He said, Gene said

Last night all hell broke loose when The Lantern, the student newspaper at The Ohio State University, released an article of an interview with Gene Smith the OSU AD. In the article about OSU violations The Lantern had this…

“Smith told The Lantern Tuesday the athletic department has 12 pending NCAA violations, and he doesn’t know if they will be deemed primary or secondary violations.”

“We’ve got 12 pending,” Smith said. “It may turn out to be secondary. It may not.”

and then this….

“OSU spokesman Dan Wallenberg said in a Wednesday email to The Lantern, that there were actually less than 12 pending violations. Wallenberg did confirm that the additional violations are being “processed,” although he did not “know the status of each situation” in regards to whether it was being processed by the university or the NCAA.”

“Smith’s mention of the additional violations to The Lantern comes less than a week after OSU released documents that revealed 46 self-reported secondary NCAA violations since May 30, 2011 — the day former Buckeyes football coach Jim Tressel was forced to resign.”

Those 46 secondary violations were amusing at best and a great example of the juggernaut that is the NCAA rule book.

But there was a widespread panic by journalists from major news outlets to spread the fact that OSU is under serious investigations for these new twelve or so violations and these may put the death nail in an OSU coffin they have been trying to bury for over a year. To OSU fans it was just another unneeded headache that we all assumed would be similar to the 46 “funny” violations that we learned about last week. We also knew that the media and the CFB world would instantly jump on this story and go to the worst possible scenarios and report it as truth, rather then guesses.

Then came clarification from Gene Smith this morning in the following response to the Lantern article…..

“Contrary to reports attributed to me, Ohio State Athletics is not facing any major NCAA violations,” Smith said. “There are several secondary violations being processed by our compliance office. These are similar to those released last week. Again, these are secondary in nature and consistent with our culture of self-reporting even the most minor and inadvertent violations.

“Again, to be clear, the Ohio State football program, its coaches and staff are not facing any violations.”“Contrary to reports attributed to me, Ohio State Athletics is not facing any major NCAA violations,” Smith said. “There are several secondary violations being processed by our compliance office. These are similar to those released last week. Again, these are secondary in nature and consistent with our culture of self-reporting even the most minor and inadvertent violations.

“Again, to be clear, the Ohio State football program, its coaches and staff are not facing any violations.”

Who knows how the article in the Lantern got to where it got and whether or not there were misunderstandings or if things were taken out of context. Maybe Gene Smith said exactly what they say he said; that is very believable. What isn’t believable is that the national media will print this clarification as fast and fervently as they did the initial story. So expect lots of people not understanding this situation and using it to fit whatever argument they want to expand on their hate for OSU.

The truth is OSU has 40 or so sports teams with 400 or so coaches and over 1100 student athletes and is the largest Athletic Department in the country. The NCAA rule book is GINORMOUS and very detailed. OSU will have many violations each and every year. Just like every other school does (If they don’t then they are hiding their violations) yet when OSU has them they are front page news and fodder for all those reporters who love to espouse their hatred for either OSU or the NCAA or both.

Comments

  1. I think the Lantern writer is trying to get a job at ESPN. A simple clarifying question would have brought out the truth…. but the truth isn’t always the journalistic goal anymore.

  2. A lot of people want to blame the Lantern and while I understand it I don’t agree. I also don’t blame Gene Smith either though.

    The Lantern is a student newspaper with unpaid students doing everything they can to become good journalists. They aren’t professional and will make mistakes as they should. The writer will learn a lot from this whole incident and it will make him a better writer.

    Gene Smith was vague and left room for speculation but listening to the audio he clearly never said major or primary violations. I blame the professional journalists and media who didn’t take the time to do any investigating or actual journalism before running wild with the story. A quick follow up call to OSU would have found out the discrepency. Further I blame the fans for overreacting and going directly to the worst case scenario and screaming the sky is falling before even looking up to see the sky.

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