Eighteen months ago, Ohio State football might have been described as the ideal college football program. The school had a storied history, a sterling reputation and an elite head coach who was known for doing things the right way.
But then it all came crashing down.
Now the Saints, my favorite pro team, are going through a similar situation to what my institution of higher education went through last year.
At least I still have the Hornets right?
In hindsight, the worst part of the OSU scandal was the constant trickle down of damning information. First was the revelation that several players broke NCAA rules by trading memorabilia and apparel for discounted tattoos. Later, the media reported that Tressel knew about it and lied to the NCAA. The story continued to snowball until May when Tressel was fired and quarterback Terrelle Pryor left for the NFL draft. In December, on the heels of hiring Urban Meyer to replace Tressel. the NCAA handed down a one year bowl ban.
I hope that we have seen the extent of the bounty scandal. The constant flow of damaging information made Tatgate unbearable. Every time Buckeye Nation thought they saw the light at the end of the tunnel, they were hit by a freight train
That might be the most uplifting thing about these punishments: they are limited to the short term. Yes, Payton and Loomis will be suspended as will a chunk of our defense. But while that will certainly impact this year, the damage would have been much worse had lost first round picks as was rumored by the media. Although the team lost second round picks, losing first rounders could have significantly crippled the team's future.
Looking back at the OSU scandal, the best healing element was time. The next year or so will be wrought with references to Bountygate, It will be mentioned during every Saints game, and ESPN will cover it ad nauseum. But assuming there is no new information, the media will move on to the next fad, phenom or LeBron James late-game-confidence-crisis.
Memorial Day will mark a year since Tressel was fired. OSU has begun to move on from the loss of a figure central to the identity of the entire fan base. Hopefully, Payton will be back in 2013. And that is the silver lining of this mess: the NFL has given penalties that hopefully allows Saints fans to move on quickly.