Friday, January 13, 2012
Buckeyes still get share of bowl purse
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio State won't be putting any money into the Big Ten's bowl bank account in 2012. It will be withdrawing around $400,000.
Despite being banned from playing in a bowl game due to NCAA violations, there is nothing which prevents Ohio State from collecting the same amount that Michigan, Wisconsin and other Big Ten schools receive, conference officials said.
"I can't speak on behalf of our members, but it'd be the same as if Ohio State or any of our schools finished 5-7 this year and were not eligible to play in a bowl game because of their competitive record," Big Ten deputy commissioner Brad Traviola said Friday.
He added that the division of funds from the conference's bowl pool "are not dependent on who all is playing."
Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith declined comment.
Conference schools put all money over and above their bowl travel costs and expenses into a pool, with each of the Big Ten's longtime members receiving an equal share.
The Big Ten office receives 5 percent of the net proceeds, and Nebraska, the 12th and newest member of the conference, does not receive a full share yet until it has met an integration contract it signed in order to join the Big Ten in 2011.
There is no conference rule which prevents teams on NCAA probation or banned from bowl games from receiving their share of the bowl money.
"The Big Ten currently has no policy or precedent set in regards to financial penalties on conference bowl revenue," Big Ten spokesman Scott Chipman said in an email to The Associated Press. "So at this time, all bowl revenues will be distributed equally, as in the past."
Traviola estimated that each Big Ten school will receive about the same for the 2011 bowls as they did before -- just under $400,000.
The NCAA penalized Ohio State last month for breaking rules under former coach Jim Tressel. The penalties included a bowl ban this year, three years of probation and forfeiting its $389,000 share of the Big Ten bowl pot a year ago.
The NCAA spent much of last year investigating a series of violations at Ohio State. Tressel was forced to resign for not reporting to his superiors that several of his players had most likely taken cash and discounted tattoos from the focal point of a federal drug-trafficking probe. The players were suspended at the start of the 2011 season, and Tressel was replaced by interim coach Luke Fickell.
Ohio State subsequently discovered that a booster had paid three players $200 to attend a charity event early last year, and that he had paid several players too much for doing too little at their summer jobs.
On Dec. 20, 2011, the NCAA issued its final sanctions against Ohio State. In addition to the bowl ban, forfeiting its share of bowl money and probation, the Buckeyes were handed a reduction in nine football scholarships over three years, the 2010 season (with a 12-1 record and Sugar Bowl victory) was vacated, the school banned the booster from contact with athletes and Tressel was given a five-year show-cause order which effectively prevents him from coaching at any NCAA institution.
The Buckeyes are coming off a 6-7 season, their first losing record since 1988. Urban Meyer was hired as the new coach in late November.
Ohio State had played in a bowl game every year since 1999, bringing money into the coffers of other schools even when they had a losing record and did not play in bowl games.