With all the news of a 2012 postseason ban and other punishments for the Ohio State Buckeyes, many are wondering if it could be avoided somehow. While some are suggesting that Ohio State dodged a bullet, there are those who wonder why the school didn't self-impose a postseason ban for the 2011 postseason to potentially clear the way for a 2012 run. This tweet, for instance, echoes those sentiments exactly:
Why didn't Ohio St impose bowl ban on itself this so-so season? Probably didn't think it would get one for next year.
It makes a lot of sense that maybe Ohio State didn't see this coming, especially with reports about Urban Meyer and others promising potential new recruits that a 2012 ban was out of the question. Maybe the team did legitimately believe they were going to escape without any form of ban to bowl games, Big Ten title games or National Championships.
There is an official statement from Ohio State Athletics Director Gene Smith, in which he says that he's surprised before all else, somewhat validating the above tweet:
"We are surprised and disappointed with the NCAA's decision," said Gene Smith, Ohio State's Athletics Director and Associate Vice President. "However, we have decided not to appeal the decision because we need to move forward as an institution. We recognize that this is a challenging time in intercollegiate athletics. Institutions of higher education must move to higher ground, and Ohio State embraces its leadership responsibilities and affirms its long-standing commitment to excellence in education and integrity in all it does.
"My primary concern, as always, is for our students, and this decision punishes future students for the actions of others in the past," said Smith. "Knowing our student-athletes, however, I have no doubt in their capacity to turn this into something positive - for themselves and for the institution. I am grateful to our entire Buckeye community for their continued support."
In hindsight, it may be something worth questioning, but if the Buckeyes felt they had a chance to make the postseason this season and if there was the hope they wouldn't get a postseason ban, then you probably can't fault them too much. Still, the fact that they don't plan to appeal the decision could mean that they knew this was a case they were bound to lose. So who really knows at this point?