It appears that, relatively speaking, Urban Meyer was spot on.
At an appearance in Canton, Ohio, Monday, the Ohio State head coach was asked about the potential for NCAA issues when it comes to Braxton Miller. “Everything is fine. No issue,” Meyer said.
Officially, OSU’s stance is that they are seeking some clarification from the NCAA and hope to have an answer back in a week or so. Unofficially, the school is expecting what would essentially amount to a slap on the wrist. From the Cleveland Plain Dealer‘s Ari Wasserman:
However, a source close to Ohio State told Northeast Ohio Media Group that the program expects a secondary violation with no eligibility lost and a letter of education for Miller to be the punishment.
Meyer did allow Tuesday, however, that he spoke out of turn yesterday when addressing Miller’s situation.
“I shouldn’t comment on things I don’t know about,” the coach said. “I don’t know, other than they are telling me they think it’s good. I think it’s going to be OK. People are asking me – ‘It’s all good, it’s done?’ I don’t know.
“It’s been told to me that everything looks to be OK. They are just doing their due diligence and making sure.”
As for the issue that’s caused the imbroglio, a school spokesperson last Wednesday confirmed to The Lantern, OSU’s student newspaper, that the university is looking into a potential NCAA rules violation committed by Miller. ElevenWarriors.com wrote at the time that “Miller… had a bit of a lapse in judgement [Tuesday] night when he appeared to endorse Advocare, a weight-loss and nutrition multi-level marketing firm that some people consider a pyramid scheme.”
The apparent endorsement came in the form of a post made to Instagram, which was subsequently taken down when the mini-controversy began to grow.
Student-athletes are permitted to hold jobs and even be self-employed, which appears to be the case in Miller’s association with the Amway-like AdvoCare group. However, as Texas A&M compliance director Brad Barnes explained to SBNation‘s Steven Godfrey in an excellent Q&A on the issue, a player’s earnings “may not include any remuneration for value or utility that the student-athlete may have for the employer because of the publicity, reputation, fame or personal following that he or she has obtained because of athletics ability.”
That will be the decision that OSU, and potentially the NCAA, has to make: whether Miller’s Instagram post constitutes using his “reputation, fame or personal following” for financial gain (whether it should be that way is another matter entirely).