Ohio State: NCAA giveth, NCAA taketh away
Two interesting rulings on Ohio State in recent weeks. The Buckeyes were hit with a bowl ban by the NCAA on Tuesday, something the NCAA has been a little reluctant to do in recent years. Southern Cal got one for this season, and Ohio State’s bowl ban is for 2012, since the Buckeyes play Florida in the Gator Bowl on Jan. 2.
But for most of the 2000s, the NCAA hasn’t handed down many bowl bans. They used to be common. OU got bowl bans in 1973-74 and 1989. OSU got bowl bans in 1978-79 and 1989-91. All kinds of schools in the ’70s, ’80 and ’90s got them. But the NCAA turned toward penalties like scholarship reductions and coaching restrictions.
Ohio State obviously didn’t think it would get a 2012 bowl ban, else it would have volunteered for a 2011 bowl ban. A 2012 bowl ban could foul up the Big Ten, since it’s safe to assume the Buckeyes won’t be eligible for the Big Ten title game, and we saw with the Pac-12 title game this season what a ban can do to the game’s clout. USC won the South Division but was ineligible for the game. UCLA instead played at Oregon in the title game, making a mickey-mouse format (on-campus site) even more absurd.
But Ohio State can’t feel discriminated against. The Buckeyes were beneficiaries of a peculiar ruling by the NCAA, which is allowing Urban Meyer and a few of his new staff members to recruit, while the outgoing Ohio State coaching staff coaches the bowl game. The Buckeyes, in effect, have the benefit of extra coaches, basically because of NCAA probation.
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