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OSU Gets Waiver from NCAA On Number of Coaches
December 9, 2011 5:00 pm EST

While Coach Luke Fickell and his staff prepare for the Gators, Coach Urban Meyer builds the staff of 2012 and beyond.  But there are rules limiting the number of coaches schools can employ.  Ohio State asked for and received NCAA approval to exceed the limit of football coaches on staff through the Buckeyes' bowl game.

Fickell will prepare the Buckeyes on the field in the days leading up to and including their Gator Bowl game against Florida on January 2. Meyer will handle only recruiting while hiring his own assistants.

Ohio State requested the waiver permitting the arrangement and it was verbally approved by the NCAA on November 28, the day the university officially introduced Meyer as its new coach. The waiver specifies that no more than 10 coaches -- and no more than seven at any one time -- may be involved in recruiting. Ohio State asked for the waiver because otherwise it would have exceeded the maximum number of allowed coaches under NCAA rules.

There have been some rumblings at other schools that the waiver gives Ohio State a competitive advantage because their coaching staffs must deal with bowl preparations and recruiting at the same time -- with no additional people.

NCAA spokeswoman Stacey Osburn said the practice was not all that rare.

"The NCAA has certainly received similar waiver requests prior to the bowl season from universities that have recently experienced coaching staff changes," she said in an email to The Associated Press. "When granted, these waivers are temporary, typically lasting through the bowl game, and only provide relief from maximum number of coaches allowed to be employed by the school. To prevent competitive advantage, the university still cannot exceed the number of coaches allowed to recruit at any one time and the amount of coaches allowed on the sidelines remains the same."

The NCAA and Big Ten did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Chris Rogers, assistant athletic director for compliance at Ohio State, said in an email that the school has taken steps to ensure that it does not exceed the number of coaches working on either the bowl game or recruiting  (Where is Doug Archie in this process?).

Ohio State is still awaiting final word from the NCAA on its sanctions for several problems over the past year. Tressel was forced out after it was revealed that he knew players had likely broken NCAA rules by accepting improper benefits from the subject of a federal drug-trafficking probe. Several players were also suspended for taking the money and tattoos.

In subsequent revelations, players were suspended for accepting envelopes filled with $200 for attending a charity event in suburban Cleveland, and other players were overpaid for summer jobs.


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