NFP On Campus

Fifty-six days until the first college football Saturday of the 2011 season. It’s getting closer…

But, for now, let’s open up the college notebook and see what’s happening on campuses across the country.

Ohio State meets with the NCAA

On Friday, Ohio State responded to the allegations made by the NCAA against its football program. And, to be quite honest, the Buckeyes weren't very harsh in their self-imposed punishment.

With the school scheduled to meet with the NCAA Committee on Infractions next month, Ohio State vacated its wins from the 2010 season, which was the obvious move by school president E. Gordon Gee. But the program failed to take away scholarships and did not ban itself from postseason play. Placing itself on two years’ probation? Hardly a bold statement.

Was a self-imposed bowl ban expected? No, it wasn’t. But Gee and the administration could have made a bold move by taking the initiative given everything that has occurred within the program — a poor job by the compliance department heading the list of errors.

The Buckeyes did very little Friday that would harm the program moving forward, and I’m not sure that was the best approach to take because the NCAA is going to want to make a statement in this case.

Jim TresselICONOhio State clearly felt that dismissing Jim Tressel was punishment enough for its violations.

While the NCAA rulebook is full of loopholes and ambiguity, former head coach Jim Tressel was guilty of violating Bylaw 10.1 (unethical conduct). And he flat-out fielded ineligible players last year. Yet OSU played it safe on Friday, and I don’t see how the NCAA doesn’t look at this as a slap in the face.

Pretty smooth move by the administration in getting Tressel to essentially assume all the blame, as he did in his response to the NCAA, eh?

While firing Tressel and suspending the Buckeye Five (now the Buckeye Four after Pryor’s departure) could be viewed as punishment enough, keep in mind that those measures had to take place. But there needed to be a cherry on top, so to speak.

The Buckeyes didn’t provide that on Friday.

Next month, the NCAA will do it for them.

Another nonconference test for the Hokies

Frank Beamer and Virginia Tech never met a big game they didn’t like.

While much has been made of the Hokies’ struggles in big games when the team’s been highly ranked, Beamer continues to schedule tough nonconference foes (just don’t look at this year’s slate), as the Hokies will start the 2013 season by playing Nick Saban and Alabama in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta. The schools previously played in the game in 2009, with the then-No. 5 Crimson Tide claiming a 34-24 victory over the seventh-ranked Hokies. Alabama leads the all-time series with Virginia Tech, 11-1.

The Chick-fil-A College Kickoff is the annual game played the first week of the season at the home of the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons. This fall, Boise State will battle Georgia.

Here is the schedule through 2014. In 2012, there are two contests.

2011: Boise State vs. Georgia
2012: NC State vs. Tennessee
2012: Auburn vs. Clemson
2013: Alabama vs. Virginia Tech
2014: Boise State vs. Ole Miss

Light shines even brighter on Crowell

First, it was Washaun Ealey. Now, it's Caleb King.

The Georgia backfield is frighteningly thin, making the spotlight on prized freshman Isaiah Crowell even brighter.

On Friday, it was announced that the senior King was declared academically ineligible for the 2011 season, ending his career in Athens. While he never lived up to the hype that accompanied his arrival, King was the most battle-tested of all the running backs for head coach Mark Richt. And while Crowell very well may be the real deal, the Bulldogs almost surely will need to get immediate production from him — something that wasn’t necessary with the solid King on the roster.

Can Carlton Thomas and Ken Malcome step in against Boise State in the opener and help out? Perhaps. But with Boise State and South Carolina on the slate to begin the year, quarterback Aaron Murray will feel the heat behind a suspect offensive line if the running game can’t get going early.

Skinny posts

Oliver LuckAthletic director Oliver Luck has to be happy that the NCAA accepted West Virginia's self-imposed sanctions.

After hitting former coaches Rich Rodriguez and Bill Stewart and the university itself with failure to monitor charges, the NCAA announced Friday that it has accepted West Virginia’s self-imposed sanctions: scholarship reductions and two years’ probation for the major violations committed. In addition to the probation, which runs through July 7, 2013, West Virginia reduced the total number of football scholarships by two for 2010-11 and one for 2011-12; reduced the amount of hours for football activities by 23 percent; and eliminated two non-coaching graduate assistant positions. Athletic director Oliver Luck and Co. have to be ecstatic that this drama is over, especially after a tumultuous offseason in Morgantown.

The NCAA maintained that former North Carolina defensive end Michael McAdoo will not be eligible for the 2011 season, which ends his career officially in Chapel Hill. McAdoo was one of seven Tar Heels who missed last season due to NCAA violations. McAdoo had filed a lawsuit in Durham Superior Court against the university and the NCAA seeking to restore his eligibility this fall. “We are aware of the litigation,” the NCAA said. “Academic integrity is critically important to intercollegiate athletics and something that is expected from all student-athletes. As a result, the NCAA plans to vigorously defend the process by which penalties related to academic misconduct are ultimately determined by the NCAA Student-Athlete Reinstatement Committee, comprised of representatives from member institutions.” The question now is how much will this drag out in court?

When it comes to anything and everything related to college football, I will continually spread what I hear on Twitter throughout the day at Miller_Dave, so be sure to stay tuned if you’re a frequent tweeter. Also, you can find my stories under my Against the Grain column.

Have a college football question? Feel free to send me an email at

Have a great weekend! I will be drinking Skinny Girl margaritas and playing a little beach volleyball at North Avenue Beach in Chicago. Come hang out…

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