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Should the NCAA decide to add to Ohio State’s penalties, Smith, who has served on the NCAA's committee on infractions, said he would be extremely upset.

“I’ll be shocked and disappointed and on the offensive,” he said. “It’ll be behavior you haven’t witnessed.”

Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany was on the NCAA’s enforcement staff from 1975-79. Speaking at the conference’s annual football media day last month, he called the violations by Tressel and his players, “embarrassing.”

He offered insight into how the infractions committee will handle Ohio State’s case.

“I would tell you that generally speaking the outcomes that the committee gives are rational on that day,” he said. “They hear the evidence. They look at prior cases. They typically don’t go back 10 or 20 years. … Sometimes I think they’re too tough. Sometimes I think they’re too easy.”

He added, “I don’t fear that the infractions committee is going to be any more (hard on rules violations) this summer than they were last summer or the summer before.”

The most recent spate of violations at Ohio State overlapped with probation remaining from when the men’s basketball program committed major violations under then-coach Jim O’Brien in 2004. That makes Ohio State a so-called repeat violator and could affect the school’s treatment by the NCAA.

“That does open it up to any penalties _ (loss of) scholarships or things of that nature,” Smith said. “They still have to be justifiable. But, yes, it opens it up to any penalty that they want to levy.”

NCAA President Mark Emmert provided some tough talk about the future of college athletics earlier this week, leading many to believe that the association’s judicial arm might come down hard on the Buckeyes.

Emmert was the vice chancellor of academic affairs at the University of Colorado from 1985-92 while Gee was UC’s president from 1985-90. The two were good friends, leading some to conclude that Emmert will make certain Ohio State and his mentor do not have to pay too steep a penalty.

Other former NCAA officials have said the infractions committee is a separate entity that is not swayed by outside interests.