Michael L. Buckner, shareholder of the Michael L. Buckner Law Firm, was quoted in a November 3, 2012, commentary in The Columbus Dispatch. The column, “Rob Oller commentary: Ohio State’s unbeaten start prompts ‘what if’ look at bowl ban” by Rob Oller, notes “What if … Ohio State had imposed a bowl ban last season instead of waiting for the NCAA to punish the school with a bowl ban for this year?” Mr. Buckner provides his insight on the NCAA-imposed bowl ban and whether OSU should have self-imposed a bowl ban:
“In terms of Ohio State, the question was, ‘Better to self-impose (in 2011 or 2012), because clearly, from the outside, a bowl ban was on the table for the committee,’ ” said Michael Buckner, a Florida attorney who secured one of the few appeals victories when the NCAA reduced the probation of his client, Alabama State, from five years to three in 2009.
“Ohio State felt it best to let the committee impose,” Buckner said. “I think your readership is being a little unfair when it criticizes the school for that decision, because when you’re in that room, a lot of issues and considerations are going on. Nothing happens on a whim. When I advise schools, I take very seriously that it’s not just the institution, but you’re also impacting student-athletes.”
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Buckner theorized that where Ohio State might have been fooled was in relying on Committee on Infractions precedent. The committee’s decisions, once consistent and fairly easy to predict, are now difficult to read.
“This current committee is very hard to pin down, which is why I tell my clients, ‘I know the minimum penalty, but I don’t know the maximum,’ ” he said.