The Ohio State University today received the NCAA's ruling regarding violations involving its football program.
Following a 12-month investigation conducted jointly by the NCAA and the University, the NCAA levied sanctions beyond those self-imposed by the university. Among the penalties Ohio State had self-imposed was a loss of five scholarships; the NCAA imposed a nine-scholarship penalty, three during each of the next three years. Additionally, the NCAA has imposed a three-year probation and a post-season ban for the coming year.
"We are surprised and disappointed with the NCAA's decision," said Gene Smith, Ohio State's Athletics Director and Associate Vice President. "However, we have decided not to appeal the decision because we need to move forward as an institution. We recognize that this is a challenging time in intercollegiate athletics. Institutions of higher education must move to higher ground, and Ohio State embraces its leadership responsibilities and affirms its long-standing commitment to excellence in education and integrity in all it does.
"My primary concern, as always, is for our students, and this decision punishes future students for the actions of others in the past," said Smith. "Knowing our student-athletes, however, I have no doubt in their capacity to turn this into something positive - for themselves and for the institution. I am grateful to our entire Buckeye community for their continued support."
Smith noted that President E. Gordon Gee and the university's Board of Trustees are in the process of concluding their examination of compliance at the university as part of a larger effort to develop a comprehensive, state-of-the-art model for the entire institution, including the athletics program. "All of us at Ohio State are determined to ensure that our compliance programs and protocols are best in class," said Smith. "We will assume a leadership role in representing our university and its values.
"It is important to remember that Ohio State has one of the nation's largest self supporting athletics programs, with students succeeding both in competition and in the classroom," said Smith. "We have more than 1,000 students who compete in 36 intercollegiate sports, and the overall grade-point average of our student-athletes is just over 3.0. During the last two years, the University has had more student-athletes named to the Academic All-Big Ten Team than any other school. Further, Ohio State finished second in last year's Directors' Cup, which recognizes the best athletics programs in the country."