Ohio State University voluntarily surrendered five scholarships during the next three years for failing to monitor a football booster who gave financial benefits to player-athletes.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association alleged Robert DiGeronimo, a representative of the school’s athletics interests, arranged for cash payments of $200 each to four current or former student-athletes, as well as overcompensation for five who worked for his family businesses. The NCAA also alleged the Columbus-based school failed to monitor DiGeronimo’s actions.
“We should have done more to oversee Mr. DiGeronimo’s activities,” Athletics Director Gene Smith said in a statement. “I deeply regret that I did not ensure the degree of monitoring our institution deserves and demands.”
Besides the self-imposed scholarships reduction, Ohio State disassociated DiGeronimo on Sept. 20 and began enhancement of its education and monitoring system.
The episode follows violations of NCAA rules when Buckeye players sold memorabilia to a tattoo parlor owner.
The infractions resulted in the school vacating the 2010 season and the 2010 Big Ten football championship. Football coach Jim Tressel resigned, Ohio State entered a two-year probation and forfeited its share of the Big Ten’s payment for playing in the 2011 Sugar Bowl.