NCAA to rule on Ohio State today

It's decision day for Ohio State, which will finally learn its fate from the NCAA's infractions committee later Tuesday.

Athletic director Gene Smith told the Associated Press that the infractions committee will issue its ruling at 3 p.m. ET. The ruling comes nearly a year after Ohio State revealed that six players had committed NCAA violations by trading memorabilia items in change for tattoos and cash. In March, Buckeyes coach Jim Tressel revealed that he had known about the violations since the previous spring but did not inform anyone else at Ohio State. Tressel's admission led to his resignation in late May.

Another layer to the case surfaced in the fall when the school admitted that several players received money from a former booster for work not performed.

Ohio State met with the infractions committee in Indianapolis in August. Today's ruling will cover all elements of the case.

Ohio State has self-imposed penalties, including vacating all wins from the 2010 season, returning its share of bowl revenue and cutting five scholarships during the next three seasons. The NCAA's infractions committee could accept Ohio State's penalties or increase them. Possible increased penalties include more scholarship losses and a postseason ban, which wouldn't go into effect until 2012.

Ohio State has placed much of the blame on Tressel -- who likely will receive a show-cause penalty from the NCAA -- and has said the case is indicative of individual missteps and not a systematic problem at the school. Smith and others have taken a minimize-until-forced-to-maximize approach all along. They don't believe the case merits a bowl ban or penalties much more severe than what has been self-imposed.

We'll find out soon whether Ohio State's strategy paid off.