Ohio State Buckeyes Face More Charges

The tattoo scandal at Ohio State that cost Jim Tressel his job has led to more charges against the program.

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26 Total Updates since April 25, 2011
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Report: Terrelle Pryor Faced Five Year Suspension From Ohio State Athletic Program

The Associated Press is reporting that former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor and his lawyer were seeking for the University to make it clear that he would be ineligible for this coming season so he could in turn be eligible for the NFL’s supplemental draft. Ohio State did them one better, and declared that Pryor is suspended for a whopping five years from the Ohio State athletic program.

Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith said this in a letter to Pryor, per the AP:

“The university must also dissociate you from its athletic program for a period of five years.

Please note that this dissociation does NOT prohibit you from enrolling in classes at the university to complete your degree," Smith wrote. “As you know, I would encourage you to complete your degree.”"

This news effectively makes Pryor eligible for the NFL’s supplemental draft, as the only thing preventing him from it was his ineligibility. Now that Ohio State has made that official, we will see if the NFL reciprocates and has a supplemental draft, even though training camps are scheduled to begin Wednesday.


Report: Terrelle Pryor Might Not Be Eligible for NFL's Supplemental Draft

NFL Spokesman Greg Aielo hinted in an e-mail to FoxSports.com that former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor might not be eligible for the NFL’s supplemental draft, which would mean that the NFL is out of the question for him, at least in 2011.

Pryor might be facing a similar road to the NFL that another former Buckeye—Maurice Clarett—faced years ago before he was selected in the third round of the 2005 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos.

Here is what Aielo said in his e-mail to FoxSports.com:

“If there are no players eligible for a supplemental draft, there is no supplemental draft,” Aiello said in the email. “It is for players whose circumstances have changed in an unforeseen way after the regular (college) draft. It is not a mechanism for simply bypassing the regular (draft).”

Should there be no supplemental draft, it would also mean that Georgia running back Caleb King is ineligible for the league as well. If these two players are ineligible, and with training camps likely less than 10 days away already, it seems as though they might be, they should look to the CFL for at least the rest of this season to keep up on the football side of things.

You could always continue to workout for a full year but nothing beats getting game action. Then again, if Pryor is riding the bench for some CFL team, he’s only getting paid while limiting his development and other things he could be doing.

It could all be a very ugly situation for the former Ohio State star, but it’s looking more and more like the NFL will have to wait for Terrelle Pryor, and vice versa. At least for now.


ESPN 'Decides' To Pursue Litigation To Force The Buckeyes' Hand

ESPN, the worldwide leader in "decisions", has gone after The Ohio State University in a lawsuit filed on Monday to gain access to three sets of public records that the sports network sought earlier this year.

The complete story via Cleveland.com says that the goal of the suit brought before the Ohio Supreme Court will be to force Ohio State to let ESPN see the records.

"It is impossible to imagine that Congress had any interest in restricting the flow of information about shady deals at a tattoo parlor when it passed FERPA in 1974," states the lawsuit. ESPN attorney John Greiner declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Jim Lynch, OSU director of media relations, says in an e-mail that OSU "believes that is has adhered to all applicable state and federal laws".

Lynch went on to add in his e-mail that Ohio State has been "inundated" with public records requests, including "voluminous" requests from ESPN.

"While the university often receives media requests that are overly broad, given Ohio’s public record laws, we generally try to work with reporters to help them find the information they are seeking, working within the boundaries of the applicable laws," the e-mail reads.


Ohio State Places Itself On Two Year Probation, Vacates Wins From 2010

The Ohio State Buckeyes have responded to the NCAA regarding their violations of rules regarding former quarterback Terrelle Pryor and four other players.

According to the Columbus Dispatch, the program is essentially going to vacate its 12-1 season from just a year ago, including a Big Ten title and Sugar Bowl title. Obviously that doesn’t change what has already happened, and the reports indicate that the University actually sought resignation for former head coach Jim Tressel.

According to the report, the Buckeyes are placing all the blame on Tressel saying he was the only one who knew the severity of what was happening.

"The responsibility is upon Tressel. No other institutional personnel were aware" of the violations, and the former coach failed in his obligation to report them, the response says. "The institution is embarrassed by the actions of Tressel."

Ohio State placed its football program on probation, and with the self-imposed penalties, sources say that the university will not face any further discipline, which is a bit of great news because they will not lose scholarships or bowl eligibility, unlike the USC Trojans did.

That is up to the NCAA, however, which will have an infractions hearing on August 12.  They could choose to accept Ohio State's self-imposed punishment or add further sanctions on top.  

Read the full report HERE.


