-academic goals doesn't mean that learning isn't valued. Even though tatgate fallout may forever mark Tressel's tenure here, he should always be remembered as valuing the academic careers of his athletes. He always cared about how football players were performing in the classroom and preached about the importance of off the field success. If OSU fires him, like you suggest we should, then we lose a great man who was committed to the academic and life success of his players.

JakeBuckeye's picture

"If you were living in Berlin in late 1944, you would still be organizing a Hitler '45 Election Campaign.   Things change and so should you."

I know part of what makes Eleven Warriors awesome is how laid back you guys (Jason and Co.) are, but is there any way we could get this clown banned? All of the other stuff, and now this? Apparently I'd be a Nazi if I was alive in 1945?

Cross Village's picture

That is how most defeatist respond.  Cannot think and respond? Ban.

Swell illiterate and paranoid knee jerk.  Very predictable infantile reaction.

There should either be an age requirement or a breathalizer app on the blog.

JakeBuckeye's picture

You've got one sweet definition of illiterate. And sorry my man, I don't feel the need to defend whether or not I'd be a Nazi.

William's picture

Really? Most of your remarks are infantile. What is with such the hatred for Gee? You act like he should of prevented Tressel from lying. How do you prevent someone from lying? It's their choice, its not like Gee is going to sit over Tressel's shoulder and wag his finger at him. Also no one on here resorts to name calling like you do. Keep it civil or get out. Also by claiming that Tressel's acts tarnish the university you are really diminshing it. If you think that any offense that an athletic program commits will tarnish this university, then you really have no clue as to the immensity of the university and how much there is to it beyond the Athletic Department, also why the Athletic Department helped fund the library project is rather simple to explain, they donate to the university yearly......

JakeBuckeye's picture

Cross Village is the most civilized poster here. Don't you see his posts? He's high class. Its us, the illiterate/baked/drunk churls, that bring the civility of this board down.

William's picture

Don't forget that we're the fascist Nazis that are diminishing his critical thinking capabilities, and his freedom of expression. Shame on us...

Cross Village's picture

Thanks for helping prove the point.  Masterful job.




Another Jason's picture

The last is a point that should not ever be forgotten.  Ours is one of the very few athletic departments in the country that can even do such a thing.  It is completely self-sustaining and the fact that we choose to use athletic dollars for academic improvement should be a source of pride.

buckeyedude's picture

How's this for "critical thinking," Cross Village? I think you're full of shit. I hope I'm not being to "critical."



Denny's picture

Is that Adam Jacobi in the picture for this article?


Maestro's picture

I think Cross Village is an SC fan in disguise.  Seriously man, move on.  You obviously don't want to be here.  Why torture yourself?  You are clearly losing brain cells just by logging onto this place.  Pfffffftttttt!!!!!!  Maybe go back to Paris.  That sounds like the perfect place for you.

vacuuming sucks

Cross Village's picture

You have a good spellcheck as most hacks can't get vacuuming right.   Good work.

The issue here is not losing brain cells... One just need to default most of one's IQ.

Grow Bucks¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡

Maestro's picture

and I also now know that vacuuming is a synonym for Cross Village, so I got that going for me......which is nice.

vacuuming sucks