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.