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Ohio State NCAA Sanctions: Gene Smith 'Surprised' By New Penalties

Ohio St. Buckeyes athletic director Gene Smith said Tuesday he is "surprised and disappointed" that the NCAA chose to stiffen penalties imposed against OSU. The school had recommended a minor assortment of punishments for itself, which the NCAA supplemented with a bowl ban, increased digits throughout and a steely shunning of former coach Jim Tressel.

In a statement, Smith said the Buckeyes don't plan to fight the NCAA any further, but wants you to know he doesn't like any of this:

"We are surprised and disappointed with the NCAA's decision," said Gene Smith, Ohio State's Athletics Director and Associate Vice President.  "However, we have decided not to appeal the decision because we need to move forward as an institution.  We recognize that this is a challenging time in intercollegiate athletics.  Institutions of higher education must move to higher ground, and Ohio State embraces its leadership responsibilities and affirms its long-standing commitment to excellence in education and integrity in all it does.

"My primary concern, as always, is for our students, and this decision punishes future students for the actions of others in the past," said Smith.  "Knowing our student-athletes, however, I have no doubt in their capacity to turn this into something positive - for themselves and for the institution.  I am grateful to our entire Buckeye community for their continued support." 

For more, visit Ohio State blog Along The Olentangy and Big Ten blog Off Tackle Empire.