Urban Meyer and his Ohio State football team will sit out the 2012 college football bowl season. The NCAA ordered a one-year bowl ban and additional penalties for Ohio State, including probation through December 2014 and a reduction of football scholarships from 85 to 82 through the 2014-15 academic year.
Athletic Director Gene Smith did not believe the Buckeyes would be banned from a bowl game following the 2012 season, and even went so far as refusing to surrender a bowl invitation this year in order to save next year’s.
“I never went there because we were confident we would not get a bowl-game ban,” Smith said. “We were wrong.”
The sanctions are the result of eight players exchanging jerseys, rings and other Buckeyes memorabilia for a total of $14,000 in cash and tattoos.
Then-coach Jim Tressel knew of the violations but did not report them. For his part, Tressel was effectively banned from being a college coach for the next five seasons. Tressel is now on the staff of the Indianapolis Colts, filling the role of replay assistant. His penance has included watching from the booth for the last eight games as the Colts floundered to a 1-13 record. He was absent for the first six games of the NFL season, suspended because of his role in the Ohio State scandal.
Ohio State will meet Meyer’s former team, Florida, in the Gator Bowl on Jan. 2.
Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl
Marshall (7-6) beat Florida International, 20-10, as Rakeem Cato threw touchdown passes of 31 and 35 yards to Aaron Dobson. The game had been tied, 10-10, with 5:16 remaining when a blocked punt set up a 39-yard field goal. Dobson’s second TD came in the closing seconds.
“At first (Dobson) stumbled, so I just put it in the air,” Cato told the Associated Press. “He’s known for making big-time plays and big-time catches.”
Cato, a freshman from Miami, is one of 28 players on the Marshall roster recruited from Florida.
T.Y. Hilton scored on a two-yard run for Florida International (8-5).
FIU coach Mario Cristobal is reported to be a leading candidate to take over at Pittsburgh. Others rumored to be on the Panthers’ radar are Ohio State interim head coach Luke Fickell and Wisconsin offensive coordinator Paul Chryst.
Players to watch in tonight’s bowl game between TCU (10-2) and Louisiana Tech (8-4), according to Tony Pauline of SI.com:
TCU wide receiver Josh Boyce (No. 82) has potential as a slot receiver in the NFL and could go in the fourth or fifth round. Linebacker Tank Carder (No. 43), who is believed to be worth a sixth-round pick, is seen as a backup LB and special-teams player in the pros.
Louisiana Tech wide receiver Quinton Patton (No. 4) has big-play skills and is being looked at as a fifth- or sixth-rounder. Running back Lennon Creer (No. 5) can catch the ball out of the backfield and is projected as a late-round pick.