COLUMBUS, Ohio — Some will look at the 46 secondary violations committed by Ohio State across 21 sports over the last year and see the athletic department having more trouble abiding by NCAA rules.
Instead, athletic director Gene Smith said the minor mistakes were a sign that Ohio State is diligent about finding and reporting violations and that it was more or less a typical year for rules problems.
"It's nothing that troubles me," Smith said Friday. "It's normal operating business. It's nothing that troubles me. I've seen all the cases, we know all the cases. You look at them, and they're inadvertent mistakes."
Ohio State is already under NCAA probation for football players getting cash, tattoos and too-high summer wages. Those problems led to the forced resignation of head football coach Jim Tressel last May.
Through a public records search, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that Ohio State had self-reported 46 secondary or minor violations since Tressel's resignation. They include assistant football coach Mike Vrabel using smokeless tobacco on the sideline and head coach Urban Meyer wishing luck to a recruit during a non-contact period. Other violations include the women's hockey program spending $4 too much for five framed jerseys and men's basketball video coordinator Greg Paulus exceeding his job description by actually coaching during a game.
Ohio State also reported that the women's lacrosse team didn't take a day off one week, that a men's volleyball assistant spoke to a man whom he later found out was the father of a prospective recruit and that a member of the women's rifle team won $75 in a competition as a member of the USA Shooting Team. All are NCAA violations.
The NCAA required education sessions or repayment of nominal sums of money to resolve most of the violations.