COLUMBUS – The NCAA has changed its course in the lengthy investigation of rules violations at Ohio State and notified OSU that is now faces the serious charge of “failing to monitor” its troubled football program.
As recently as July, the NCAA had informed Ohio State that it would not be charged with failure to monitor or the most grave accusation of “lack of institutional control”. At that time, the NCAA probe had centered on the tattoo and memorabilia scandal that ultimately led to the firing of head coach Jim Tressel in late May and lengthy suspensions this season for numerous top players.
Since then, however, additional violations have surfaced, including players taking cash for showing up at a charity event and players receiving pay in excess of the amount they were due while working for a prominent Ohio State booster.
After learning it was facing more serious charges, Ohio State announced Thursday that it was self-imposing a reduction of five football scholarships over a three-year period. Those reductions will start next year.
In the wake of the tattoo scandal, Ohio State vacated its entire 2010 season, including Big Ten and Sugar Bowl championships. The school also later disassociated itself with the booster involved in pay scandal.
The Buckeyes are still awaiting a ruling from the NCAA Committee on Infractions that will outline what additional penalties will be imposed on the program.
“We look forward to working with the staff and the Committee on Infractions to reach a timely resolution of the case,” OSU athletic director Gene Smith said in a statement released Thursday afternoon. “On a personal note, I deeply regret that I did not ensure the degree of monitoring our institution deserves and demands.”