Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Blame the lawyer in me

Someone is going to have to explain to me how the head football coach at Ohio State's failure to act on information given to him, especially considering his contact with the FBI and the players involved, isn't a lack of institutional control.

Had these players just done this and then it comes out, fine.  I can live with them not thinking it is wrong to do, although I'd have to question tOSU's 'excellent' compliance program and how they failed to teach them selling memorabilia isn't allowed. Of course, that could only be a legitimate excuse up until about September 9th, when AJ Green was ruled ineligible for four games.  I have to assume they get ESPN in Columbus, since one of their own moved from Columbus because he isn't homerific enough while broadcasting on ESPN. 

However, the head football coach had the information and sat on it.  Except for talking to his star QB.  And a former player.  And the FBI.  And the star QB's handlers. I am not sure I can get my head around him sitting quietly on the information and not have this an institutional control issue.  With him having that and acting on behalf of the institution in calling others to 'protect' his players?  Fugitaboutit.

Generaly, an institution is found to be adequately in control if

• if adequate compliance measures exist;
• if they are appropriately conveyed to those who need to be aware of them;
• if they are monitored to ensure that such measures are being followed; and
• if, on learning that a violation has occurred, the institution takes swift action.

If we buy that the first three are met in Ohio State's case, which the NCAA does, I can't fathom how they get around the fourth one. 

If the Head Football Coach isn't the primary representative of the Institution, especially as it relates to the players on his football team, then who is?  If the Head Coach of any sport isn't the one best in a position to maintain and monitor an atmosphere of compliance, then who is? 

Compliance starts with the Coach.  That he sat on this information, lied to the University and NCAA (joining the Bruce Pearl fraternity), gave advice to the players, then started them in all of the games through the season is evidence of the institution not exercising control.  This isn't Todd McNair keeping quiet about Reggie Bush's various business dealings in LA.  This is the head coach hiding information about his players so they remain eligible to protect his season.

It just boggles the mind.


  1. In business, if you lie to your employer's regulators and get caught, you get fired. Immediately.

    It's as simple as that.

    Otherwise, it looks like your employer is complicit in your lying.

    Your employer's regulator will certainly believe your keeping your job implicates your employer in your lying.

    There's no reason these principles are not applicable to college sports.

  2. The NCAA enforces its rules arbitrarily and capriciously. It all depends on who you are. It is accountable to no one. Believe that if any SEC school had done what tOSU did, NCAA would have dished out an Old Testament beatdown.

    NCAA enforcement is an opaque star chamber. Its weakness is that the NCAA is a voluntary organization. I believe in our lifetime we'll see several major conferences break away and form an alternative organization with greater credibility and accountability.

  3. Dawgnoxious wins the internet today.

    Tressel will keep his job & osu will get a slap on the wrist. Moving right along....

    How 'bout those Diamond Dawgs? Taking on the nerds tonight at Turner Field, 7pm est. Go Dawgs! Tuck Fech.

  4. Isn't one's Employer a Principal who is responsible for the actions of their employee Agen while in the performance of his duties for the Principal Employer?

    Doesn't the NCAA have a 2nd year law student who can help them understand common law Principal-Agent liability?

  5. Finally! Everyone seems to get it when it comes to the crime perpetrated on all of the member schools. It's even worse. He just didn't fail to notify the correct people, but Tressel also had a PLAN in mind. Meaning all the action was nefarious and more hypocritically a crime than his friggin' book.

    The FBI call was part of the ruse. It was for less than a minute and the agent said that they talked briefly about a player having interest in joining the FBI. Tressel led everyone to believe that he had discussed the faux pas committed by the players with that dirty gangster tattoo artist. In less than a minute(according to the phone log)? Yeah, Riiight! Tressel set it up as part of his PLAN because he stated that THE FBI TOLD HIM TO BE QUIET. And he now has the phone log to prove it!

    It gets better. He committed this crime by seducing his players to clam up and play ball or they all were in deep poo. Accomplices in another coverup larger than the sale of clothing and mementos at the tattoo parlor. It isn't much of a stretch to figure that they received more than tattoos from a guy being investigated for drug sales. This makes Tressel and players (willing lackeys) the Manson Family of the sports world. Except in this case they didn't write "PIGSKINS" on the wall. And the players didn't have a place in the hole in the ground where Ole' Jim said they would duck out of sight. They would be left on the outside fighting the NCAA race war. Somebody look under Ole' Jim's vest and see if there's a swastika cut into his t-shirt.

    None of this will matter since Tressel will resign before this week is out. Then the next coach can rig a little GatorMoon stand for OSU practices and let Jenkins sell cigars on the side.