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Urban ‘good luck’ one of several secondary violations for Buckeyes

Urban Meyer AP

Thanks to the circumstances surrounding Jim Tressel‘s departure from Ohio State in the wake of “Tat-gate”, it was a given that the Buckeyes’ football program would be under the microscope for the foreseeable future.

Thanks to a recruiting dustup earlier this year involving public accusations flung by Wisconsin’s Bret Bielema at new head coach Urban Meyer, said microscope was really a given.

The latest example of the ‘Vest Effect comes courtesy of Doug Lesmerises of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, who, following a records request by that paper, revealed a combined 46 secondary violations in all sports had been reported by the school’s compliance department since May 30 of last year.  That’s the day, incidentally, Tressel “stepped down” as head football coach.

While a sport-by-sport breakdown wasn’t offered up by the Plain Dealer, it appears that at least eight of the 46 violations were football-related.

Included in that total are multiple examples of how the NCAA’s bureaucracy has blown past sheer lunacy and is hurtling straight toward (a word that has yet to be invented):

  • Meyer said “good luck” to a potential recruit prior to a Pennsylvania high school state title game in mid-December.  Such game-day contact is forbidden.
  • Five OSU players took the same number of recruits on visits out to a movie in mid-December.  In part because of a cab ride to the movie, the players were $1 to $5 over the maximum of $60 allowed by the NCAA, so a secondary violation was deemed to have been committed.
  • An OSU assistant coach purchased 20 “JT” bracelets for $5 each to honor his former coach last fall.  He sold several of the bracelets to players for $15 apiece in order to avoid any type of NCAA issue for giving away freebies; despite the 200-percent markup, it was still considered an NCAA no-no as players were given something not available to the general public.
  • Assistant coach Mike Vrabel was gigged for dipping chew on the sidelines during games last year.
  • We’ll let Lesmerises take this bit of asinine heavy-handedness: “On Aug. 20, assistant coach Dick Tressel responded to a text message from the parents of recruit Warren Ball asking which gate to use to enter Ohio Stadium for a scrimmage. Texting the parents of a recruit was a violation.”

The biggest takeaway from Lesmerisis’ work?  The NCAA is completely and totally out of control when it comes to recruiting/compliance bylaws, and is in dire need of paring down its rulebook — which supposedly is in the works — sooner rather than later.

As ACC commissioner John Swofford deftly put it last August, it’s time for the NCAA to begin “addressing the felons… as opposed to the jaywalkers, and get ourselves out of this maze of rules that are unenforceable.”

OSU’s version of jaywalking is Exhibit A that the NCAA needs to continue on that trajectory out of its petty maze.

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33 Responses to “Urban ‘good luck’ one of several secondary violations for Buckeyes”
  1. dapell says: May 18, 2012 10:17 AM

    So the compliance people caught this stuff, but missed the fact football players were constantly driving new cars? Pryor reportedly drive at least 8 different cars while at OSU. Clearly OSU’s approach has been to ignore the big stuff that gives them an advantage gettig recruits and keeping them eligible and report the stupid secondary violations to give the appearance of a rigid and active compliance department. Gene Smith still has his job, which is all the evidence you need to show OSU doesn’t think they really did anything wrong.

  2. dkhhuey says: May 18, 2012 10:37 AM

    Really?!?!? Saying good luck to a kid is a violation? Pathetic.

  3. thraiderskin says: May 18, 2012 11:36 AM

    Dapell, shut up! that is what you got from this story? We know OSU was in the wrong, we as Buckeye fans are taking the pinishment. If you hadn’t noticed, the compliance department is playing a whole new game of ball and actually reporting ALL issues as they come across. Obviously you hate OSU, thats cool, you do you, but the point of the story is how rediculous the NCAA is with these minor violations and your game of “gotchya” you think you are playing, only makes you look pathetic.

  4. polegojim says: May 18, 2012 12:19 PM

    I agree that most is silly… but its not just the Vest. It’s Vest and Meyers. I like Meyers, but he doesn’t exactly have a clean sheet to start with.

