According to a Yahoo! report, Ohio State coach Jim Tressel knew as early as April of 2010 that his players had committed NCAA violations by selling memorabilia to the owner of a Columbus tattoo parlor, Edward Rife. The report states that an unnamed source came to Tressel with information about his players and the possible rules violations, but neither Tressel or Ohio State investigated further into the matter.
If this report proves to be true, it could mean serious sanctions for Tressel. If a coach has information about his players and possible rules violations, he is contractually obligated to report it to the school for an investigation. This appears under the termination clause in Tressel’s contract, and although we’re very, very far from drastic measures being taken, it could be a bumpy road for the Senator if there’s validity to the report.
Back in December, Dan Herron, DeVier Posey, Mike Adams, Solomon Thomas and Terrelle Pryor were suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season for selling championship rings and “gold-pants” necklaces, which are gifts the players received with a victory over Michigan. Jordan Whiting was also suspended one game for receiving a discounted tattoo from Rife.
When news of the suspensions broke on December 23, Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith stated that the university had not become aware of the violations until December 8. With the Yahoo! report contradicting this, a future investigation is likely.
Ohio State is expected to release a statement addressing the report later today.