Ohio State Scandal Update: More Fallout From Tressel Resignation

Former Youngstown State player Ray Isaac (who went through similar trials as a player to those of Terrelle Pryor) recently came to the defense of his former head coach in an interview with Sports Radio Interviews:

“The article is a big lie. I think that I’ve only done two interviews since 1991, since all the allegations came out. … I did both of those interviews in 2003 and I was displeased with how those articles came out. So I have not done another interview since then. I’m very displeased with the article. The article is chewed up. If you look at the paragraph that goes into what I was allegedly to have said, it is poorly written. It doesn’t give any facts or clarity.”

Isaac says what was written about Tressel is a lie, and that he is as good a person as you will ever meet:

“Jim Tressel is as good a man as you’ll ever meet. It’s almost to the point where it’s hokey; you would think he is phony. Jim Tressel is like the person you want to be when you grow up. … He’s always treated me like a son, always got on my case. I’m just appalled by the lack of facts in the article concerning me and him. … It almost looked like he read 50 articles of the Jim Tressel/Ray Isaac situation and mixed them all together and then wrote a paragraph because he could not get any words out of my mouth.”

NCAA President Mark Emmert also did an interview with the same station today, and sounded off on his opinions of whether or not college student-athletes should be paid:

“No, I disagree with that. I’m as adamant as I’ve ever been about having student athletes be students. We do in fact provide it to many of our universities – full cost of attendance scholarships and financial aid. It’s really consistent with everything that goes on inside of universities and it wasn’t widely covered in the media. This was something I’ve been talking about again for six months. The notion of converting student athletes to employees and providing them with a salary and changing their status from one student athlete to ‘quasi-professional’ that’s where I draw the line and I draw it sharply.”

Clearly everything that we have read and heard is only the beginning of what appears to be a long line of “He said, she said” rumors and defenses of those rumors.


Jim Tressel's Resignation From Ohio State Football Talked About By AD Gene Smith

Jim Tressel resigned as Ohio State's head coach early Monday morning, which was a bit surprising considering it being Memorial Day, and now the Buckeye's associate vice president and director of athletics Gene Smith has addressed the situation on the school's website.

The news of Tressel's resignation was first reported by the Columbus Dispatch, and the newspaper is now reporting that he was "encouraged" to resign, but Smith doesn't make that claim.

Smith notes that Tressel returned from a vacation on Sunday night and the two sat down to discuss what was going on with the program when the coach decided to resign before officially submitting his resignation on Monday morning. Tressel met with the majority of the team on Monday morning to explain the transition process with interim head coach Luke Fickell -- who Smith offered the job before meeting with the team -- also in attendance.

While this seems to all be quite shocking, it shouldn't come as a huge surprise as ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit reported on ESPN that 78 of the 81 coaches in Tressel's situation had either been fired or resigned.

The full video of Smith addressing the Buckeye Nation, as well as his thanking Tressel for his year's of leadership, is embedded below.


Tressel Resigns Under A Cloud; Luke Fickell Will Handle Head Coaching Job In 2011

Ohio State University football coach Jim Tressel resigned on Monday as the program continues to be under scrutiny involving a number of issues.

The entire story can be found here via BuckeyeGrove.com.

"In consultation with the senior leadership of the Board of Trustees, I have been actively reviewing matters attendant to our football program, and I have accepted Coach Tressel's resignation," said Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee. "The University's enduring public purposes and its tradition of excellence continue to guide our actions."

With the Buckeyes less than 100 days from the start of the 2011 season, the time to get past this will be as soon as possible.

"After meeting with University officials, we agreed that it is in the best interest of Ohio State that I resign as head football coach," Tressel said. "The appreciation that Ellen and I have for the Buckeye Nation is immeasurable."

Ohio State's Athletic Director tried to put the best spin possible on the situation:

"We look forward to refocusing the football program on doing what we do best - representing this extraordinary University and its values on the field, in the classroom, and in life," Ohio State AD Gene Smith said. "We look forward to supporting Luke Fickell in his role as our football coach. We have full confidence in his ability to lead our football program."

There will no doubt be much more to this story. Stay tuned.


Breaking: Former Ohio State WR Ray Small Says 'Everyone' Sold Rings

Former Ohio State wide receiver Ray Small, who played for the team from 2006-2010, told the Ohio State school newspaper that he sold Big Ten championship rings and other memorabilia for cash, and apparently received special deals on cars. Small says that “everyone was doing it” when he played, and this only adds more fuel to the fire that is burning in Columbus right now.

