Ohio State Football: What Does “Failure to Monitor” Mean for Ohio State?

In hopefully the last chapter of the nightmare saga of Ohio State football scandals, the NCAA slapped the Buckeyes with a “failure to monitor” violation which is the second most severe injunction after “lack of institutional control.”

What does this mean for Ohio State? Reduced scholarships? Bowl bans? The death penalty? First, rest assured, Ohio State will not get the death penalty. With Penn State ruling the air waves, Ohio State’s slap will not be as public as it would be if all was normal.

I cannot predict for sure what will happen. Will there be a bowl ban? Perhaps. Will there be reduced scholarships? Ohio State has already imposed a five scholarship ban over the next three years. This may increase or may not. Don’t be surprised either way.

The most recent big time program to be hit with the “failure to monitor” violation was last year’s University of Connecticut basketball program. The NCAA wrote that UConn was punished due to “more than $6,000 in improper recruiting inducements, impermissible phone calls and text messages to prospective student-athletes, failure to monitor and promote an atmosphere for compliance by the head coach, failure to monitor by the university, and unethical conduct by the former operations director, among other violations.” Because of UConn’s violations, they were punished by (taken from NCAA page):

• Public reprimand and censure. Three years of probation from February 22, 2011, through February 21, 2014. The public infractions report further details the conditions of this probation.

• The head coach must be suspended from all coaching duties for the first three conference games of the 2011-12 season. He cannot be present in the arena where the games are played and cannot have contact with the coaching staff or student-athletes during the games.

• Two-year show-cause order for the former operations director (Feb. 22, 2011, through Feb. 21, 2013). The public report further details the conditions of this penalty.

• Permanent disassociation of the involved booster. The public infractions report includes further details.

• Reduction of men’s basketball athletics scholarships from 13 to 12 for the 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13 academic years.

• Ban on men’s basketball recruiting calls during the 2011-12 academic year until 30 days after the first day that phone calls are allowed.

• Reduction in the number of men’s basketball coaches allowed to make phone calls from three to two, not including the head basketball coach, for six months after the university’s response to the notice of allegations (self-imposed by the university).

• Reduction of the number of men’s basketball off-campus recruiting days by 40, from 130 to 90, for the 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13 recruiting periods.

• Limit of five official paid visits for men’s basketball for the 2011-12 and 2012-13 academic years.
The head coach, assistant coach and all members of the compliance staff must attend the NCAA Regional Rules Seminar.

UConn went on to win the Big East and NCAA Tournaments. They were not banned from postseason, the punishments focused on recruiting.

If UConn is a good example, Ohio State may see further reduction in scholarships as well as coaches ability to recruit, but a bowl ban does not seem to part of the punishment. Only the NCAA really knows the sanctions they will impose on OSU and the fact that OSU has had previous trouble even before tattoo-gate could also compound into a stiffer penalty, but if UConn is the example, OSU may still be able to play in the post season. After everything OSU has been through this year, let us hope this is the case.

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