Ohio State Football: How Would You Punish the Buckeyes?

Sean JacksonContributor IIIMay 28, 2011

COLUMBUS, OH - MARCH 30:  Head Coach Jim Tressel speaks to the media during a press conference before the start of Spring practices at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center at The Ohio State University on March 30, 2011 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

The Buckeyes have become the public enemy of college football. Every since the news of their violations surfaced, many news outlets have tried to dig deeper. Sports Illustrated will publish their article on the program on Tuesday, and from the buzz around Columbus, the thought is that this could be another unfortunate instance in a series of bad revelations surrounding the team.

We already know Terrelle Pryor, DeVier Posey, Dan Herron, Mike Adams, Jordan Whiting and Solomon Thomas sold merchandise and received discounted services. We know Jim Tressel knew about this as early as April 2010, yet allowed these players to participate in the 2010 season. In fact, Tressel denied knowing anything about this when asked by the Columbus Dispatch in December of last year.  

What we don’t know yet is whether players in the program received special discounts from car dealers. The investigation into this is ongoing.

This past week, Ray Small opened his mouth, saying he sold merchandise to survive and he knew others did the same. He admitted to selling two Big Ten Championship rings to make ends meet even though he was making $600 a month car payments. Now keep in mind Small supposedly said he knew others players were selling their memorabilia when he spoke to the Lantern and then went on interviews saying the writer twisted up his words. 

From my perspective, I highly doubt a writer for a student newspaper is going to mess up their career by distorting words from someone who was inconsistent at best when he was at Ohio State. Still, Small’s claims are worth examining.

While a lot surrounding the program is still under investigation, many have already made their judgment against the program. Based on what we know so far, what do you think is a fair punishment for the program?

Here’s what I propose: you maintain the current suspensions the players and Tressel received, and you strip away all of their wins from last season since the coach knew about this and still allowed those involved to play. Then you ban the program from playing in any post-season games next season.

Let’s be real, those five had no business playing in the Sugar Bowl. Therefore, you get the punishment right this time. The post-season ban would include the Big Ten Championship game, should the Buckeyes be in a position to qualify for it.

Now if the smoke clears and we find out there’s a lot more wrong with the program than we first learned, then the punishment should be even more severe. For now, with everything we do know, this seems like a just punishment considering the violations.