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Miami Hurricanes vs. Ohio State: Who won the sanctions game?

Miami Hurricanes, in trouble with the NCAA, play Ohio State Buckeyes, already sanctioned by the NCAA. So who won in terms of financial sanctions?

By Contributor / September 17, 2011

Ohio State coach Jim Tressel holds up the championship trophy after the Ohio State Buckeyes beat the Miami Hurricanes 31-24 in two overtimes in the 2003 Fiesta Bowl college football game in Tempe, Ariz. On Sept. 17, 2011, the two teams meet again in far changed circumstances. Both teams have been sanctioned by the NCAA for illegal player activity. The NCAA's investigation into Miami continues, and could prove costly to the team.

Paul Sakuma/AP/File


The Miami Hurricanes and the Ohio State Buckeyes, two storied college football powerhouses that have recently run afoul of the NCAA, go head to head Saturday night. We’ll know by the end of the night which team is superior on the field. But when it comes to losing money as a result of their respective NCAA investigations, which team will be the winner (loser, actually)?

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Here's how the teams stack up:

Ohio State

The crime: The Buckeyes came under fire last year when players traded autographs, championship rings, and equipment for cash and services at a Columbus tattoo parlor. Head coach Jim Tressel knew about the incident for months, but failed to suspend any of the offending players.

The price: Ohio State forfeited all of its wins from the 2010 season, and the implicated players – Mike Adams, Daniel Herron, Devier Posey, Solomon Thomas, and Terelle Pryor – were suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season (Pryor left the Buckeyes to try his luck in the NFL). Those players had to repay the illicit benefits: Adams had to pay back $1,000; Herron $1,150; Posey $1,250; Thomas $1,505; and Pryor $2,500, according to an Ohio State press release.

However, most of the financial punishment fell on Tressel, who was fined $250,000 by the NCAA in March and eventually resigned, giving up a $3.3 million yearly contract with a $450,000 maximum yearly bonus – the sixth highest salary in college football. Tressel’s contract went through 2014, so that’s a loss of approximately $13.2 million, plus bonus money.

The trouble isn’t over for Ohio State. Earlier, this month, three additional players – Jordan Hall, Travis Howard, and Corey Brown – were suspended for the Buckyes’ home opener against Akron for receiving $200 apiece at an unsanctioned Cleveland charity event. They have been cleared to play in Saturday night’s game.


The crime: According to a Yahoo! Sports report released in August, the Hurricanes could be in far deeper trouble than the Buckeyes. Former booster Nevin Shapiro, who is now serving a 20-year prison sentence for his role in a Ponzi scheme, alleges that he provided players with millions of dollars in illicit benefits, including parties, expensive dinners, trips to strip clubs, and, in one case, money for an abortion. Shapiro also claims that he offered “bounties” for injuries to key players on opposing teams.


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