The Worldwide Leader in Selectively Vacating Wins

By Ramzy Nasrallah on July 26, 2011 at 10:30a
51 Comments
We report.  We decide.

Vacated wins: Ohio State has them.  Lots of schools have them.  When players or coaches are caught breaking rules after the fact (or in Ohio State's case, during the fact) erasing the wins earned improperly is one of the NCAA's punishments of choice.

It can be argued about how significant of a punishment vacated wins are, but as far as the NCAA is concerned, it's a serious punishment. 

This is why they publically battled the University of Kentucky earlier this summer over its premature celebration of coach John Calipari's 500th win in February, since 42 of those wins were previously vacated by the NCAA.  UK eventually acquiesced and apologized for the celebration.  Those 42 wins that happened on the floor technically cannot count toward Calipari's career win total.

Recently, Georgia Tech was investigated and punished by the NCAA (all very quietly, without a single shred of reporting - are ya jelly, Buckeyes?) and subsequently forced to vacate its 2009 ACC title and its three final games in which wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, who received a whopping $312 in improper benefits, participated.

You already know that ESPN is the Worldwide Leader in Selective Reporting, so it shouldn't surprise you that this is how ESPN.com still records Georgia Tech's 2009 season.

 

Despite ESPN's own report that Georgia Tech was vacating its final three games of the 2009 season, no changes have been made yet to the Yellow Jackets' record.  The word yet is deliberate; Tech's vacated title and wins happened very recently - actually, more recently than Ohio State's.

Vacated wins are technically removed from NCAA records, not ESPN's.  How diligent is ESPN.com about vacating wins from its own pages?  Here is how ESPN shows the final 2005 SEC standings:

 

Looks normal, except that Alabama was forced to vacate 21 wins between 2005-2007.  As with the Georgia Tech penalties, ESPN also reported this story

Below are ESPN's final SEC standings from 2006 and 2007, which show 13 more wins for Alabama that the NCAA has vacated:

 

Four years is more than a reasonable amount of time for ESPN.com to make an adjustment, so based on this data, it should be safe to assume that it is not a standard practice to vacate wins.

But is this consistent across different sports?  Thirty-eight of the 42 wins that Kentucky erroneously credited Calipari in celebrating his not-500th win came at Memphis, where all 38 wins from the 2008-9 season were erased.  ESPN.com does not reflect the NCAA's decision in those standings either:

 

Calipari's vacated wins from that season are all still there, completely intact, years later.

ESPN almost went out of its way to avoid reporting on the three-year investigation into USC's football troubles, leaving all of the heavy lifting (and actual reporting) to Yahoo! Sports. 

When the NCAA reached its final verdict, only then did ESPN actually bother to acknowledge that the Trojans were not only under investigation - certainly a shock to those who only get their sports information from ESPN - but had gotten the blunt, business end of the Committee on Infractions' punishment stick.

Not surprisingly, USC's vacated wins were never vacated by ESPN either.  Besides, even if ESPN reflected NCAA decisions on vacated wins - and we've demonstrated with several high-profile punishments that it does not - vacating USC's wins would require someone to inform ESPN that it actually happened:

 

Pete Carroll's no-title "dynasty" is stlil alive and well at ESPN.

So by now you probably know where we're going with this.  Ohio State's vacated 2010 should still be intact too, right?  Behold, the work of the dilligent and incredibly selective ESPN historian:

 

It was nice of ESPN to keep Ohio State's six-game win streak to end the season intact, considering the Buckeyes finished 0-1.

Sure, it's possibly just the work of a single rogue Web administrator, but this definitely does nothing to support those of us who have suggested ESPN's eggregiously slanted and inaccurate reporting of Ohio State's misfortunes this summer were on account of bias or a personal grudge.

For the sake of fair balance - yes, as with the other stories, ESPN also reported this.  And reported.  And reported.  And reported.  And reported.  And reported.  And reported.  And sued Ohio State.  And reported.  And reported.  And reported.  And reported.  And reported.  And reported.

Author's note: Thanks & salutations to JakeBuckeye of the 11W Commentariat for noticing this.  We love you Jake, but it's time for you to make like ESPN and update your profile, specifically the part about your favorite current Buckeye.

51 Comments

Comments

cronimi's picture

The expanded B1G standings reflect OSU's pre-vacation wins, so maybe it is a coincidence.  But it certainly does nothing to endear ESPiN to Buckeye Nation.  As the voices in my head say, just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you.

gobucks1226's picture

Ohio State vacated the ENTIRE 2010 season, including the loss to Wisconsin. It was as if the season never happened. Ohio State's record should actually be 0-0.

Honestly, I wish ESPN would just not vacate anything for any program in their stats. We all know the games happened and who won & lost, and 99% of the time it had nothing to do with actually affecting the games ON THE FIELD.

