Gene Smith's statement on NCAA penalties

Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith has issued a statement regarding the NCAA penalties handed down to his football program today. The Buckeyes were banned from the 2012 postseason and had four more scholarships reduced, among other sanctions.

Here's what Smith said:

“We are surprised and disappointed with the NCAA’s decision. However, we have decided not to appeal the decision because we need to move forward as an institution. We recognize that this is a challenging time in intercollegiate athletics. Institutions of higher education must move to higher ground, and Ohio State embraces its leadership responsibilities and affirms its long-standing commitment to excellence in education and integrity in all it does.

“My primary concern, as always, is for our students, and this decision punishes future students for the actions of others in the past. Knowing our student-athletes, however, I have no doubt in their capacity to turn this into something positive — for themselves and for the institution. I am grateful to our entire Buckeye community for their continued support.

"All of us at Ohio State are determined to ensure that our compliance programs and protocols are best in class. We will assume a leadership role in representing our university and its values.

“It is important to remember that Ohio State has one of the nation’s largest self supporting athletics programs, with students succeeding both in competition and in the classroom. We have more than 1,000 students who compete in 36 intercollegiate sports, and the overall grade-point average of our student-athletes is just over 3.0. During the last two years, the University has had more student-athletes named to the Academic All-Big Ten Team than any other school. Further, Ohio State finished second in last year’s Directors’ Cup, which recognizes the best athletics programs in the country.”