Ohio State couldn't have been any weaker in its self-imposed punishment Friday. The school vacated its 2010 victories including their Sugar Bowl win over Arkansas.
Here's what the school didn't impose on itself:
1. A bowl ban - Even for one measly season. You know it's coming from the NCAA anyways, yet OSU didn't even make the gesture. It's not like they are getting to anything bigger than the Meinke Car Care Bowl this season anyways.
2. Scholarship reductions - Not one. That's great. Get some more high school underclassmen to verbally commit to your school just so you have to go back and tell them that there's no room on the roster anymore once Aug. 12 rolls around.
3. Any kind of money whatsoever that the school received for its BCS bowl appearance - Don't you donate a dime to charity, Ohio State. Don't donate a dime to any of the schools that were slighted by the BCS process last season either. Not a dime. You made it to a BCS game using ineligible players. So sure, that money is still rightfully yours.
Athletic director Gene Smith said, "All I know is that this is significant."
It couldn't be any more insignificant.
In addition to the very tough day Ohio State made for itself, they also waived the $250,000 fine to head coach Jim Tressel for covering up the memorabilia-for-cash scandal and changed his resignation status to retirement. Then they actually paid the head coach the last $52,250 of his contract.
I guess Ohio State figures it doesn't have to give any money back because of the $250,000 it was originally going to get isn't coming from the head coach that they hired and kept on to represent the school.
The university then had the gall to say "The responsibility is upon Tressel. The institution is embarrassed by the actions of Tressel."
Yes, so embarrassed that you sent him off with a $50K parting gift.
No one who wasn't directly involved with the 2010 team cares about vacated wins. You can say you're not going to count those games. You can change the record books.
Las Vegas isn't going to give anyone their money back that bet against Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl or any other game they won last season. Pretending like it didn't happen won't make it not true. Any self-respecting sports fan needs to ask him or herself, "Do you really think anyone that supports Ohio State at any level will say they didn't win the Big Ten for a sixth-straight year, or beat Michigan for the seventh-straight time?
The answer is a resounding "no."
If anything, Ohio State once again has come off ridiculously entitled and arrogant, high and mighty to a point of sheer disbelief.
The NCAA is completely ridiculous and self-serving in its own right, but Ohio State might as well just have done nothing, because that's essentially what they did Friday.
"Might the NCAA do more?" Smith asked. "I just can't speculate on that."
Well, Gene, I can.
The NCAA is going to smack Ohio State so hard upside its collective head the repercussions are going to be felt for the next decade.
The damage was done far before Friday. But Ohio State isn't helping the matter with their ridiculous, asinine approach as everything has unfolded.
On Aug. 12, the NCAA is going to slap the "The" right off of "The Ohio State University."
Expect everything to happen that Ohio State doesn't have the backbone to do itself.
E-mail B.J. Lisko at firstname.lastname@example.org