Friday, July 8, 2011

BUCKEYES VACATE 2010 WINS, INCLUDING 2011 SUGAR BOWL

Photo by The Buckeye Times/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell
COLUMBUS — Ohio State will vacate all of its wins from the 2010 football season — including their 31-26 victory over Arkansas in January's Sugar Bowl — according to the university's formal response to the NCAA's Notice of Allegations, submitted on Friday.

The university will also self-impose a two-year NCAA probation on its football program beginning in 2011. The probation means heightened punishments for those who commit violations in the future.

"We are fully cooperating with the NCAA, and we look forward to working together to bring a resolution to these current matters," OSU Athletics Director Gene Smith said Friday. "Throughout the entire process since we discovered possible infractions, Ohio State has consistently acted to investigate any allegation, self-report its findings to the NCAA, communicate transparently about its findings, and take necessary remediation steps.

"Now, consistent with the direction set by our Board of Trustees, we are taking a very hard look, on our own, at all aspects of our athletic programs to identify and implement improvements designed to ensure that we uphold the highest ideals of honor and integrity."

Ohio State also came to an agreement with former head coach Jim Tressel on Friday, changing his previously announced resignation to a retirement. According to the school's media relations department, the agreement "ends and resolves any issues arising out of Tressel's employment with Ohio State."

Tressel issued a statement Friday regarding the announcement.

"I take full responsibility for my mistakes that have led to the ongoing NCAA inquiry and to scrutiny and criticism of the football program," Tressel said. "I am grateful for this opportunity to retire from the university that I so deeply respect and that I will continue to support."

Ohio State also addressed the NCAA's specific allegations against the football team and highlighted steps the university has already taken, including suspending five players — Terrelle Pryor, DeVier Posey, Mike Adams, Daniel Herron and Solomon Thomas — for the first five games of the 2011 season for receiving improper benefits, accepting Tressel's resignation after he withheld information about player violations, and implementing additional measures to enhance the university's already extensive monitoring, educational and compliance programs.

The university will meet with NCAA officials in Indianapolis on Aug. 12 to answer any further questions about the infractions.