The poll has closed and tying with 35% of the vote each was to suspend the five players for the "bowl game and four games next year" and to suspend the players for the "bowl game and all of next year." Suspending for the "bowl game and three games next year" received 24% of the vote, and "play in bowl, but suspend for all of next year" received the remaining 6 percent.
I understand the loophole (bowl games are unique), and the delicate situation (multi-party agreements with major $$$ tied to them) the bowl presents. I also understand how sensitive some people can be with the items sold, which could make no punishment too severe. My vote would be for the same five games, but for it to kick in immediately, meaning suspended for the bowl game and the first four games next season.
The timing of all this really gave the NCAA a black eye. If they were going to wait until the 2011 season to start the suspension, then why not wait until after the bowl game and the deadline to declare for the NFL draft to announce the suspensions? The NCAA took years to rule in the Reggie Bush/USC case, they could easily come up with a way to prolong this investigation another three or four weeks. It sure would have helped diffuse all this controversy.
Thanks to all who voted. Don't forget to vote in this week's poll: "Which New Year's Day loss was the worst for the Big Ten?"