I think it is productive to start with my own viewpoint on this entire situation & go from there. A bunch of us have had scattered thoughts in this regard, on multiple different daily threads. Nothing wrong with that, the conversation naturally drifts.
The viewpoint I have right now is that tOSU is not going to face anywhere close to the penalty that a majority think is coming. I'm already bracing for the backlash because it will sell, extremely well in paper/print/subscriptions. I have this belief due to some very specific facts:
A) Regardless of all media circus & journalistic (not) integrity, there is absolutely nothing different in official capacity with the NCAA, in regards to notice and/or allegations.
- Jim Tressel is admittedly guilty of being dishonest to his bosses and the NCAA, on multiple occasions. Regardless of the intent of trying to handle things *in house* he lied & has certainly suffered wrath on that already, not to mention what may be coming later for him personally. We are still looking at March though and people who are incredibly worried, need to recognize that. Until there is a post-ponement of the August hearing or any official indication, there is nothing different.
B) While a plethora of above mentioned journalists mention all manner of "similar" violations to 10.1, not very many draw a distinction that is incredibly relevant & significant.
- The Notice of Allegations in this case, do not also include additional violations. In a large majority of the documented 10.1 violations, there have been recruitment, misconduct, compliance and/or willful attempts to not cooperate - violations. This is not even close to being the case with our former coach. This is incredibly significant because of how rare it is. With the rarity, comes the need to understand that you can't just throw this in a goldfish jar with every other example.
C) There is absolutely NO evidence of complicity on the part of Ohio State.
- If there was any ability/proof linking staff past Jim Tressel to any of these issues (especially lying to the NCAA), we would be in for one hell of a hit. There isn't though ... and regardless of the uninformed goofballs, our compliance department is held in high esteem with the NCAA for a reason. We report pretty much anything that happens. To pretend that the violations we report routinely are isolated to this university, is only beneficial if you still sniff paint or ingest glue. Ohio State has one of the largest Athletic Departments in the nation & regardless of being big, our compliance staff do an excellent job.
D) With the University cleared as an entity (as of now), the sufferage falls to those in question.
- SweaterVest is gone. Terrelle is gone. Neither are going to go to the NCAA & have a sit down to hash out violations. Regardless of any allegations being potentially within a kernel of truth with reports, nothing is substantiated at this point. On the same topic, they are gone. If you believe the NCAA needs to still have its ducks in a row, they are gone.
E) Anonymous sources.
- They are anonymous for a reason. If you have any familiarity or employment with law enforcement, you are required to take classes on this very subject. There isn't a single anonymous source or confidential informant who doesn't have something to gain. Not one. There also isn't any requirement on the part of sensationalistic reporting to do anything but phrase/edit for the best bang. There was an anonymous source quoted, saying a few dealerships provided thousands of dollars in discounts to players. Well, the monetary value aspect has now been reviewed. That isn't the case. I can tell you easily how this started. A dealership was vetted by administration. The players came in and encountered a great salesman. They thought they got an exceptional deal (which they didn't), and passed it along via word-of-mouth to players. The cycle continued. Dealership didn't divulge that they weren't really getting anything special, complied with requirement to inform compliance & everyone was happy. That is literally the basis of what has transpired with vehicles. In this regard, tOSU would absolutely NOT cancel a planned investigation (which they already did pre-lim work on it for sure) unless they were supremely confident there was nothing to show here.
F) The NCAA is on trial here actually - Not Jim Tressel, Not Terrelle Pryor. There is always a customer. In this situation, the NCAA has the grocer base of Universities, not fan bases of every school besides Ohio State. If fan bases drove their opinions/judgement, they wouldn't be in the mess they are.
- You take an example of USC. A school that willfully hedged, hid, lied about & blocked-at-every-turn violations rampant in multiple sports. Not only multiple sports, but willful negligence in compliance. Not even just that, agent involvement. The penalty they received DID come from a ton of surmised opinion/circumstance, but it was because they forced that situation. My personal opinion is that they got off kinda easy. The reason they did is because of the inability to prove more.
- Now take a 10.1 violation by Jim Tressel. "We need to report to you potential violations. Please come here & take a look at what we have. Feel free to turn over the rocks we may have. Can't guarantee everything, but we will at the least, give you the free reign to do what you need to."
- If you are a University & you pro-actively report violations (even becoming a leading entity in the nation) to the NCAA, can you imagine the internal fallout to pretty much every school in the nation if this case study gets ripped apart? What possible reason would there be to maintain being cooperative? NONE. NONE. NONE.
In closing. Violations are dictated solely at Jim Tressel (Staff-wise). There is no other person who has been linked to anything. The university is ultra-compliant & I suspect the "feelers" out there indicated that Jim needed to be gone from the school as head coach to make this smooth. If a post-ponement of appearance occurs and/or there is a notice of additional violations surface, we are in some bad shape ... but until then?
It is still March. A month where all those same goofy journalists were admitting that the University faced nothing as an entity, only Jim Tressel as a person. "He can't keep his job." Well, he is gone. What now?