The latest step in the ongoing saga of “Tattoogate,” former Ohio State head football coach Jim Tressel’s failure to disclose knowledge of apparent NCAA violations, and related issues occurred today, when the Buckeyes put in Ohio State’s response to the NCAA investigation.
Ohio State announced that it will vacate all of the Buckeyes’ wins from the 2011 season and that the football team will be on probation for the next two years — meaning the school will be teed up for bigger penalties if there are any future violations of NCAA rules. The school also announced that former head football coach Jim Tressel was retiring, not resigning, and that Tressel will not be required to pay the $250,000 fine that was originally imposed upon him.
We’ll have to wait to see what this means from the NCAA standpoint. The Buckeyes have a hearing before the infractions committee on August 12, and after the hearing the NCAA could decide to impose stiffer sanctions, including limiting scholarships and barring the Buckeyes from bowl games for a year or more.
Ohio State fans have had to absorb a lot of upsetting developments and embarrassment lately, so it is difficult to say how this latest news will affect the shell-shocked members of Buckeye Nation. Ohio State’s share of the 2010 Big Ten championship will be no more, as will the Buckeyes’ latest win over The State Up North. For me, the biggest sacrifice will be voiding the Buckeyes’ first bowl game win over an SEC team. It has taken decades for Ohio State to get off the schneid against the SEC — and now, only a few months later, we’re back on the schneid again.