Ohio State responded to NCAA allegations of major violations by their football program by vacating all of its 2010 victories, including the Big 10 and Sugar Bowl championships.However, their self-imposed punishment does not include a loss of scholarships or a ban on appearing in post-season games.
There’s a problem with this though: Vacating wins is not a punishment. You can change the ‘official” record books, but you can’t rewrite history. Banners and trophies may go away, but everyone knows what really happened.
The teams that they beat don’t get to turn those losses in victories. Changing the line on piece of paper hurts (and benefits) no one.
There’s only two ways to punish an athletic department in any meaningful way. One is to take away scholarships and the other is to take away money. A bowl or TV ban hurts the pocketbooks. Scholarship hurt recruiting (which also eventually hurts the pocketbook.) To a big time athletic program, nothing else matters.
Now Ohio State thinks it can escape the biggest scandal in its history without suffering either of those fates? Good luck.
Yes, it’s true that coach Jim Tressel, the man most responsible for the Buckeyes’ current predicament, is gone and that hurts the program too. But he quit, he wasn’t fired. He tried to cover up the violations committed by his players and even after it became obvious that something was amiss, the school tried to protect him.
(They’ve also agreed to pay his NCAA fine, which is an odd way to deal with the man who they are now blaming.)
The NCAA will see through this, of course, but it only underscores the ridiculousness of letting schools suggest their own punishments. (Which the NCAA can either accept or amend.)
They broke the rules, tried to cover it up, and basically took no action to make things right. So what’s the harm in trying to get away with the most lenient punishment possible? The enforcement system is broken, but can anyone fix it?
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.