The Ohio State Buckeyes are undefeated and, naturally, their fans want their team to have a shot at the national championship, or at least a Big Ten championship.
That’s why some intrepid Buckeyes supporters have started a petition asking President Barack Obama to pardon their football team. Ohio State is ineligible to participate in the postseason — including the Big Ten championship game — because of sanctions levied last season stemming from Buckeyes players receiving free tattoos and other gifts for game memorabilia.
Ohio State currently sits at 11-0 with one game remaining: Saturday in Columbus against the Buckeyes’ hated rivals — the Michigan Wolverines. If eligible, Ohio State would represent the Big Ten Leaders division in the Big Ten championship game. More importantly, as one of only two current FBS undefeated teams (Notre Dame being the other), an eligible Buckeyes team would play for the national championship if it could win “The Game.”
The petition has since been removed by whitehouse.gov for violating their terms of participation. It read:
“The Ohio State University football team is one win away from an undefeated season. However, due to imposed sanctions, they are not allowed to participate in their conference’s championship game or the following bowl season. While a punishment for past indiscretions is to be expected, a bowl season ban is too harsh for a few young men trading memorabilia for tattoos and some change. The offending players and coach who covered it up are no longer part of the program. Please exercise your executive power to pardon the NCAA’s excessive sanctions placed on The Ohio State Buckeyes to enable a rightful, satisfying culmination to the college football season for the American people.”
If it wasn’t obvious enough already that Obama was not going to pardon the football team of their tattoo wrongdoings, the removal of the petition should make it clear that the Buckeyes will have to wait another year to participate in the postseason, whether the president is an Ohio State man or a Michigan man.
With both Ohio State and Penn State ineligible for postseason play, Wisconsin will represent the Big Ten Leaders division in the conference title game despite a 7-4 record, and will face either Nebraska or Michigan.