The NCAA has issued Ohio State a one-year bowl ban, a reduction of scholarships, probation and a "show-cause" penalty for former coach Tressel. This is in addition to the self-imposed penalties.
Due to the reduction of scholarships and one-year bowl ban, the next few years could be tumultuous for Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes. However, the penalties will not affect Ohio State very much.
While many expected the Buckeyes to return to national prominence in Meyer's first season, this would not have been the case, bowl ban or not. The fact of the matter is that transition takes time and there will be growing pains under Meyer while Ohio State transitions to his spread-option offense.
While Meyer quite possibly could have led the Buckeyes to a bowl game in his first season, it would not have been a prominent game—probably around the size of the game they are playing in this year, the Taxslayer.com Gator Bowl.
As far as recruiting, the scholarship sanctions and bowl ban will likely have no adverse effect. Meyer already has landed many 4- and 5-star athletes, but many of these soon-to-be Buckeyes probably won't play major roles on next year's would-be bowl team anyway.
Meyer is a great recruiter and will be able to land loads of talent for next year's class as well, despite the sanctions. A similar case is USC, where Lane Kiffin has been able to recruit great talent under sanctions due to the prestige of the university.
Meyer's Buckeyes will be no different under the sanctions. The Buckeyes would not have been BCS bowl game contenders next year, so the bowl ban serves no adverse negative affect. The transition to Meyer will be smooth, and the Buckeyes will return to national prominence soon.
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