Small says he didn’t use the money he received to pay for typical expenses like making car and living payments for his apartment:

“We have apartments, car notes,” he said. "So you got things like that and you look around and you’re like, ‘Well I got (four) of them, I can sell one or two and get some money to pay this rent.’ "

Small basically said that Ohio State players were given special discounts at car dealerships, which is where the best benefits came from. Not only that, but at a local tattoo parlor owned by an OSU fan, apparently players were offered 50 percent off some tattoo designs, offers they weren’t going to pass up.

“They explain the rules to you, but as a kid you’re not really listening to all of them rules,” Small said. “You go out and you just, people show you so much love, you don’t even think about the rules. You’re just like, ‘Ah man, it’s cool.’ You take it, and next thing you know the NCAA is down your back.”

“Everywhere you go, while you’re in the process of playing at Ohio State,” Small said, “you’re going to get a deal every which way.”

Small was known in his time at Ohio State for continuously being in Jim Tressel’s doghouse, and his career there was nothing short of a disappointment. Still, his actions make you wonder what kind of operation Tressel has control of right now, and how much longer he will maintain that control.


Ohio State Scandal: NCAA Rulings To Come Soon, Jim Tressel In Limbo

With the NCAA set to hand down their ruling on the Ohio State football team's NCAA violations, the only question is, just how severe will they be?

The Buckeyes received a notice of allegations on Friday and has been hit with the "lack of control" tag, as well as dishonesty and ethical misconduct. There is also a chance that OSU will be treated as a repeat offender, according to the Columbus Dispatch

stemming from the violations involving former quarterback Troy Smith, who took $500 from a booster and former men's basketball coach Jim O'Brien, who gave $6,000 to a recruit.

In what started as university-imposed suspensions for the first five games due to the selling of game-used memorabilia in exchange for cash and free tattoos at a parlor in Columbus has also led to the discovery of emails written by Head Coach Jim Tressel which explicitly showed that he was not only aware of the misconduct, but actively chose to cover it up for the "players' safety."

It is unclear how much this will affect the program long-term, but losing wins from the 2010 season, as well as reduced scholarships are not out of the question, and the future of Jim Tressel as head coach of the Buckeyes is also in limbo.


Buckeyes Football Scandal: Trouble Mounts For Jim Tressel

The troubles continue to mount for embattled Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel.  According to the Columbus Dispatch, Tressel, in fact, did act on the e-mails he received regarding quarterback Terrelle Pryor and others being in some bigtime trouble.  He just didn't inform his bosses at Ohio State.

Tressel, in fact, did forward the information to a mentor of Pryor's, Ted Sarniak.  Sarniak, according to the report, is a prominent businessman back in Jeanette, PA where Pryor is from and accompanied Pryor on recruiting trips to Ohio State and other schools.

This is another, well, lie, told by Tressel.  During his press conference on March 8, Tressel claimed he kept the information to himself to protect both the investigation and his players.  Tressel admitted he was afraid for their safety.  Now, it seems, Tressel did actually forward the emails - to someone far removed from the university or the investigation but close to Pryor.

Right now, Tressel will miss the first five games of the 2011 season and has been fined $250,000.  The NCAA, however, can increase the penalty when they conclude their investigation.


NCAA Denies Ohio State Appeal for Player Suspension Reduction, Tressel to Sit Longer

The Columbus Dispatch is reporting that the NCAA has denied Ohio State’s appeal for its suspended players to have their suspensions for next season reduced from five games. In what has become known as “Tattoogate” the Buckeyes players have brought a lot of negative attention to the program, and Jim Tressel’s involvement in the situation has made it all even more murky.

Tressel allegedly knew of the incidents as early as last April, but failed to report it to the NCAA. Tressel was given a two game suspension by the University, and the Dispatch is reporting that he has indicated he will sit five games with his players.

It should be noted that Tressel’s self-imposed five game suspension could still be increased by the NCAA.


Jim Tressel Tipped Off By Former Buckeyes Football Player

The mystery lawyer that tried to help Jim Tressel out by informing him of improprieties by players on the Buckeyes football team has been identified and he is reportedly a former Buckeyes player himself.

Christopher T. Cicero, a Columbus-based lawyer, is reportedly the man who had the e-mail correspondence with Tressel last April. Tressel said he was going to look into the matter ASAP but kept quiet until December when news of the players’ actions broke.

Cicero lettered in football at Ohio State in 1983 after walking on to the Buckeyes as a linebacker. It was the same year Tressel joined Ohio State as an assistant under Earle Bruce.

On Tuesday, Tressel was suspended for the first two games of the 2011 season and fined $250,000 for violating NCAA rules by failing to notify the school about the players’ involvement. He also will receive a public reprimand and must make a public apology.


