March 10, 2011

Ohio State Football Faces More Punishments

    Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel has been suspended by the school two games, and fined $250k, for failing to notify the NCAA that some players were selling merchandise for tattoos more then eight months ago.The NCAA still could make the punishment longer.

"Obviously I'm disappointed that this happened at all. I take my responsibility for what we do at Ohio State tremendously seriously and for the game of football. I plan to grow from this. I'm sincerely saddened by the fact that I let some people down and didn't do things as well as I possibly could have." Tressel said.

Jim Tressel
    In December of 2010, a report came out against five Ohio State players that they had  sold jerseys, championship rings and trophies to a local tattoo parlor in exchange for tattoos. An FBI investigation on the tattoo parlor for other reasons had discovered this, and told the University what it had found. The five players, including star QB Terrelle Pryor are suspended for the first five games of the 2011-12 season. Many people were unhappy that the players were not suspended for the teams Sugar Bowl game in January. Ohio State beat Arkansas 31-26, including a late game interception to seal the win by freshman Soloman Thomas, who was one of the five players.

    Yahoo! Sports then reported that Tressel had been told of this in an email in April of 2010. The email came from a lawyer who was involved in the federal investigation.

    As it just so happens, the lawyer was a former Ohio State football walk on, who played 1 season as a backup in 1983. That was the year Tressel became an assistent coach at Ohio State. Tressel then had a 14-year stint at Youngstown State University that included four FCS national titles. In 2001, Tressel became the head coach at Ohio State. He won a championship with the Buckeyes in 2002 over Miami (FL).

   Ohio State, and especially Tressel, have always had a squeaky clean reputation. This is a new thing for Ohio State and its fans to see this happen. I don't think anyone expected Tressel to have any negative part in this whole ordeal.

    For now though, Tressel will only miss two games against two cupcake opponents in Akron and Toledo. The other five players will miss the next three games against Miami (FL), Colorado, and Michigan State. They will be back just in time for a road game at new Big 10  member Nebraska's home field in Lincoln.

   With all these suspensions, this is how I see Ohio State's schedule playing out:

Akron - W
Toledo - W
@ Miami (FL) - W
Colorado - W
Michigan State - L
@ Nebraska - L
@ Illinois - W
Wisconsin - W   
Indiana - W
@ Purdue - W
Penn State - W
@ Michigan - W

     Regardless of the players being gone, Ohio State gets past the first four games with a 4-0 record. Michigan State is returning everyone back from an 11-2 season. However they can choke at times, and did not play Ohio State last season. But Ohio State is missing a lot of talent, and MSU wins a close game. All the players come back in time for a game at Nebraska. Nebraska is a great team and the Buckeyes cant do it and loose. Ohio State then wins out and finishes 10-2. I think they will make a Rose Bowl berth after the season. So it is not all bad for Buckeye fans.

     If the players were eligible for the whole season though, I think that Ohio State would have a great shot at an undefeated season.

    But with the suspensions, that will not happen. Ohio State will keep a six year BCS berth going after this year though.

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