Ohio State University: Accountability Rings Hollow

How nuts are Buckeyes about their Ohio State football? One of the most honored positions a former OSU player can land is President of the “Gold Pants Club.”

Tim Brewster 2010 Big Ten Championship Ring

That’s the man charged with the distribution of the now-infamous gold pants trinkets to OSU players who beat Michigan.

Currently, former Ohio State star offensive lineman and NFL great Jim Lachey is charged with the duty, and unlike the his alma mater, he’s taking a pragmatic view of what to do with the 2010 awards.

JB Shugarts Ohio State Big Ten Championship Ring

Lachey to the COLUMBUS DISPATCH last week:

“If they vacate the win, it makes no sense to award the gold pants, at least in our minds. And if you hand them out and say, ‘Oh yeah, we’ll need to get them back if the win is vacated’ - I’m pretty sure that wouldn’t be a smart way to go. And I’ll be honest: We don’t want to see any 2010 gold pants on the market right now.

“I think we’re going to start banking them and hand them out to the players after their eligibility has run out.”

Regrettable but well-measured moves by Lachey, whose business acumen has caused his legend to continue grow locally in Columbus since his decorated OSU and NFL career.

You can’t say the same for The Ohio State University though.

Despite admitting to multiple NCAA infractions, with the most serious committed by head coach Jim Tressel, the school passed out Big Ten Championship rings to Ohio State players this week.

And we got a glimpse of those rings thanks to Ohio State offensive linemen Michael Brewster and J.B. Shugarts Tweeting out images of their new jewelry.

While no one begrudges Buckeyes like Brewster and Shugart being rewarded for their hard work, at some point there has to be accountability for an institution - and coach - repeatedly breaking the rules.

Then again, if you’re Tressel, apparently that all depends on your own definition of “eligible.”

Follow Brooks on Twitter or join him on Facebook for real-time updates.