The latest NCAA rules infraction fiasco has hit the fan, this one impacting Ohio St., though, interestingly, not for their BCS Sugar Bowl date.
Today's lesson for SportsEcon 101 (class is never out of session, even between terms, for this class) is that tattoos can be trouble, and what's yours is the NCAA's.
Subject to appeal (which would have delayed the implementation of the sanctions beyond the date of the Sugar bowl, even if they had been imposed immediately), the NCAA has ruled five Buckeyes, including quarterback Terrell Pryor, out of the first five games next season, and a sixth for the season opener.
There are also various repayments to be made, depending on the specific values assigned to benefits received, and what was paid for certain gear.
The players apparently traded gear for tattoos, and in some cases also sold jerseys, shoes, rings, and misc. other items. The 2009 transactions
It's a sobering reminder that even personal property isn't really under NCAA rules. Selling special stuff you own can be seen as different from selling commonly owned items, but one has to suspect trading a jersey for a tattoo, with no money changing hands, probably never crossed these guys minds as a problem. The NCAA did note that the players did not receive adequate education about NCAA rules during the time the events happened. It will serve as a reminder to the rest of the student/athletes in any program, or at least that 5% that are paying attention.
One wonders if selling a used textbook Pryor had written his name in would be more of a problem than some second string safety doing the same thing would be.
Whether any of these sanctions actually come to pass depends on whether the players return to the Buckeyes next year. Pryor especially could be further encouraged to move on to the NFL.