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Blog Entry

Report: Tressel sent emails to Pryor's mentor

Posted on: March 25, 2011 9:42 am
Edited on: March 25, 2011 2:17 pm
 
Posted by Chip Patterson

With the NCAA investigation into Ohio State and head coach Jim Tressel still unresolved, the local media is bound to do some further digging on the topic.  As we saw this past season in the high-profile cases of Auburn and North Carolina, the paper trail can reveal much more about the situation at hand, or in some cases misdirect the focus of violations in the first place.  For Ohio State, this bit of information may raise more questions than it answers.

The Columbus Dispatch is reporting that when Tressel received the famous emails of warning regarding his players selling memorabilia to a local tattoo parlor, he forwarded them to a man close to star quarterback Terrelle Pryor.  Ted Sarniak, 67, is described as "a prominent businessman in Pryor's hometown of Jeanette, Pa."  Sarniak has acted as Pryor's mentor and advisor since high school, and reportedly was the recipient of the warning emails when they were forwarded by Tressel.  

In the news conference to announce the violations against Tressel, the coach nodded when asked if he had forwarded the emails.  He was quickly cut short by athletic director Gene Smith, and has maintained that the reason he kept the information to himself was to protect his players and the confidentiality of the federal investigation against the owner of the tattoo parlor.  Tressel apologized profusely, and has since received a five game suspension as punishment for keeping the information from the university and the NCAA.

But the report also raises questions about Sarniak, and his relationship with Pryor/Tressel/Ohio State.  Of all people involved with the Ohio State football program, why would Tressel choose to inform Pryor's 67-year-old mentor on the issue rather than Pryor's family.  Ohio State has not turned over any email records as of yet, but compliance director Doug Archie was quick to erase any doubts regarding Pryor's relationship with Sarniak.

"Mr. Sarniak and Terrelle Pryor have been friends for a number of years, and their friendship dates back prior to Terrelle's enrollment at Ohio State," Archie said in an email to The Dispatch. "As the friendship developed, Mr. Sarniak is someone who Terrelle has reached out to for advice and guidance throughout his high-school and collegiate career."

When the NCAA investigation concludes, Tressel's five-game suspension and $250,000 fine could be upheld or increased.  A big-name program like Ohio State would prefer that the investigation move quickly, so that the media attention can focus on football rather than independent investigation.  Unfortunately for the Buckeyes, the NCAA has a tendency to take their time with these matters.  

Stay tuned to CBSSports.com for more on the Ohio State NCAA Investigation

Comments

Since: May 29, 2009
Posted on: March 25, 2011 5:17 pm
 

Report: Tressel sent emails to Pryor's mentor

I am not a Big 10 fan and not an OSU fan.  I am just not getting the "crime" here.  Is a coach not allowed to try to get a parent or mentor to get through to a player making mistakes?  And I don't see where Tressel lied about anything.

If the issue is that he had a duty to report the violations and did not--instead sitting on the info... that is bad.  2 to 5 games bad.  But this forwarding of emails thing eludes me.  If anything, Gene Smith is the one that lied to the media. 
AFC44,

Here you go lie by lie:

April 2nd -- informed of violations by players named in an e-mail -- doesn't report it to the school or the NCAA

September -- Signs Compliance letter stating the OSU program had no violations in the current year

December -- Info on players selling items comes to light.  Tressel says he only heard a rumor, says nothing about the e-mails

December -- Meets with the NCAA and Big Ten commissioner to get the players eligible for the bowl game.  Mentions nothing about the e-mail or his knowledge of these violations the entire season

January -- Compliance Department finds the e-mails doing an internal investigation to get the players suspension reduced.  Tressel didn't turn them over -- the CD department had to found them and send a copy to YahooSports or he'd still be sittng on them.

January -- after the e-mails come to light -- he apologizes profusely in a press conference.  While doing so -- he states his reasons for holding onto the e-mails and says he sent the emails to 'NO ONE' as he was scared and didn't know what to do

March -- Columbus Dispatch reports Tressel actually did forward the email -- Not to the school, the family or the NCAA, but to Pryor's 'mentor'

Just an FYI -- the players were suspended 5 games -- lying to the NCAA and hiding violations within the program IS NOT comparable to what the players did.  Signing the compliance letter alone is grounds for dismissal according to his contract.  It is also the biggest no-no a coach can commit in the eyes of the NCAA outside of paying players to come to the school.




