Yesterday, a familiar scene greeted Buckeye fans. Ohio State’s athletic director, Gene Smith went up to the podium to announce another batch of violations.
These violations surround DeVier Posey, Dan “Boom” Herron and Marcus Hall. Each will have to sit out the Nebraska game for receiving excessive compensation for part time jobs they held with Independence Excavating. Also included in the violations were Melvin Fellows who isn’t playing due to medical reasons and Etienne Sabino, who will play at Nebraska following a reinstatement by the NCAA.
In the latest report, Hall and Herron were overpaid $232.50 and $292.50 respectively. According to NCAA rules, any amount under $300 usually warrants a one game suspension. On the other hand, Posey received an overpayment of $727.50, which means he could sit out an additional three games. We’ll learn more about how long each player’s suspension will last when each goes through the reinstatement process.
The latest news brings one conclusion; the Buckeyes need a culture change.
These rounds of violations paint Ohio State as university that lacks institutional control. It is one thing to have isolated incidents occur, it’s another to have the same players engage in more violations after initial violations occurred.
Smith addressed this concern during the press conference.
“These were individuals that went off the reservation.” He told reporters. “But at the end of the day it’s not a systematic problem.”
Funny, it doesn’t seem that way. In fact, if Ohio State wants to show the NCAA and the rest of the country they are serious why not kick Posey and Herron off the team? These players sold memorabilia for cash and now they are receiving compensation for hours they didn’t work. Do you think their actions show they put the university ahead of their needs?
Furthermore, while the violations are misdemeanor in nature, they paint a portrait of the players not caring about the rules. These are repeat offenders, by giving them additional suspensions Ohio State shows it doesn’t want to fix the problem, only place a band-aid on it.
Ohio State needs to take a stand and have a zero tolerance policy. Kick the players off the team; send a strong message to other players that if you screw up you’re gone. While it won’t completely fix the problem, some may think twice before violating rules.
Ultimately, the Buckeyes come out of this looking like a joke. The past ten months show a pattern of behavior that they don’t want to do the right thing the first time. They should have sit Terrelle Pryor, Solomon Thomas, Herron, Adams and Posey for the Sugar Bowl when they found out these players sold items for cash. Instead, they let them play. They should have fired Jim Tressel immediately when they found out he was hiding information. Instead, they allowed him to stay coach and finally forced him out at the end of May. If Ohio State doesn’t have the conviction to do the right thing the first time, it’s easy to see why the players don’t take their rules seriously.
Feel free to contact Sean with any questions or comments.