OSU banned from 2012 postseason play

Former Ohio State University head coach Jim Tressel barks instructions to his team during a game...

Former Ohio State University head coach Jim Tressel barks instructions to his team during a game against the University of Miami in Columbus, Ohio, Sep. 11, 2010. (MATT SULLIVAN/Reuters)

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, Last Updated: 6:16 PM ET

COLUMBUS - Ohio State received a one-year postseason ban among the sanctions handed down Tuesday by the NCAA for a memorabilia scandal that cost Jim Tressel his job as head football coach.

The postseason ban means the Buckeyes won't be eligible to play in a bowl game or the Big Ten championship game during new head coach Urban Meyer's first year.

The NCAA cited Ohio State for failure to monitor -- among its most serious charges -- preferential treatment and extra benefit violations.

Its sanctions included a loss of nine scholarships, a three-year probation, vacation of all wins in 2010, forfeiture of almost $340,000 and a five-year show-cause order for Tressel that will make it hard for him to coach at another school.

The penalties went beyond those that were self-imposed by Ohio State, which was "surprised and disappointed with the NCAA's decision," according to athletic director Gene Smith.

But Smith said in a statement that the university will not appeal the decision out of a desire to "move forward as an institution."

"We recognize that this is a challenging time in intercollegiate athletics. Institutions of higher education must move to higher ground, and Ohio State embraces its leadership responsibilities and affirms its long-standing commitment to excellence in education and integrity in all it does," said Smith.

Ohio State had self-imposed penalties including a loss of five scholarships. The NCAA imposed a nine-scholarship penalty -- three each during the next three years.

The NCAA said it was "of great concern" to the committee on infractions that Tressel "became aware" some of his players exchanged memorabilia for money and tattoos at a Columbus tattoo parlor and did not report the violations to the school, the Big Ten or the NCAA.

The committee said Tressel had at least four opportunities to report the information but failed to do so, allowing several players to compete while they were ineligible.

Last December, former star quarterback Terrelle Pryor and four other Buckeyes were suspended by the NCAA for the first five games of the 2011 season but were allowed to play in the Sugar Bowl, which Ohio State won.

Pryor left for the NFL, where his suspension was carried over after a unique decision by the professional league to recognize a college penalty.

Tressel resigned in May. About 2 1/2 months later, the NCAA and Ohio State uncovered additional violations centering on a booster paying nine football players for work they didn't do.

Smith said the NCAA's decision "punishes future students for the actions of others in the past."

"Knowing our student-athletes, however, I have no doubt in their capacity to turn this into something positive -- for themselves and for the institution," he said. "I am grateful to our entire Buckeye community for their continued support."

Penalties levied against Ohio State, including those that were self-imposed, include:

- Public reprimand and censure.

- Three years of probation from December 20, 2011, through December 19, 2014.

- Postseason ban for the 2012 football season, which includes the conference championship game.

- Reduction of football scholarships from 85 to 82 for each of the 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15 academic years -- an increase from the university's proposal of five initial scholarships spread over three academic years.

- Vacation of all wins for the 2010 football regular season, including the 2010 Big Ten Conference co-championship and participation in the 2011 Sugar Bowl.

- Forfeiture of $338,811, which is the amount the university received through the Big Ten Conference revenue-sharing for its appearance in the bowl game (self-imposed).

- Five-year show-cause order for Tressel.

- Disassociation of (a) booster for 10 years, including, among other conditions, the prohibition of any financial or other support (self-imposed).

- Disassociation of a former student-athlete (possibly Pryor) for five years, including among other conditions, the prohibition of any financial or other support (self- imposed).

Meyer signed a six-year contract worth at least $24 million last month to become the new Ohio State head coach. Interim head coach Luke Fickell will lead the Buckeyes against Florida in the Gator Bowl.


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