In a move that all but ends his senior season, Buckeyes wide reciever DeVier Posey has been suspended for an additional five games by the NCAA. This ban is in addition to the five games he has already served this year.
The root cause of the penalties are improper benefits recieved in various incidents. The latest five-game punishment? A result of $728.
For the sake of $728 that he received above and beyond what he should have earned at a summer job, Poesy will now miss all but two games of his final campaign.
Are you angry? If you like college football, you should be.
In recent years we’ve seen the NCAA reach new lows in terms of discipline and enforcement. Where we seek to find justice, we instead see only abuse of power.
Abuse of power by the nation’s largest athletic department in its ongoing decision to flaunt the rules, however absurd they might be.
Abuse of power by an NFL commissioner who believes it is his right to sanction players for actions committed completely outside of his purview.
And worst of all, abuse of power by an NCAA ruling body that is fueled by corruption, confusion, and inconsistency. The NCAA rulebook is little more than an anthology of failure, a red flag signifying the Association’s failure to adapt or update. Its archaic and arcane system of governance should have every rational person shaking his or head in embarrassment for the sport.
Throughout Ohio State’s ordeal involving a host of violations and subsequent sanctions, I’ve been hard on the Buckeyes. Despite being a fan for more than thirty years, I haven’t been an apologist for the actions of the administrators, coaches, and players involved. I fully recognized the need for Jim Tressel’s departure and have, on more than one occasion, called for Athletic Director Gene Smith to step down as well.
I have been realistic about the past, present, and future of this program. But looking at the big picture, the NCAA has simply gone too far. Smith and Posey’s attorney, Larry James, agreed:
“I am extremely disappointed with the NCAA’s decision regarding Devier Posey. This penalty is harsh considering the nature of the violation and the five-game suspension already served by this student-athlete,” said Smith.
James added, “I’ve been doing this for 30 years and I have not had anything that I think has incensed me more.”
Of course these sentiments could be the obligatory post-ruling bluster. Or they could be something more honest and real. Whatever the case may be, they’re accurate.
Buckeye fans will rant and rave about this latest development. Buckeye detractors will revel in this latest indignity. And soon enough this will all fade into the background, part of a history marred by far too many scandals. Instead of forgetting about it or dismissing the suspension as just another foolish athlete making bad decisions, all of us, including the NCAA itself, ought to be taking a long look at how we arrived in this mess.
Something is awry in college football and desperately needs to be set straight. When the punishment doesn’t fit the crime, when enforcement vacillates wildly from one incident to the next, when the effect is completely out of measure with the cause, it is time to make significant changes.
The Buckeyes will continue to pay for their transgressions, but even those who dislike Ohio State should be raising an eyebrow at this point. At least in concern for the state of the game, if not in full-blown disgust.