- Adam Rittenberg, ESPN Staff Writer
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No one can fully predict what type of additional penalties (if any) the NCAA hands down to Ohio State coach Jim Tressel and the Buckeyes program sometime this fall.
But the general belief is the NCAA will impose some sanctions, probably hefty ones, and the vacating of wins from the 2010 season seems like a strong possibility. Tressel, after all, knowingly sent ineligible players onto the field in all 12 regular-season games.
One of those games came against archrival Michigan on Nov. 27, as the Buckeyes prevailed 37-7.
Ohio State players, coaches and support staff normally would receive another set of "gold pants," the team's traditional prize for beating the Wolverines. But since last year's win could be vacated, the gold pants charms haven't been distributed, The Columbus Dispatch reported Sunday.
From The Dispatch:
Gold Pants Club president Jim Lachey, a former Ohio State All-America offensive lineman and a current radio analyst during football games, said the pants aren't ready, but he didn't mean they haven't been molded and dipped.
"We're dealing with some outstanding issues that we've never had to deal with before," Lachey said. "... If they vacate the win, it makes no sense to award the gold pants, at least in our minds. And if you hand them out and say, 'Oh yeah, we'll need to get them back if the win is vacated' -- I'm pretty sure that wouldn't be a smart way to go. And I'll be honest: We don't want to see any 2010 gold pants on the market right now."
The truth might sting, but this approach makes total sense for Lachey and Ohio State. While vacating the Michigan win from 2010 would be largely symbolic, Ohio State doesn't want to distribute gold pants for a victory that could be taken away in October or November.
There's also the fact that gold pants were among the items the players sold or exchanged for tattoos. Although players who have exhausted their eligibility are allowed to sell any memorabilia items they've received, any sales from players returning to the team violate NCAA rules.
As a result of what happened, Lachey told The Dispatch that gold pants might be withheld in the future until players have finished their eligibility at Ohio State. Sounds like another smart move. While you'd hope what has happened with the Buckeyes would discourage players from selling these items, the only way to prevent future violations is to control the distribution.
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