But, this is ESPN. Common sense isn't an option.

elloyd1681's picture

Thanks Ramzy and Jake.  If nothing else this is good entertainment.  

 

 

Denny's picture

Has 'being mad at ESPN' become the new 'being mad at Terelle Pryor'?

Taquitos.

Irricoir's picture

Maybe but both are deserving in my eyes, just as much a Tressel is deserving. Intent is the key to who get which degree of mad. I'm mad bruh!

I don't always take names when I kick ass but when I do, they most often belong to a Wolverine.

Bucks43201's picture

of course, there is one fool who would stick up for ESPN this matter  .... being "mad" at ESPN is justified, Denny

"You win with people." - Woody Hayes

Denny's picture

Not at all sticking up for ESPN.

(RIP Barbaro. Sorry our fanbase keeps kicking you.)

Taquitos.

BacknBlack's picture

While this is interesting you guys (and now gal) need to MOVE ON. The season is 45 days away and 11W has become just as bad as ESPIN at rehashing the events of the last 6 months. Come on you are better than that.

NW Buckeye's picture

Meanwhile Espin continues to hammer OSU and cry about the need for harsher sanctions.  I find it refreshing that at least someone is calling them out on their bias.  And pointing out Espin's inaccuracy on season records is not rehashing.  It is merely pointing out their continued bias.  That said, yes, I am looking forward to more talk about the actual game instead sll this. 

German Buckeye's picture

Well I for one thank 11W for calling out the emperor with no clothes.  Continue to snip at the heals of the Media Organization That Will Not Be Named (henceforth known as ESPIN).  That is all, carry on. 

BuckeyeSki's picture

Thats a bold statement right there

Banned from BlackShoeDiaries since 2008. Crime: Slander/Defamation of Character Judgement: Guilty

flipbuckeye's picture

I see what you did there...

Bucksfan's picture

Everyone here is certainly looking forward to Ohio State football games.  But, some of us are fans of the whole sport, and many follow the national landscape.  The network with the most coverage is ESPiN.  Some of us still love College Gameday.  Many Ohio State games will be on ESPN, broadcasted by their broadcasters, halftimes run by their people.

If you think it's going to be "fun" to watch Ohio State games this year, you better be prepared to give up being a fan of college football as a whole, and watch games with the sound turned off.  Because all it's going to be are talking heads continually bashing OSU and calling them out for not getting hit with severe penalties for their made-up bullshit.  And unfortunately, we don't have a John Stewart on our side to call them out on a nightly basis for their hypocrisy (someone get Ramzy a comedy news show on BTN, STAT!).

Bucks's picture

My Grandfather used to insist on muting the volume of any game and turning on Paul Keels on the radio for the duration. I never did it, but quite sure I will for a few games this year.

Bucksfan's picture

Believe me, I wish I could.  I'm no longer in or around Ohio.

741's picture

FYI, www.971thefan.com allows you to stream live broadcasts over the internets - i.e., Paul Keels is GLOBAL.

AeroBuckeye2001's picture

I think you need to pay in order to hear the actual game broadcast. That being said, I'm at all of the games and was wondering if anyone has ever tried out those stupid radios that they sell by the stadium. I think they're twenty bucks or so. Was thinking about getting one to hear Paul Keels while watching the game.

The Ohio State University Class of 2001
BS Aero & Astronautical Engineering

741's picture

Wow - you are right. My bad! (I am in Columbus and go to all the home games, so never actually tried listening to the games online.)

http://www.971thefan.com/live/content/sports/osuwebblitz.html

As for the stupid radios in the stadium - my brother loves those, and gets one every year. (They change the frequency or something so last years version will not work the current year, but they do give you a $5 discount I think to turn in the previous year's radio.)

blazers34's picture

I know I'm probably one of the few, but I cant stand Paul Keels.  Every call doesnt HAVE to be Gus Johnson, but geez, show a little life keels.

SouthBayBuckeye's picture

do not pass go. do not collect $200.

Banned from ATO since June 3rd 2PMish PST

Bucks's picture

Wow, I see comments passing judgement of this story because it reports based on fact & defending a media outlet that runs stories based off conjecture & anonymous sources. Funny.

Good read, and enjoyed it!

 

As for making a statement that 11w is as bad as Espin, you sir may sit and spin.

Denny's picture

Nobody defended ESPN in the comments. At all. You're projecting.

Taquitos.

vitaminB's picture

Dane signs with the Bears.  I'm ordering my jersey today.

NeARBuckeye's picture

Here we go on a fantasy sleeper!

NC_Buckeye's picture

Speaking of jerseys... if the merchandisers were to reissue Fickell 99 or Vrabel 94 jerseys -- I'd probably buy one of each. A home and away might be nice to have. (I actually have been kicking myself for years that I didn't get a Vrabel jersey back in the day.)

So who do I see about making that happen?

