On the flip side of the Ohio-Michigan saga is Ohio State and its fall from grace this season.
In reality, the issue of receiving a few tattoos in exchange for a few trinkets isn't that big of a deal. All things being equal, Ohio State's compliance office, the Big Ten, and the NCAA probably would have agreed on that.
But in this case, all things were not equal.
Like politics, the college football world is pretty forgiving—provided you fess up, admit wrong-doing, and promise not to do it again.
Any disgraced former Congressman can tell you it's not the crime, it's the cover-up that gets you.
We're forced to wonder how the season might have been different had “Slick Jimmy” Tressel just fessed up.
“Hey, folks. This is what's going on. It's a problem, we're addressing it, we're putting a stop to it, and we're suspending some players because of it.” No big deal.
“Hey, folks. There's nothing going on. I've never heard of this problem. I'll sign my name to a statement for the NCAA saying I have no knowledge of the problem even though there's hard evidence I previously tried to cover it up.” Very big deal.
The latter scenario is what played out in Columbus, and Tressel was unceremoniously ushered out of his palatial office suite at Ohio State.
In the end, our biggest issue is with Tressel, not the players. Tressel held himself out to be the better man all through his career at Ohio State. He was a man of integrity. He preached always doing things the right way.
In the end, he turned out to be the biggest hypocrite we've seen in quite some time.
It's also worth mentioned on a side note the Ohio State president E. Gordon Gee found himself looking like an impotent fool after saying in a press conference that he hoped Tressel didn't dismiss him before Tressel was eventually forced to resign.
The fact Gee still has his job is absolutely astounding, and further shows the lack of institutional control by the Board of Trustees at The Ohio State University.