Earlier this month, Tressel was suspended by the university for the first two games of 2011 and fined $250,000 for failing to notify the school about information he received in April 2010 involving two players and questionable activities involving the sale of memorabilia. The NCAA could levy additional penalties against him.
After the NCAA upheld the players’ suspensions, Tressel asked to also sit out the first five games of the 2011 season. Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith accepted his request.
After the school was sanctioned for violations in its basketball program, OSU was supposed to stay out of trouble for at least five years. The basketball penalty started March 10, 2006.
The basketball team had some of its brightest moments erased from history after former coach Jim O’Brien broke some rules. The NCAA imposed sanctions that included stripping the school of postseason victories and pulling down championship banners as though OSU never had won.
Those problems could mean the university, and its football team, could be considered a “repeat violator,” according to 10TV. The NCAA bylaws state “an institution shall be considered a repeat violator if a major violation has occurred within five years of the starting date of a major penalty.”
Tressel’s failure to disclose is considered a major violation.
Bylaws state that in addition to normal penalties, a school given repeat violator status could lose up to two full seasons of play, scholarships for athletes and recruiting privileges for two years.
Ohio State officials would not comment about whether the university expects to be considered a repeat violator.
The NCAA said serious sanctions can apply to repeat violators but are not automatic.
Sports attorney and agent Brett Adams said OSU clearly qualifies as a “repeat violator,” but questioned whether the NCAA would actually carry out its most serious penalties.
“I don’t think there’s any question from a technical standpoint they fall under a repeat violator status,” Adams said. “I don’t think there’s any chance that will happen no matter what additional facts come out because Ohio State is a huge business.”
Adams said although OSU is likely to be spared the NCAA’s harshest penalties, it likely will face serious punishment.
The NCAA upheld suspensions for Mike Adams, Daniel Herron, DeVier Posey, Terrelle Pryor and Solomon Thomas. The players previously were handed five-game suspensions for selling awards, gifts and university apparel, as well as receiving improper benefits in 2009.
Ohio State appealed the suspensions in the hopes that it would reduce the number of games players would miss, but an NCAA committee on student-athlete reinstatement upheld the punishments.
The players also must repay money and benefits ranging from $1,000 to $2,500.