Jdadams01's picture

Great article. I don't see this as rehashing at all, but the continued defense of Buckeye Nation. As long as ESPiN is still going to bash us daily, I'm glad sites like 11W are still going to call them out and defend us daily.

OHIOST1087's picture

This really isn't surprising considering E(sec)PN just released a line of SEC apparel/stuff through their espnshop.com as well as spending all of last week and this week on their network with SEC coaches (Media Days last week, then they're all on set Bristol this week).

Also I'm thoroughly excited that we (us non-chicago area residents) will get to see Dane 4 times on nat'l primetime games this season.

bucki5's picture

ESecPIN . . . I like it.

BacknBlack's picture

Thanks for listening 11W. I see you changed the 11W poll from the Pryor draft question to something we can discuss and look forward to this fall. 

Bucks's picture

^^^? The pole changes on a regular basis.

Ramzy Nasrallah's picture

That's what she said.

Baroclinicity's picture

Mt. Dew now on monitor.

SouthBayBuckeye's picture

EXTREEEEEMMEEE

Banned from ATO since June 3rd 2PMish PST

Doug T's picture

If gameday has a show at OSU this year the fans should all disappear right when they go on air. It would make a huge statement to them.

Bucks's picture

That or hand out 3000 of the Espin T-shirts. Good luck on avoiding that shot cameraman!

btalbert25's picture

I said it a couple of weeks ago.  Coordinate it where everyone gets a sign that says F*CK ESPN

or give out a few 1000 vuvuzelas, cowbells, kazoos, fart machines, fog horns, milk jugs with coins, and any thing else that makes noise and just get the volume so obnoxious that Fowler and the boys have to scream into their mics.  They'll never want to come to Columbus again.

 

741's picture

I like where this thread is going.

BuckeyeChief's picture

The problem with that is it's gotta be all in; I swear they'll be people there who have no idea wtf is going on, call us jerks and say we're embarrasing Columbus while wearing shit eating grins; never mind Mary May hates everything Ohio, and Cowturd has called every woman in Ohio fat. Never mind the shit shoveling 90% of the College football coverage there slams us. It isn't ESPN as a whole; I doubt Buster Onley gives a damn about us.

It's gotta be all in, and if it is going down, I f'en swear I'll do my best to get there and support/ back you guys.

 

"Clutch has no boundaries"

AltaBuck's picture

Everyone should just turn their backs to the Gameday set and instead be viewing the the best damn band in the land playing as loud as possible.  I would love to see Desmond trying to talk over Fight the Team Across the Field and Buckeye Battle Cry.

I have been known on occasion to howl at the moon. - Crash Davis

LeeNorthbrook's picture

There are always enough idiots who want to get their mug on TV so they can do something like propose to Casey Anthony to guarantee them a background audience.

thorvath22's picture

Would any of these news publications or writers (SI / ESPN) be forced to retract any false information from their stories like the free car accusations or the other 30 some odd players that were accused and never found of any wrong doing? I mean this somewhat slander is it not? The witch hunt went nowhere and was full of lies and that's ok? Ohio States entire image is damaged and I don't think it would have been so damaged if the reporting was kept honest annd truthful......but in the end its sad that ignorant people make up the majority of our population.

JakeBuckeye's picture

Life = Complete. Thanks for the shoutout and for making this a full-fledged article.

I guess it is time to change that profile...

JakeBuckeye's picture

And now its time to self-promote.

Follow me on twitter @JakeBuckeye http://twitter.com/#!/JakeBuckeye and support thy noble cause.

OHIOinME's picture

Are the Ohio State vacated wins even official yet with the NCAA?  I think ESPN is owned by Iran and edited by Ahmadinejad

Unstbl's picture

Well, there is the omsbudsman...  http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/columns/story?id=2826900

Figured it worth a shot and got the following response.  Think 11W can generate "several complaints on the same topic"?

"The Poynter Review Project cannot respond personally to all the mail they receive, but every complaint is read and noted.  When complaints are specific to a show or an article on ESPN.com, they are forwarded to the producer or editor in charge of that content.  When there are several complaints on the same topic, we will look to address them in our blog or monthly column.  (The same is true for positive comments.)  We cannot assure you that your complaints or ours will result in action, but we can assure you they are not lost in some cyberspace void.  They are read, thought about, and disseminated.

Thank you,

Russell Goldstein 
Assistant to the Poynter Review Panel
espn.feedback@gmail.com

Click here for the Poyner Review Project archive"

Bucks43201's picture

Great article by Ramzy and great notice by Jake!

"You win with people." - Woody Hayes

Scott K's picture

http://www.bigtennetwork.com/dpp/sports/football/2011-big-ten-football-c...

There's a link to this in Buckshots for tix to the title game, but the 2010 wins are still there according to the B1G...

"There's a fine line between stupid, and....clever.  David St. Hubbins/Nigel Tufnel