Was it Lou Holtz who called Ohio State the Rupert Murdoch of college football? There are similarities. Both believed they were too big and too smart to follow the rules. Both got caught. And just as exposure of the Murdoch empire's wrongdoing forced the sale of its largest newspaper, and the resignation and arrest of top executives, so disclosure of Buckeye misdeeds has forced OSU to vacate all its "victories" from last season, including the Sugar Bowl, and to remove the head coach. As yet, there've been no arrests.
Punishment is one thing and reform is another. We can't expect much in that area from Murdoch – the leopard-and-stripes thing – but OSU, once an institution of not-unfavorable reputation, might be salvageable. If, that is, OSU players, coaches, fans and administrators acknowledge that the NCAA is not the NFL, and that winning football games is not the only purpose of an institution that styles itself a state university. The Arkansas Razorbacks could provide valuable instruction in football ethics, and would be happy to, if we know Bobby Petrino. In exchange, OSU could hand over the Sugar Bowl trophy to its rightful owner. A win-win situation.