Ohio State football self-reports eight minor NCAA violations in football between 2020-22

Joey Kaufman
The Columbus Dispatch

Ohio State self-reported eight minor NCAA violations involving the football program over the last two years.

The violations, all of which were deemed Level III – isolated or limited – in nature, were reported between Aug. 8, 2020, and Jan. 24, 2022, and obtained by The Dispatch on Tuesday through a public records request.

Half the infractions resulted from impermissible text messages or tweets sent by members of the coaching staff.

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Penalties included rules education and temporary bans on electronic communication for coaches involved.

Another violation occurred after then-linebackers coach Al Washington led his position group through a conditioning drill in July 2020.

For six minutes during a workout, the linebackers pushed a weighted blocking sled, but its use was considered improper during the summer access period.

The school’s athletic compliance office reported, “it is not permissible to include contact‐related drills during conditioning activities if the equipment is related to the program’s sport.”

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What penalties does Ohio State face?

After self-reporting the violation, Ohio State reduced the number of countable athletic-related activities (CARA) by 12 minutes, twice the time span of the prohibited drill. The NCAA later determined the CARA activities should instead be reduced by a half-hour to meet the minimum penalty.

It was a rare instance in which the association increased the penalties previously imposed by Ohio State.

Washington, who supervised the conditioning drill, was one of the Buckeyes’ three defensive assistants who were let go after last season as the team sought an overhaul on that side of the ball. He has since been hired by Notre Dame as the Fighting Irish’s defensive line coach.

Other violations involved a commercial endorsement by an unnamed player. The name of the brand was also redacted.

The tweets were reported in August 2020, which was 11 months before players were granted the ability to profit off the use of their name, image and likeness, ushering in a new era in college sports in which it is common for players to promote companies on social media as part of endorsement deals.

Ohio State’s compliance staff also failed to review a pre-approval form for a visiting prospect taking an official visit last October, citing administrative oversight.

The average annual number of violations for the program is in line with previous years. Four minor violations in football were also self-reported for the 2019-20 academic year.

Joey Kaufman covers Ohio State football for The Columbus Dispatch. Contact him at jkaufman@dispatch.com or on Twitter @joeyrkaufman.

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