Ohio State Basketball: How Football Sanctions Will Affect the Basketball Program

James EvensCorrespondent IAugust 11, 2011

NEWARK, NJ - MARCH 25:  Jared Sullinger #0 of the Ohio State Buckeyes goes for a lay up against DeAndre Liggins #34 of the Kentucky Wildcats during the second half of the east regional semifinal of the 2011 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at the Prudential Center on March 25, 2011 in Newark, New Jersey.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

Ohio State football has been under some serious fire since allegations of lying to the NCAA about players receiving improper benefits came out. 

Although Jim Tressel had nothing to do with Thad Matta's basketball program, it will still likely have difficulty due to the upcoming investigation. 

If serious allegations come out about the Buckeye athletic department in general, there could be a good possibility that they lose their athletic director, Gene Smith.

Although this may be a loss for the program, the basketball team could actually benefit from this.

Unlike football, which always has huge attendance, the basketball team takes second precedent in Columbus. 

For a team that has been so successful over the last decade, they are still being treated as a third-world citizen right now, as all of the attention goes to football.

Some people joke that Ohio State fans would recognize the backup punter before the starting center on the basketball team.

With a team that has been so solid with its recruiting over the past few seasons, Ohio State will not be that hurt over these football violations. It should actually boost their attention in Columbus and maybe sell out its arena a couple more times.

All of that being said, if serious sanctions end up being thrown at the athletic department, look for the morale of the Buckeyes to be hit, but for them to come out swinging.

They are going to want to prove they are still great, and a great team they will have.

The time has come in Columbus, where OSU's best team is no longer on the gridiron, but on the hardwood.  

James Evens serves as a National Featured Columnist for college football and basketball, as well as the FC for the Purdue Boilermakers.   Follow him on Twitter or "like" him on Facebook.