    Most violations are silly and I too believe the NCAA is OUT of CONTROL… but I have no pity on a couple of them – just plain foolish by the offending party.

    1) Meyer knew he shouldn’t TALK to potential recruits on game day…. last time I checked, SAYING ‘good luck’ is TALKING… Genuine slip… or strategic effort to remain in front of a recruit. No talk, is no talk, right? That’s Meyers bad.

    2) Dick Tressel knew he shouldn’t be texting the parents of a recruit, right? So…. why did he RESPOND… at all… to any text from the parents of a recruit… That’s Tressels bad.

    Sometimes we wonder why the kids don’t get it…. but when coaches and assistants color outside the lines and bend the rules when it suits them, what do we expect?

    Faithul in least… faithful in much… is really not a difficult concept.

  5. pappyjoeclem says: May 18, 2012 12:40 PM

    The NCAA needs to get off the lint picking. an that was swift how they changed the rules once they tore down Ohio States football program.

  6. Deb says: May 18, 2012 1:18 PM

    These examples aren’t even jaywalking violations. At most they’re spitting on the sidewalk.

    @polegojim … If the guy had sneezed and Meyer had said “Bless you,” would that be a violation, too? How about if Meyer had bumped into him and said “Excuse me”? Two words does not rise to the level of talking to a recruit. Neither does replying to the parents about what gate they were to use. This stuff is penny-ante. Obsessing over this nonsense is why the NCAA misses egregious violations.

    @dapell … This discussion is about nitpicky nonsense that occurred after Tressel and Pryor left. And it wasn’t just OSU’s call that Smith keep his job. The NCAA thoroughly investigated the school and could have recommended his dismissal. They didn’t.

  7. packhawk04 says: May 18, 2012 1:22 PM

    Im a michigan man, and even i have to say these “violations” are pretty stupid. A text, a good luck, a dip by an adult… c’ mon.

  8. polegojim says: May 18, 2012 1:33 PM

    @Deb… OK… let’s run with that…

    Is saying ‘God Bless You’ to him talking??? Um… YEP. Would there nobody else around who could ‘Bless him’ or would Meyer be the only considerate person in the room… Why even get that close, if talking isn’t allowed?

    Yes I’m reducing it to the ridiculous very intentionally….

    My point is – until the NCAA is refined to where it SHOULD BE – PLAY by the rules and AVOID the drama. That’s silly in and of itself. If you’re not CLOSE to a violation, it won’t occur.

    When they were growing up, my kids thought some my ‘rule’s were ridiculous… As long as they’re in my house… it’s my rules. If you know the rules and choose to violate them, expect consequences.

    How do adults like Meyers and Tressel not get that principle? Fact is, sometimes we get what we deserve, silly or not.

  9. brewcrewfan54 says: May 18, 2012 1:35 PM

    I hate OSU and would generally take the opportunity to bash them but those violations are just ridiculous.

  10. polegojim says: May 18, 2012 1:35 PM

    @pappyjoe… TOTALLY agreed….

    Until then, isn’t compliance the course of wisdom?

  11. psublueandwhite says: May 18, 2012 1:36 PM

    Clearly texting a parent with directions on where to enter the stadium is an NCAA violation of epic proportions.
    *rolls eyes *

    Talk about the need to overhaul this stupid system.

    Also, who thinks all this dumb stuff up to begin with?

  12. xtremesportsmaniac says: May 18, 2012 1:36 PM

    This is part of a post from the father of a player for USC. This shows how ridiculous the NCAA rules can be.

    “USC is allowed to put out bagels, fruits and nuts, but if you want cream cheese on your bagel, for a little package of cream cheese it costs a dollar,” said Martinez. “It’s absolutely stupid. Supposedly they have ordered or are in the process of ordering this $5,000 nut butter and juicer machine. Since they can put out fruits and nuts, it is legal for them to purchase the machine that can make peanut butter, but not provide free cream cheese for the bagels they are permitted to provide the players. And if they were to bring in a jar of peanut butter from the store, that would be a violation.”

