When I learned that Ohio State was going to be ineligible for post-season play in 2012, my first thought was, "Why didn't Ohio State self-impose a bowl ban on itself for the 2011 season?". After a moment to reflect, it dawned on me that it was entirely possible that even that self-punishment may not have been enough for the NCAA, and Ohio State would have been without a bowl for two seasons. If you are thinking of a parallel scenario, perhaps this classic movie clip will help - just substitute the NCAA for Dean Wormer, and you'll understand the analogy.
Regardless, it seems the NCAA never seems to grasp how the punishments and penalties always fall upon the individuals who had nothing to do with the crime that has been committed. Terrelle Pryor, "Boom" Herron, DeVier Posey, Mike Adams, and Solomon Thomas will all be elsewhere in 2012.
Moving forward, Ohio State fans should take this news as a positive. Knowing what the penalties and punishments are for the program will only help new head coach Urban Meyer with recruiting.
How, you ask? Because for the first time, Coach Meyer can accurately tell any young man what is going to be taking place at Ohio State. Everything else up until this point has been pure speculation, wondering when or if there would be a bowl ban, what type of scholarship reductions would be enforced, etc. Now, Coach Meyer can look any player in the eye and tell them precisely what the situation is with the NCAA.
Looking ahead to the 2012 schedule, knowing how young the 2011 team was across the board, it will be very interesting to see how Ohio State ranks among the other teams in college football. The 2012 squad could potentially rival this season's USC team that was arguably one of the nation's best, but ineligible to play in a bowl game.
Am I disappointed in today's ruling? Yes. Am I happy that the punishments are not as severe as some were predicting back in the summer? Absolutely. Time to move forward into 2012 and beyond. Time for an "Urban Renewal".