Tressel's vest isn't bulletproof
Ohio State must make case to NCAA by July 5
Published: Monday, April 25, 2011
Updated: Friday, June 15, 2012 23:06
The athletic department released a statement Monday, saying: "The allegations are largely consistent with what the university self-reported to the NCAA on March 8, 2011, and which were widely covered in the media. The university will continue to work cooperatively with the NCAA during the response phase to the NCAA that now begins, and will have no further comment until the process is completed."
The university has until July 5 to compile all requested documents and responses. Gee, Tressel and Smith are scheduled to meet with the NCAA Committee on Infractions on Aug. 12 in Indianapolis.
The NCAA also requested that faculty athletics representative John Bruno and director of compliance Doug Archie attend.
At the meeting, the university representatives will have the opportunity to make their case. The letter states the NCAA is most interested in Gee's presentation.
At the March 8 press conference, when asked if he ever considered firing Tressel, Gee joked that he hoped Tressel "doesn't dismiss me."
Gee told The Lantern on April 13 that he regretted making that remark.
Mark Neyland, who served more than three years on the NCAA Enforcement staff and provides counsel on NCAA infractions, said a postseason ban could be in store once the NCAA makes its final decisions.
"The Committee on Infractions is in the business of trying to make the penalties fit the crime," Neyland told The Lantern. "Because a postseason ban is one of the more severe penalties, it is generally reserved to the types of violations that the committee deems to be most egregious."
Buckner said OSU fans should prepare to see the team's 2010 victories vanquished.
"Based on the information that we have available right now, I do think there's a possibility that those contests in which ineligible student-athletes participated, those games could be vacated," Buckner said. "I think Ohio State fans need to understand that that may be a possibility."
In its letter, the NCAA asked OSU to detail a list of past NCAA infractions, distinguishing the university as a "repeat offender."
Quarterback Troy Smith accepted $500 from a booster and was suspended for the 2004 Alamo Bowl and the first game of the 2005 season.
Former men's basketball coach Jim O'Brien violated NCAA rules when he financially supported a potential recruit.
"Ohio State is still within the repeat violators statute, which is five years from the last major rules violation," Buckner said. "According to what has been recorded in those violations, I don't think that the committee is going to come out and use the repeat violators statute because there's no indication that the institution was directly involved in the violations or didn't do enough to monitor. There wasn't institutional breakdown. Those weren't alleged by the enforcement staff.
"I think what you're going to see is this be taken care of in a narrow focus by the Committee on Infractions dealing with the student-athletes, possible vacation of those contests and coach Tressel directly."
Ally Kraemer, Trent Barter and Pat Brennan contributed to this story.
Correction: This article quoted Gee as saying he hoped Tressel "doesn't fire me." In fact, Gee said he hoped Tressel "doesn't dismiss me."