The perception of arrogance started (or at least was greatly intensified) when OSU initially suspended Jim Tressel for only 2 games for violations that will almost certainly result in a show-cause penalty from the NCAA. Plus there was the whole debacle of a press conference and the mixed messages surrounding his resignation/retirement, among other things.
In 3b, OSU requests that repeat violator penalties be withheld and states why they think such penalties be withheld. This means that OSU is conceding that they are repeat violators but requesting that they not be treated as such when they are sanctioned. I don't want to copy the whole thing since the formatting got messed up on my last post, so I'll just sum them up:
1) The previous violations were committed by the basketball program and were not similar to these violations, which were committed by the football program.
2) The previous violations mainly stem from actions taken 13 years ago.
3) There are mitigating circumstances regarding institutional culpability in this case.
This is a decent argument, but there are numerous reasons that the NCAA could reject it. For one thing, both sets of violations were highly serious insofar as the NCAA is concerned. For another, both sets of violations directly involved the coach of a high profile sport flagrantly and intentionally violating NCAA rules. There are numerous other potential counter-arguments along these lines, but the larger point is that OSU is at the NCAAs mercy here by admitting that the repeat violator status can legitimately be applied in this case.
OSU stated in their response to the NCAA that repeat violator legislation applies:
Overview of Applicability – As noted above, the institution acknowledges that
the self-reported violations in this response are major. On March 10, 2006,
the Division I Committee on Infractions issued an infractions report to the
University that primarily involved the men’s basketball program. The report
indicated that the University was subject to the provisions of NCAA Bylaw
126.96.36.199 for a five-year period, beginning on March 10, 2006. The major
violations involving institutional responsibility in this case occurred in April
of 2010 when Tressel should have reported that possible NCAA violations
likely were committed, and he did not report such information to the
appropriate institutional officials. As a result, the institution agrees it is
subject to the repeat violator legislation.
Wetzel's point is that a school should be acting on allegations of an active player because the NCAA faces a far more difficult challenge of investigating inactive players than investigating active ones. Thus, if a school's compliance department does not conduct a full investigation until a player leaves, even when they know of potential violations while the player is still in school, then they are effectively throwing away evidence and thwarting the NCAA's ability to investigate potential violations. Furthermore, by failing to conduct an investigation into the player's elligibility, they effectively allow a player to remain elligible even when he shouldn't be.
On the other hand, Wetzel also made an analogy referencing Nazis, meaning that Godwin's law dictates that he loses this debate.
If I recall correctly, SMU shared your attitude in the '80s.
As a Michigan student, I have to say that was awesome and I wish that our second semester hadn't ended last Thursday. GO USA
Assuming that Tressel forwarded the emails, then the offense is almost certainly worse. If he forwarded them to a coach, player, or anyone like that, then the confidentiality argument is completely gone and as you noted, it introduces co-conspirators in the violations. If he forwarded them to anyone in the OSU administration, then some of the blame goes away from Tressel, but the NCAA will see that multiple people in the university were involved in the decision to not report the violations, in which case there's a potential lack of institutional control case which is far far worse for you guys than what you've got now. He could have forwarded it to a lawyer and the lawyer told him to tell compliance, in which case he's in a worse situation than he is now for ignoring legal advice, but not incredibly because it only serves to weaken his explanation for what he did.
There are two possibilities I can come up with in which forwarding the emails is a positive:
1. Tressel forwarded the emails to a university lawyer not associated with compliance and the lawyer told him to sit on it to avoid interfering with a federal investigation. If that's the case, Tressel's still on the hook for not coming forward in December, but there is something of an excuse here. However, this is almost certainly not the case because it would involve the lawyer being very dumb and telling him to keep quiet when he was under an obligation to report the contents of the emails to compliance.
2. He forwarded the emails to someone associated with federal law enforcement and they asked him to be quiet. If that's the case, then Tressel is somewhat exonorated, although he still should have come forward in December. However, if this is in fact what occurred, it makes no sense for the university to not have made note of it at the press conference or in their letter to the NCAA.
There is also a third possibility, namely that Tressel did not forward the emails to anyone, but that Smith didn't want to allow a line of questioning concerning the specifics of the investigation. That is probably the best case scenario here. because the others I listed are highly unlikely.
Thanks for allowing me to post here. I am a Michigan fan, but I do have the ability to be objective when actually analyzing things. And I'm pretty sure that you're wrong about losing the Arkansas win should the season be vacated.
The Arkansas win wouldn't be vacated because the violations were uncovered and punishment was handed down before the game, so the players were elligible for the Arkansas game. Every regular season win, however, would be vacated because Tressel knew the players to be inelligible and played them anyway.