- Adam Rittenberg, ESPN Staff Writer
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Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith says the department isn't facing any major NCAA violations despite several more pending secondary infractions.
Smith issued a statement responding to a report in The Lantern, Ohio State's student newspaper, which quotes him as saying Ohio State has 12 pending NCAA violations that might or might not be major. These violations are separate from the 46 self-reported secondary violations across 21 sports since May 31, 2011, which were made public last week. The football program had nine secondary violations during the span.
Smith's full statement:
"Contrary to reports attributed to me, Ohio State athletics is not facing any major NCAA violations. 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."
Smith told The Lantern that Ohio State typically has 40 violations annually across its 36 varsity sports, and that the number and nature of the violations released last week aren't unusual. He added, "Our whole thing is if we have 10 [violations], I'd have a problem. I mean, I really would, because people are going to make mistakes. And that means if I only have 10 out of 350 employees [and] 1,000 athletes -- something's not right."
Secondary NCAA violations are common throughout the Big Ten, and as the nation's largest athletic department, Ohio State can expect to have a few more issues than most schools. The key here, according to Smith, is no additional major violations, especially in football, which is facing a postseason ban for 2012 and scholarship losses for the next three years because of major violations committed by several players and former coach Jim Tressel.
4hMax Olson and Brian Bennett