  13. Deb says: May 18, 2012 2:16 PM

    @polegojim …

    You–and the NCAA–are making no allowance for human nature. It’s like the children’s game “Simon Says.” Yes, all the kids know a legitimate command is to be preceded by the words “Simon says …” But in the fast pace of the game, kids will jump or clap by rote without hearing “Simon says.” Well, in the fast pace of life, adults will shout, “Good luck” by rote or text “Gate 7” without remembering they’re not allowed to do that because it violates one of 10,000 tyrannical no-nos committed to a ridiculously huge list of rules by some corporate fools who have the common sense of sand fleas.

    Please tell me you did not give your children 10,000 tryannical rules to remember during the course of a day based on no logic other than “because I said so.”

  14. dkhhuey says: May 18, 2012 2:45 PM

    Just plain wow – Cam Newton’s dad can whore his kid out to the highest bidder – no infractions, no problems, thanks for playing! Saying hey, good luck, or your shoe is untied – violation.

  15. polegojim says: May 18, 2012 2:47 PM

    @Deb – they probably thought I had 10,000.

    I’m not defending the NCAA…

    I’m saying if coaches know better… and they DO know better… then don’t knowingly violate the rules UNTIL they’re revised.

    What good has it done OSU to ignore them?

  16. rharris50 says: May 18, 2012 2:59 PM

    @dapell, I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you are simply misinformed and shooting from the hip without knowing the facts, rather than blatantly lying. Assuming that you open to the truth, you need only to read the news first before writing comments. Yours comments about Pryor driving multiple new cars are simply not true. Look it up. He was investigated for possible violations regarding a late model car; it turned out not to be true. As the article points out, OSU is under the microscope today, so even if you had not followed the news, writing that somehow the NCAA overlooked 8 new cars would have been ridiculous. I would have been embarrassed to make such a claim without serious documentation.

  17. rharris50 says: May 18, 2012 3:11 PM

    @polegojim, I don’t want to pile on, since others have already responded to you, but I need to add at least a brief comment. I certainly agree that students need role models to ensure that they play by the rules, but this article is about some rules so ridiculous that it is surely easy for even a seasoned coach to make an accidental misstep. Saying “good luck” to a recruit is technically talking, but nobody in his right mind could possibly consider that to be communication in any meaningful sense of the word. If I say “bless you” to a total stranger who sneezes as I pass him on the street, that is not really meaningful communication, yet I suppose it could be construed in a petty way as “talking to him.” Clearly the rules are meant to prevent real communication, not a simple mindless greeting. Similarly, the JT bracelets were sold to the athletes at a significant markup. Perhaps that is a technical violation, because of the poor wording of the rules, but obviously it is not a subsidy to the athletes. If anything it is exploitation! As the article points out, OSU committed violations and is now paying for it with asinine rigid interpretations of rules clearly meant for other purposes. If that is the price they have to pay, then so be it, but please don’t try to argue that these technical violations destroy respect for the rules and prevent future violations. If anything, they have the opposite effect.

  18. dallasstars9 says: May 18, 2012 3:51 PM

    Go Blue!

  19. harleyspoon says: May 18, 2012 3:55 PM

    The NCAA is ridiculous!!

  20. harleyspoon says: May 18, 2012 3:57 PM

    What was Meyer to do, snub the kid?

  21. Deb says: May 18, 2012 4:29 PM

    @polegojim …

    Not trying to pick on you. I like you much more than Urban 😉 Just saying that they may not have knowingly violated the rules. That’s why I used the “Simon says” example. Saying “Good luck” or texting a gate number on request is the kind of thing someone would do without consciously thinking about it.

  22. ndrocks2 says: May 18, 2012 7:14 PM

    Urban is dirty and will either quit or “retire” under similar circumstances as Florida before contract is up. Florida is still cleaning up the shady recruits he left behind.

