Ohio State players broke the rules and got to play in the Sugar Bowl anyway. Jim Tressel knew about the infractions and let it all happen. Now the Buckeyes and new coach Urban Meyer will pay for it next season. The NCAA hit Ohio State with a one-year bowl ban and additional penalties today for violations that started with eight players taking a total of $14,000 in cash and tattoos in exchange for jerseys, rings, and other Buckeyes memorabilia.
Tressel was tipped to the violations in April 2010 but didn't tell anyone, even as his team went to the Sugar Bowl. Tressel's silence damaged Ohio State in the eyes of the NCAA, and the result is that the Buckeyes, with a plum 2012 schedule and perhaps college football's best coach in Meyer, will watch next year's bowl games on TV. "Had we known what (Tressel) knew, we would not have played those young men in that bowl game," says Ohio State's athletic director.