May 24, 2013, 11:54 AM EDT
Earlier this week an advertisement for Calhoun’s BBQ done by former Tennessee basketball player Steven Pearl hit the airwaves, and it included a reference to current Ohio State point guard Aaron Craft.
But that reference has led to the compliance department at Ohio State getting involved, looking to make sure it’s clear that there was no wrongdoing on Craft’s part.
Is this a bit of an overreaction? Sure, but it’s also important to note that the athletic department that recently dealt with penalties stemming from violations committed during Jim Tressel’s tenure as head football coach.
The school now has a budget of more than $1 million for its compliance department alone, according to the Sporting News, in hopes of avoiding similar situations in the future.
In regards to the Craft situation, Ohio State associate athletic director of compliance Doug Archie sent the following message:
“We are aware of the situation you reference involving Ohio State student-athlete Aaron Craft. We have taken the necessary steps with all parties involved to alleviate any potential NCAA issues. Aaron Craft’s eligibility was never in danger. He had no knowledge nor provided consent.”
Ohio State likely had to send a “cease and desist” letter in order to protect Craft’s eligibility, which will strike many as being silly given the event being alluded to in the advertisement (that would be the BBQ at then-Tennessee head coach Bruce Pearl’s home that landed the coach in hot water with the NCAA).
But when dealing with issues regarding amateurism schools can’t afford to leave anything to chance.
Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.
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