The NCAA's final ruling over Ohio State's violations will be the only thing holding it back from making an appearance in a bowl game this postseason, ridding the chance that the Buckeyes would differ an offer (see Notre Dame, 2009).
Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said early Tuesday that the school would not penalize itself by keeping the football team from making a postseason trip as a way of diminishing potential NCAA sanctions.
"(We) Cannot speculate on what they (the NCAA) may do. No, we do not intend to self impose a postseason sanction," Smith said via text message, according to ESPN.
There still lies the possibility that the NCAA might give OSU a bowl ban, along with other penalties (such as swiping scholarships). It is still investigating the Buckeyes' past of players accepting improper benefits and coach Jim Tressel holding knowledge of violations and playing ineligible players.
However, Ohio State forced Tressel out late May, vacated its wins (12) from last season and has offered to return nearly $400,000 from its share of Big Ten bowl receipts in 2010, surrender five football scholarships over the next three years and enter two years of NCAA probation.
The Buckeyes are hoping that their acts of repentance are enough.
Ohio State (6-5, 3-4 Big Ten) is bowl eligible even with a loss this weekend to arch-rival Michigan, and is projected to play Auburn in the Gator Bowl.