College Football Notebook

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 26, 2011

Associated Press
The college football notebook …
NEW YORK ó Athletes at the highest level of college sports could receive money for personal expenses as part of their scholarship packages if a trial balloon floated by the Big Ten becomes reality.
The idea of offering additional funding to cover an NCAA Division I athleteís full cost of attendance ó the money above and beyond just whatís paid to the university ó has been a long time coming, advocates for student-athlete welfare say.
But still to be answered is how a plan could be implemented without inviting abuses, whether schools could come up with the extra funding and comply with Title IX and whether it would create a greater divide between the haves and have-nots in college athletics.
NCAA President Mark Emmert and commissioners of the six BCS conferences have said increasing the value of an athletic scholarship merits study.
LOS ANGELES ó Now that the NCAA has denied Southern California’s appeal to reduce sanctions imposed on its football program, Bowl Championship Series officials will consider whether to strip the Trojans of their 2004 title.
BCS executive director Bill Hancock says there is no timetable for that decision, but he expected it to happen “sooner, rather than later.”
The championship would be left vacant and not awarded to another team.
USC won the 2004 national championship by beating Oklahoma 55-19 in the Orange Bowl to complete a perfect season. The NCAA later ruled Trojans star Reggie Bush had received improper benefits and was ineligible for that season.
Auburn and Utah also finished the ’04 season unbeaten.
The AP will not vacate the championship it awarded USC for 2004.
COLUMBUS, Ohio ó A former Ohio State wide receiver told the school’s student newspaper that he sold Big Ten championship rings and other memorabilia for cash and got special car deals.
Ray Small, frequently benched, suspended or disciplined during an erratic career at Ohio State from 2006-2009, confirmed to The Lantern that when it came to getting improper benefits “everyone was doing it.”
He also said it was no big deal selling personal items given to the team: “We had four Big Ten rings. There was enough to go around.” And added that, despite Ohio State’s large and proactive NCAA compliance department, most of the school’s student-athletes “don’t even think about (NCAA) rules.”
Small was suspended for the 2010 Rose Bowl in what would have been his final game.
Five Buckeyes players are suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season for selling memorabilia to the owner of a local tattoo parlor. Athletes receiving money or other considerations not available to other students is considered an improper benefit under NCAA rules.
Coach Jim Tressel also is suspended for five games and is under investigation by the NCAA for knowing about his players’ involvement and not telling his superiors for more than nine months.
Small said he used the money he got to cover routine expenditures.
“We have apartments, car notes,” he said. “So you got things like that and you look around and you’re like, ‘Well I got (four) of them, I can sell one or two and get some money to pay this rent.'”
He said the biggest advantages came from car dealerships.
“It was definitely the deals on the cars. I don’t see why it’s a big deal,” Small said.
Ohio State and the NCAA are investigating more than 50 transactions between Ohio State athletes and their families and two Columbus auto dealerships.
“They have a lot (of dirt) on everybody,” Small said, “’cause everybody was doing it.”
WASHINGTON ó This year’s Military Bowl will played on Dec. 28 and will feature Navy against a team from the ACC.
Bowl officials also announced Thursday that the bowl will again be televised by ESPN.
The bowl is in its fourth year and is played at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C.
Maryland beat East Carolina in last year’s game.