  23. ndrocks2 says: May 18, 2012 7:21 PM

    Someone above mentions Newton and his dad taking money, before he went to Auburn remember he was playing for Urban in Florida before they were forced to let him go bacause of a couple othings he was involved with. This isn’t Urban’s first rodeo he knows the rules and is well versed on the do’s and dont’s but when it comes to recruiting he goes full tilt and unlike the SEC where anything and everthing goes some of his Big 10 counterparts will be turning this dude in everytime they get a chance.

  24. mlawrencemsc says: May 19, 2012 12:33 AM

    You know it’s stupid to talk about changing the rules just so nobody breaks them. Even if it is jaywalking it’s a no no and if they change the rule coaches will still stretch them and keep breaking them.

    Your little comment (unlike the SEC where anything and everthing goes) makes you look and sound stupid and jealous, because you know as well as I do that any team in the SEC would turn Bama in, in a New York second if they broke any rule big or small.

  25. mlawrencemsc says: May 19, 2012 1:20 AM


    Not trying to pick on you. I like you much more than Urban Just saying that they may not have knowingly violated the rules. That’s why I used the “Simon says” example. Saying “Good luck” or texting a gate number on request is the kind of thing someone would do without consciously thinking about it.

    Urban never should have been close enough to speak to the kid, he put himself in that position for one reason and that was to acknowledged the kids presents.

  26. Deb says: May 19, 2012 4:08 AM

    @mlawrencemsc …

    That could well be the case; it’s really impossible for us to know. But either way, I still believe the NCAA rules have gotten out of hand. It’s not a case of wanting to change the rules so nobody breaks them. It’s about wanting to slash costly, nitpicky rules that serve no useful purpose in terms of preserving the integrity of the sport. The more time and money spent following up on this nonsense, the harder it is for the limited number of NCAA investigators to monitor truly serious violations involving pay for play.

    The best example on this thread of how ridiculous all this has gotten was the story about cream cheese posted by xtremesportsmaniac. That kind of stuff is just silly.

  27. mlawrencemsc says: May 19, 2012 5:08 AM

    You know we’re both right. But I still think the old saying holds true. Give them an inch and they take a mile.

  28. webdaddyblogger says: May 19, 2012 9:38 AM

    I can’t believe people are arguing here about whether some of these things are violations or not. Let’s just say OSU is guilty for all these things. Fine. A violation is a violation but let’s focus on real problems here. Has anyone read about Miami? North Carolina? Auburn? TCU? No one talks about their violations and I think those are really the types of violations the NCAA should be focused on. I mean, seriously, drug dealing, prostitutes, etc. While the NCAA spend man power on OSU, other schools are getting away with murder!

  29. wheezerswin says: May 19, 2012 5:50 PM

    Meyer should fired instantly. These violations are unforgivable. Go Blue!

  30. mlawrencemsc says: May 19, 2012 6:03 PM

    Quote: other schools are getting away with murder!

    Do you have an example or are you just throwing out a broad net hopping it will in snare someone?

  31. webdaddyblogger says: May 20, 2012 10:51 AM


    Well you’re right. I don’t have any examples of schools getting away with murdering anyone. Wow, you got me. My evil plan was to convince everyone that there were hundreds, if not thousands, of people being killed by college football players all over the country to deflect the blame away from OSU and their violations, but you saw right through my devious scheme. You’re way to smart for me. Well done. Back to the lab again.

  32. ncrdbl1 says: May 20, 2012 2:56 PM

    The schools have no one to blame but themselves. The rule book would not be as thick as it is if the school were not coming up with different ways to try and gain an advantage over the competition. Idiotic things like paying a player to make sure the grass is cut on the artificial grass practice field or paying a player to make sure the automatic sprinklers come on.

  33. mnvikes7897 says: May 21, 2012 11:07 PM

    The NCAA is a bunch of stick in the a$$ dip sh!t douche bag dumb a$$es. They are in direct violation with my nuts.

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