24 May 2012
A Wednesday night report from The Lantern, Ohio State's student newspaper, is reporting that Ohio State has 12 more NCAA violations that are currently pending. A.D. Gene Smith contacted the paper on Tuesday, but told them he didn't yet know if the violations would be deemed primary or secondary.
From The Lantern: “We’ve got 12 pending,” Smith said. “It may turn out to be secondary. It may not.”
Apparently OSU spokesman Dan Wallenberg has said the number is actually less than twelve, but neither he nor Smith would say which sport(s) were involved.
Less than a week ago Ohio State released documents self-reporting 46 secondary violations that have occurred since May 30th, 2011, the day Jim Tressel resigned, across 21 varsity sports. While much of that list was trivial, it's yet to be seen how the additional 12 might shape the overall list differently.
Varsity teams involved in the 46 released last week included football, men’s basketball, field hockey, synchronized swimming, men’s and women’s track, men’s and women’s lacrosse, men’s and women’s golf, men’s volleyball, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s gymnastics, rifle, women’s rowing, men’s swimming and diving, wrestling and women’s ice hockey. Smith told The Lantern on Tuesday that an athletic department the size of Ohio State's will average approximately 40 violations annually.
By definition, according to NCAA Bylaw 19.02.2.1, a secondary violation is, "one that is isolated or inadvertent in nature, provides or is intended to provide only a minimal recruiting, competitive or other advantage and does not include any significant recruiting inducement or extra benefit (including, but not limited to, an extra benefit, recruiting inducement, preferential treatment or financial aid)."
The same Bylaw states, "Multiple secondary violations by a member institution may collectively be considered a major violation."
SO WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
Likely very little if it turns out to be more secondary violations. The information released to The Lantern by Ohio State was very vague and limited - with even the quantity being processed being called into question - but in stating the average annual number floats around 40 it would lead us to believe that this is very much in line with business as usual. Standard operating procedure for such secondary violations normally begins and ends with the institution handling them through further rules education of their representatives and student-athletes.
For perspective's sake it's important to keep in mind the sheer size of the Ohio State athletics department, the largest in the country by quantity of varsity sports offered. The fact that OSU is self-reporting these violations, regardless of how small each may be on it's own, is a good sign of tighter compliance. Only nine of the original 46 were related to the Buckeyes' football program.
A quick Internet search also shows that this isn't a practice isolated to The Ohio State University. In a matter of seconds you'll find similar stories from the last six months coming from Indiana, Florida, Auburn, Kansas State, Georgia, Memphis, Clemson, Pitt, Oregon and Alabama - among others.
If you wish to read the 330-page report with your morning coffee, detailing the 46 secondary violations that were reported last week, you can do so via cleveland.com right here. Better put on another pot.
UPDATE: This morning Gene Smith released a statement through the Ohio State Athletics website, which can be found here.