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NCAA must bring an end to this

Tressel may be behind him, but Gene Smith continues to face problems at Ohio State.
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Thayer Evans

Senior College Football writer Thayer Evans previously wrote for The New York Times and Houston Chronicle, as well as contributed to The Economist, USA Today, The Washington Post and more. Follow him on Twitter.

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It’s once again time for Ohio State to make a stand.

CONTROL ISSUES?

More NCAA problems, more suspensions. FOX Sports Ohio wonders: How much longer can we believe in the Buckeyes' leadership?

But once again, it won’t.

With Monday’s announcement that three players have been suspended for Saturday’s game at No. 14 Nebraska for being overpaid for summer jobs, Ohio State has another opportunity to make it clear that no individual is more important than the integrity of its football program.

In this case, that point should be made by dismissing senior running back Dan Herron and senior wide receiver DeVier Posey from the team. They and redshirt sophomore offensive lineman Marcus Hall were suspended after not doing enough work at a carwash or picking up scrap metal for the money paid to them by booster Bobby DiGeronimo, who was banned Monday from further contact with Ohio State’s athletics program.

Posey was overpaid $728, Herron $293 and Hall $233 — and two other players also received extra money but were not suspended. But it’s not the amount of money for which Herron and Posey should be kicked off the team.

It’s because they are repeat offenders who were already suspended along with four other Buckeyes for their involvement in selling and trading sports memorabilia for cash and tattoos from Columbus, Ohio, tattoo parlor owner Edward Rife. He has since pleaded guilty to federal money-laundering and drug-trafficking charges not related to Ohio State.

Obviously, Herron and Posey didn’t learn their lesson from their five-game suspensions that were to end this Saturday. Spare me the excuse that they are simply college kids who didn’t know they were being overpaid.

Look, we have all been overpaid at some time in our lives. You know when you have been overpaid.

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And if you have embarrassed your university like Herron and Posey had already done with Tattoogate, you make sure you don’t do anything again that breaks NCAA rules. That means making sure your pay is correct to the exact cent.

But instead of removing Herron and Posey, Ohio State is seeking to have the NCAA restore their eligibility, as well as Hall’s.

You read that right. The Buckeyes want Herron and Posey to play again for a reeling team that would be fortunate to play in the TicketCity Bowl.

That’s a disgrace, but actually what we have come to expect from shameless Ohio State. After all, it allowed former coach Jim Tressel to remain even after he admitted to lying about his knowledge of Tattoogate.

This is the same cowardly university that also let Tressel resign instead of firing him. It’s the same gutless place that didn’t get rid of former quarterback Terrelle Pryor, the poster child for NCAA violations, until he decided to leave on his own accord.

This is the same arrogant program that didn’t include a postseason ban or loss of scholarships in its self-imposed NCAA penalties for Tattoogate. It’s the same clueless school that still won’t admit it has a systematic problem with NCAA compliance, despite three other players also being suspended earlier this season for their involvement with DiGeronimo.

This is the same ignorant institution that still employs athletic director Gene Smith after its reputation has been desecrated under his watch by an out-of-control football team. It’s the same incompetent establishment that continues to allow university president Gordon Gee to run his foolish mouth.

See, Ohio State simply doesn’t get it, just like Heron and Posey. But hopefully the NCAA does by now.

College sports’ governing body didn’t charge the Buckeyes with a failure to monitor or lack of institutional control in the aftermath of Tattoogate, and so far, its infractions committee has yet to rule on the case.

But since Ohio State has repeatedly not taken a stand for its own integrity, its punishment from the NCAA needs to reflect that. And it needs to bring the Buckeyes to their knees.

Tagged: Ohio State, Ohio, Marcus Hall, DeVier Posey, Dan Herron

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