COLUMBUS (AP) — It might seem incongruous that a coach in charge of an NCAA-penalized program welcomes even more punitive sanctions to schools. But that’s precisely where Ohio State coach Urban Meyer stands on the new NCAA guidelines on penalties.
The NCAA announced this week that it will levy more severe punishment to schools and coaches who break the rules. The association’s board of directors passed a package of changes which hold coaches more accountable for rule-breaking and offers longer postseason bans and heftier fines for those who violate its bylaws.
The NCAA also increased the number of voting members of the infractions committee from 10 to 24 to expedite rulings.
“I’m fully supportive of it. I appreciate the NCAA revisiting the discipline and penalty structure because it was antiquated and it was time to make a change,” Meyer said on the Big Ten coaches call on Tuesday. “I am in full support of very stringent penalties and keeping — or even restoring — the integrity of college football.”
Asked why he thought the new legislation would work, Meyer said, “Throughout history, the only way to keep civilization (in order), and to keep things in order, is to have very strong rules and enforce them. There’s no other way. Very strong rules. Clear rules with very firm and swift — it has to be a little bit more swift — punishment.”
Ohio State had to vacate the 2010 season’s records, repay bowl revenue, go on NCAA probation, revise its enforcement procedures, reduce scholarships and face a bowl ban after this season as a result of violations which occurred on the watch of former coach Jim Tressel.
THE LINE: The latest betting line on the Illinois-Ohio State game has the Buckeyes favored by 27.5 points.
NOTE THIS: Illinois has turned the ball over 20 times, resulting in 12 touchdowns and 2 field goals. … Ohio State QB Braxton Miller has run or passed for at least 20 yards on 33 plays; Illinois QB Nathan Scheelhaase, who did miss a couple games to injury, has 14 such gains. … The Illini are dead last in Big Ten games in scoring, total offense, kickoff returns, punt returns, field goals, sacks against and first downs. … During Saturday’s game (3:30 p.m. start), Ohio State will observe military appreciation day.
FEWER FANS: Illinois is drawing an average of 46,013 fans over its first five home games, roughly 25 percent under Memorial Stadium’s capacity of 60,670.
The Illini are 2-3 at home, including a 31-17 drubbing at the hands of lowly Indiana in their homecoming game on Saturday.
With upcoming dates remaining against less-than-marquee opponents Minnesota and Purdue on Nov. 10 and 17, and the weather worsening, the average turnout will undoubtedly plummet.
Coach Tim Beckman said it’s all comes down to success on the field.
“Of course we’d love to have Memorial Stadium sold out each and every week,” he said. “But I can’t help but think that has a lot to do with the winning and the losing. We have to right now concentrate on how we can win football games and how we can improve ourselves and how we can do those things as a football family first. Of course, that will all end up building with the attendance.”
IN THE ROARING ’20s: Ohio State and Boston College have scheduled a home-and-home football series for the 2020 and 2021 seasons.
The games are scheduled to be played Sept. 19, 2020, in Columbus, and Sept. 18, 2021, in Chestnut Hill. Each year Ohio State plays Oregon a week earlier.
“Boston College is a fine program from an outstanding (Atlantic Coast) conference,” said Ohio State AD Gene Smith. “This gives Ohio State fans a chance to watch their Buckeyes in back-to-back games against Pacific 12 and ACC schools.”
The Buckeyes have won all three previous meetings with Boston College: 34-29 in 1989 at Ohio Stadium; 31-10 in 1990 at Alumni Stadium in Chestnut Hill; and 38-6 in the 1995 Kickoff Classic in East Rutherford, N.J.
Ohio State also announced a change to a previously revealed series with North Carolina. The game set for Sept. 5, 2015, has been moved to Sept. 22, 2018, at Ohio Stadium. There is not change to the game set for Sept. 23, 2017, in Chapel Hill, N.C.
“We worked in collaboration with UNC on moving the initial game in this series,” Smith said. “They were in need of a scheduling change and we were in a position where we could help. This new date works well with what we are doing in regard to strengthening our non-conference games from 2018 and beyond.”
Ohio State’s 2018 non-conference schedule now includes consecutive games against Big East foe Cincinnati (Sept. 8), at Big 12 member TCU (Sept. 15) and the Atlantic Coast Conference’s North Carolina (Sept. 22).
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