Ohio State Scandal: Jim Tressel E-Mails Do Not Paint A Pretty Picture

The mess Jim Tressel has found himself in – as well as Ohio State University – doesn’t look pretty, especially when you read the e-mails that went back and forth between Tressel and an unidentified individual that proved unequivocally that Tressel knew about Ohio State football players selling or trading memorabilia for tattoos and other favors long before the school – and Tressel – said they knew.

The first e-mail, dated April 2, 2010 informs Tressel of the Federal Government’s raiding of Eddie Rife. Rife owned the tattoo parlor that was raided, where ‘a lot of Ohio State memorabilia, including championship rings’ were found.

Tressel responded the same day to that message with a short reply saying he would look into it:

Thanks …I will get on it ASAP…Happy Easter to you as well !! Go Bucks !! jt

The nest e-mail comes two weeks later, with further details on what Buckeyes players were involved and what they were involved with. While player names were blacked out, items such as championship rings, cleats, signed jerseys, 9 Big Ten Championship Rings, and a National Championship Ring.

An interesting part of the e-mail, at least to me, as towards the bottom when the anonymous source stated his intentions to try and get these items back from the Federal Government. Was this to try and clear Ohio State from the investigation?

Again, Tressel’s response was concise, though it appears he knew he was attempting to cover something up:

I hear you !! It is unbelievable !! Thanks for your help….keep me posted as to what I need to do if anything. I will keep pounding these kids hoping they grow up…jt

The entire exchange doesn’t look good at any level. Something tells me we haven’t heard the last of all this, despite Ohio State’s self-imposed sanctions on Tressel earlier this evening.


Jim Tressel Suspended Two Games As Ohio State Self-Reports To NCAA

Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel violated NCAA Bylaw 10.1 when he failed to notify the university about information received involving two football student-athletes who were allegedly trading memorabilia for tattoos, the school self-reported to the NCAA on Tuesday.

Ohio State issued a press release which says the school found out about the issue on January 13 “while reviewing information on an unrelated legal issue” and has been looking into the allegations ever since.

“I am disappointed that we find ourselves in this situation. I want to thank the NCAA for being responsive and working collaboratively with us on this case. We ask Buckeye Nation to be patient as we resolve this matter and we thank them for all the support that they provide to our programs,” Athletics Director Gene Smith said in a press release. “I think everyone knows how I feel about Jim Tressel. There is no better coach at developing young people than Jim.”

Tressel, who will have to issue a public reprimand and apology, undergo a two-game suspension, attend at a compliance seminar and pay a $250,000 fine as issued as part of the self-imposted sanctions, was apologetic in the release.

“I am sorry and disappointed this happened. At the time the situation occurred, I thought I was doing the right thing,” Tressel said. “I understand my responsibility to represent Ohio State and the game of football. I apologize to any and all of the people I have let down. I will grow from this experience.”

Despite these issues, Tressel’s job is not in jeopardy.

“Wherever we end up, Jim Tressel is our football coach. All of the speculation about him being terminated is not warranted,” Smith said during a press conference Tuesday evening. “No question in my mind that his decision was from the heart.”

Buckeyes AD Gene Smith Returns To Ohio State Campus To Address Allegations

Is Jim Tressel on the verge of being fired as head coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes football program? Depends on how big of a deal you think it is for Gene Smith, Buckeyes Athletic Director AND chairman of the NCAA’s Division I men’s basketball committee, to return to Columbus to deal with the allegations.

Smith’s committee is responsible for choosing the 68 teams in the NCAA Tornament and with Selection Sunday just around the corner it seems a bit odd that Smith would leave New York and head back to Columbus simply to say Tressel knew nothing about improper benefits being given to five Buckeyes players including quarterback Terrelle Pryor.

Maybe he is coming back to sit at Tressel’s side tonight and back the head coach that has won 106 games during his 10 years with the Buckeyes. Or, he could come back to say he will continue gathering information while placing Tressel on some kind of administrative leave.

Whatever the case, to say this is bad news for the Buckeyes football program is the understatement of the year. All eyes and ears will be on that press conference tonight at 7PM.


Report: Ohio State Will Hold Press Conference Tonight

Ohio State AD Gene Smith has returned to campus, and a news conference will be held tonight at 7 PM. ESPN is reporting that Tressel’s job could be in jeopardy.

Expected to be at the news conference are the president of the university, Smith, and Tressel. All eyes will certainly be on Tressel, who will speak for the first time since the allegations came about.

We will have updates as soon as more information is revealed, but this is certainly not a good situation for the Ohio State football program.

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