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July 8, 2011

Bucks vacate 2010 season, take probation

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COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio State football program self-imposed two years of probation and vacated all 12 wins from its 2010 season, including its victory over Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl, in Friday's response to the NCAA's letter of allegations.

In an effort to show the program is now headed in the right direction, Ohio State made it clear that it has been making a vast effort to improve the university's extensive monitoring of its student athletes in addition to implementing a bigger emphasis on its education process within the compliance department.

The program fell subject to scandal when it became public that six prominent football players had sold memorabilia given to them by Ohio State in exchange for money and extra benefits.

Things got exponentially worse months later when proof surfaced that Jim Tressel had previous knowledge of violations being committed by prominent athletes and decided not to come forward with the information.

Tressel, who has since resigned, played all the players involved - including quarterback Terrelle Pryor, who has also since left the program - resulting in dishonesty and the illegal playing of players who should've been ineligible.

In the program's response, however, there is no mention of scholarship reductions or a postseason ban. Instead, Ohio State felt the additional sanctions coupled with the five-game suspensions of the student athletes involved were sufficient.

Ohio State did mention it did accept Tressel's resignation in the response, which cut all ties from scandal from the program since it asserted Tressel was the only one with previous knowledge of the player's transgressions.

"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 in a statement. "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 will meet with the NCAA on Aug. 12. in Indianapolis. Thereafter the Buckeyes will learn their official fate in terms of punishment. The potential for the NCAA to add to the self-imposed punishments still remains.

"We are fully cooperating with the NCAA, and we look forward to working together to bring a resolution to these current matters," athletic director Gene Smith said in a statement released 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."

Ari Wasserman is a staff writer for BuckeyeGrove.com. He can be reached at Ari@BuckeyeGrove.com.



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