NCAA cites OSU athletics

The NCAA has found three Ohio State University athletic programs violated a total of 9 NCAA rules. Most of the allegations involve the men’s basketball team, but the women’s basketball team and the football team were also cited.

To followers of Ohio State Athletics, the report contained few surprises. NCAA investigators found men’s basketball coaches in the late ’90′s gave improper 67-hundred dollars to a recruit.

Investigators found a former men’s basketball player – in court documents identified at Boban Savovic, received improper gifts from a booster.

The NCAA found several women’s basketball players received free or discounted dental care from a Columbus orthodontist; and the NCAA found that OSU quarter back Troy Smith last year accepted $500 for work he never performed.

OSU President Karen Holbrook said the report matches what the University found.

The report is consistent with our investigation, She said.

In anticipation of the report, Ohio State penalized itself. It barred the men’s basketball team from playing in post season tournaments this spring. It suspended Troy Smith for two games.

Brand new OSU Athletic Director Gene Smith said he is confident university staff has addressed the problems in the report. He praises increased education efforts aimed at boosters, student athletes and administrators. This is a teachable moment, Smith said.

Equally noteworthy is what was not in the report. OSU officials believe the NCAA fully investigated allegations made by Maurice Clarett. The former OSU tailback alleged in media reports that OSU football players were paid for no-show jobs and received other improper benefits. The NCAA report does not mention any of Clarett’s allegations, leading Athletic Director Gene Smith to say it appears the NCAA disagreed with Clarett.

As for the 9 allegations in the report, now the university will formally respond. The NCAA’s infractions committee will hold a hearing then could impose additional penalties.

OSU officials declined to speculate on what if any additional penalties might be imposed.

Mike Thompson, WOSU news

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