Ohio State hit with ‘notice of allegations’ by NCAA

48 Comments

The saga that is the Ohio State football program continues Monday morning, with word that the NCAA has sent a “notice of allegations” to president E. Gordon Gee.

The Columbus Dispatch is reporting that the NCAA sent the notice Friday, and in it charges that head coach Jim Tressel is “guilty of ethical misconduct when he knowingly provided false information to the NCAA in certifying that he knew of no potential violations by his players and failed to inform OSU officials.”  That charge stems from Tressel signing an NCAA Certificate of Compliance form last September, which states that he had reported any known violations; the previous April, Tressel had been informed via email that at least two of his players had likely received impermissible benefits.

Tressel did not disclose that information to the university, and did not acknowledge knowing of the potential violations until confronted with emails discovered this past January.

“It was reported that Jim Tressel, head football coach, failed to deport himself in accordance with the honesty and integrity normally associated with the conduct and administration of intercollegiate athletics and violated ethical-conduct legislation,” the notice read.

As for what type of punishment the school could be facing, the paper writes that Ohio State “is potentially facing the most severe NCAA penalties to its storied football program”.  Those sanctions could include loss of scholarships, a bowl ban and/or stripping of all 2010 wins.  The latter penalty would be for using ineligible players for the entire regular season.  The Sugar Bowl win over Arkansas would likely stand, however, as the NCAA had already restored the eligibility of the five players it had found guilty of receiving impermissible benefits.

The Buckeye Five, which includes quarterback Terrelle Pryor, will be suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season, and there will be no additional sanctions against the players, the NCAA wrote in their notice to the school.

While OSU was not cited for “failure to monitor” or “failure of institutional control”, the NCAA warned in the notice of allegations that they may consider Ohio State a repeat offender.  That finding would be based on former OSU quarterback Troy Smith taking $500 from a booster as well as former men’s basketball head coach Jim O’Brien giving $6,000 to a recruit.

In addition to the bowl ban and scholarship loss, the Dispatch reports that the entire coaching staff could be suspended if OSU is found to be repeat offenders.

Ohio State is scheduled to appear before the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions Aug. 12, and the final decision on what sanctions, if any, above Tressel’s five-game suspension and $250,000 fine will be levied will likely come down somewhere around the midpoint of the 2011 season.

Two-game suspensions for Louisiana Tech’s starting QB, star WR

Getty Images
1 Comment

Suffice to say, Louisiana Tech’s offense will be at less than full strength when it takes the field in Week 12 later on today.

Thursday night, the Tech football program announced that three players, junior wide receiver Adrian Hardy, senior outside linebacker James Jackson and quarterback J’Mar Smith, have been suspended for Friday night’s game against Marshall.  Hardy and Smith will also be suspended for next Saturday’s road game against UAB.

Per the school, all three players were slapped with their respective suspensions because of violations of unspecified athletic department policies.

“This matter is being handled internally,” the program said in a statement. “Neither [head football coach Skip] Holtz nor athletic department officials will address this further.”

Smith is in his third season as Tech’s starting quarterback and has thrown for 2,483 yards, 14 touchdowns and four interceptions in 2019.  Smith will be replaced in the starting lineup by Aaron Allen, who has thrown nine passes this year and will be making the first start of his collegiate career.

Hardy leads the Bulldogs in receiving yards with 482 and is second in receptions with 39.

Tech is in the midst of an eight-game winning streak that has them sitting atop the West Division of Conference USA at a perfect 5-0.  Their only loss came in the season opener against No. 19 Texas.

Report: Florida State no longer considers Bob Stoops a candidate

Getty Images
7 Comments

It appears you can put this particular piece of drama to bed.

In the days after Willie Taggart was fired as Florida State’s head coach, Bob Stoops‘ name was connected to the opening through various levels of speculation.  At one point, FSU’s athletic director, David Coburn, publicly stated that the current head coach and general manager of the XFL’s Dallas franchise is a candidate for the job; Stoops subsequently stated that “the rumors/reports of him being a candidate for the Florida State job opening are not accurate.”

Nearly two weeks later, and citing two sources familiar with the search, the Tallahassee Democrat is reporting that “Florida State has been in contact with representatives of former Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops and does not consider him a candidate for its vacant football coach position.”

With the former Oklahoma coach out of the running — if he was even in the running in the first place — FSU could turn its attention to current FBS head coaches such as Memphis’ Mike Norvell, Penn State’s James Franklin and Iowa State’s Matt Campbell.  Interim head coach Odell Haggins is also drawing support from current Seminole football players to take over the job permanently.

Coburn has long maintained that the university is on track to have a replacement in place before the end of November.

Nick Saban says he suspended unnamed Alabama player for Miss. St. game for not going to class

Getty Images
3 Comments

Let the sleuthing and/or Internet message-board speculating commence in earnest.

Thursday night on his weekly radio show, Nick Saban revealed that he had suspended one of his Alabama football players for this Saturday’s game against Mississippi State in Starkville.  The head coach even gave a specific reason for the suspension — the player didn’t go to class.

What Saban didn’t do?  Divulge the name of the player who has been suspended.

Alabama will be looking to bounce back from its first loss of the season last weekend against a Mississippi State squad that the Crimson Tide has beaten the last 11 times they have played, with the Bulldogs’ last win coming in 2007.  That, of course, was Saban’s first season in Tuscaloosa.

Robert Mathis, Erik Williams part of the Black College Football Hall of Fame Class of 2020

Getty Images
Leave a comment

A handful of the greatest Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU) players — and an administrator and coach as well — are set to be honored for their collegiate gridiron exploits.

The Black College Football Hall of Fame on Thursday revealed six individuals who will be a part of its Class of 2020. Four of the inductees are former players — Earl “Air” Harvey (North Carolina Central), James Hunter (Grambling State), Robert Mathis (Alabama A&M) and Erik Williams (Central State).

Joe Taylor, a former coach at FAMU, Hampton, Howard and Virginia Union,  ex-MEAC commissioner Dennis Thomas will be officially inducted next February.

“On behalf of the Board of Trustees, we congratulate the Class of 2020,” said BCFHOF Co-Founder and 2011 Inductee Doug Williams. “Everyone that has vote to determine the next class understands how difficult it is to only choose six. The Class of 2020 is a great representation of the talent that has come from Historically Black Colleges & Universities.”

Williams, a third-round pick in the 1991 NFL Draft, spent most of his professional career with the Dallas Cowboys, earning first-team All-Pro honors three times as an offensive tackle as well as being a part of three Super Bowl-winning teams.

The year after setting an FCS record with 20 sacks, Mathis was selected in the fifth round of the 2003 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts. In his 14 seasons with the Colts, Mathis was named to the Pro Bowl five teams and owns a Super Bowl ring as well.