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The Bucks stop where?

Andy Gottesman / Multimedia editor

I’m tired of hearing, “They didn’t know,” “We weren’t explicit

enough,” “These are tough times,” and “We intend to appeal.”

Enough already! At what point does my university do the right thing

and insist on even tougher standards than the NCAA?

Who at Ohio State finally has the guts to hold student-athletes

personally accountable for their actions? I want my alma mater to set a

lasting example. Acquiescing to an NCAA ruling then filing an appeal is

way too wimpy. OSU can and should do much better.

Specifically, kick the tattoo crew off the team now, before the Sugar

Bowl. They’ve broken the rules and dishonored the university. They

should forfeit their scholarships. Team members who think only about

themselves should be on their own — just like regular students.

To deter similar incidents in the future, the athletic department


1. Give parents and prospective athletes a legally prepared list of

OSU do’s and don’ts that reflect or exceed NCAA standards. Clearly

state disciplinary policy for violators. No signatures, no scholarship.

2. Quiz students-athletes repeatedly on rules during preseason

practice. No pass, no play.

3. Establish OSU standards for player punishment independent of

NCAA regulations. Don’t wait to see if the NCAA will let an infraction


4. Initiate a scholarship forfeiture-repayment plan to deter future


It should incorporate the following:

A. If an athlete leaves OSU for pro sports before eligibility expires,

the scholarship becomes a student loan and must be repaid.

B. If an athlete is dismissed from the team for OSU or NCAA viola-

tions, the scholarship becomes a loan that must be repaid.

C. The university should put money from repaid loans from No.

1 and No. 2 above in a scholarship fund. If athletes won’t value their

scholarships, give the money to deserving students who will.

An athletic scholarship is an honor, not an entitlement. As such,

the university should demand rule compliance in writing. Quit making

specious excuses for rule breakers. Put some teeth into every athletic

scholarship/contract by spelling out real penalties — financial conse-

quences to benefit those who appreciate an OSU education.

This year’s tattoo crew didn’t learn much from Maurice Clarett’s

bad example. Apparently, Troy Smith’s Alamo Bowl suspension didn’t

send them a meaningful message either. Collectively, they spat on team

honoraria. It’s time for all loyal Buckeyes to demand their university

take charge with bold, principled policies that will shape future athlete

behavior in ways we can all admire.

To the OSU Department of Athletics: Don’t pass the buck. Here’s

your chance to make us proud of more than just stats and rankings.

Boot the tattoo crew now and demand higher standards for all who

wear scarlet and gray.


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