Since: Feb 27, 2007
Posted on: March 25, 2011 5:16 pm
 

Report: Tressel sent emails to Pryor's mentor

<blockquote class="QuoteMessage" style="border-top-width: 1px; border-right-width: 1px; border-bottom-width: 1px; border-left-width: 3px; background-color: #e8ecee; display: block; color: #333333; font-style: italic; border-color: #d8d8d8; border-style: solid; padding: 5px; margin: 10px;">Ohio State should forfeit all games in the 2010 season and forfeit the bowl game and any money from it.  These are all games that these athletes(??) should have been ineligible to play.  Plus Tressel should have also been suspended. at least for the bowl game and not five meaningless games in the next season.  If the NCAA really wants to make a point Tressel and the players should be suspended for 1/2 of the 2011 Big Ten season.  Anyone think that will happen? No, actually I dont think it would or could happen.

IF the criminals involved knew they were going to miss 1/2 the season, there is ZERO chance they return....

The fact that the NCAA decided to sit on this until after last season is criminal in itself. Future discipline does not warrent the crime that was committed LAST season. The NCAA already dropped the ball by looking the other way for the remainder of the 2010 season....but it also doesnt surprise me. OSU is a huge financial draw..........



Since: Feb 27, 2007
Posted on: March 25, 2011 5:15 pm
 

Report: Tressel sent emails to Pryor's mentor

Ohio State should forfeit all games in the 2010 season and forfeit the bowl game and any money from it.  These are all games that these athletes(??) should have been ineligible to play.  Plus Tressel should have also been suspended. at least for the bowl game and not five meaningless games in the next season.  If the NCAA really wants to make a point Tressel and the players should be suspended for 1/2 of the 2011 Big Ten season.  Anyone think that will happen?
No, actually I dont think it would or could happen.

IF the criminals involved knew they were going to miss 1/2 the season, there is ZERO chance they return....

The fact that the NCAA decided to sit on this until after last season is criminal in itself. Future discipline does not warrent the crime that was committed LAST season. The NCAA already dropped the ball by looking the other way for the remainder of the 2010 season....but it also doesnt surprise me. OSU is a huge financial draw..........



Since: Jan 30, 2008
Posted on: March 25, 2011 5:08 pm
 

Report: Tressel sent emails to Pryor's mentor

Spell Check!



Since: May 29, 2009
Posted on: March 25, 2011 5:06 pm
 

Report: Tressel sent emails to Pryor's mentor

Apparently after reading the comments here, many people are under the mistaken impression that Tressel said he didn't forward the emails because of fear of leaking a federal investigation.  If you actually listened to what Tressel said, he was concerned with the fact that his players were caught up with a person who was the target of the investigation.  He cited to a player he had that was murdered to show where his fears lied.  And the fact that his concern was with the safety and morality of his players who were clearly associated with a bad man falls perfectly in line with why he would forward the emails to Pryor's mentor.  His concern wasn't with NCAA compliance or with a federal investigation, but rather with the young men he is coaching and their well being.
Ohio Lawyer,

First -- Tressel did say he was concerned about the player involved with a person who was the target of a federal investigation, but he also stated he didn't want to interfere in said investigation as well.

Second -- Can you explain how forwarding the e-mail to Pryor's 'mentor' and not Pryor's family falls perfectly in line?  Or better yet -- Can you explain why no other players family was e-mailed this information?  Why only Pryor?  Why only his "Mentor"?  Why continue to lie about it the NCAA after it became public knowledge?

I have no doubt Tressel was worried about who his players were getting involved with -- It doesn't dismiss the fact he told no one, not the Compliance Department, not the OSU president, not the OSU AD, not the NCAA, yet he thought it was important enough to pass the info along, not to Pryor's family, but his 'mentor'???  Explain how this mentor could possibly be more important than his own family, the school, the NCAA, etc?



Since: Nov 28, 2010
Posted on: March 25, 2011 5:02 pm
 

Report: Tressel sent emails to Pryor's mentor

I just find this whole thing hilarious. This scenario is "Clintonesque." Is Ohio State embarrassingly and obviously attempting, at all costs, to cover up a scandal? I guess it just depends upon what the definition of "is" is.



Since: Nov 9, 2009
Posted on: March 25, 2011 4:53 pm
 

Report: Tressel sent emails to Pryor's mentor

I believe, reading between the lines and the expresions of those involved, Tressel did tell someone above him and is eating the bullet for the school and his AD.  I think when the entire gets told he'll be guilty but he will have told others and was told to set on it, (of the record).



Since: Apr 26, 2008
Posted on: March 25, 2011 4:53 pm
 

Report: Tressel sent emails to Pryor's mentor

I am not a Big 10 fan and not an OSU fan.  I am just not getting the "crime" here.  Is a coach not allowed to try to get a parent or mentor to get through to a player making mistakes?  And I don't see where Tressel lied about anything.

If the issue is that he had a duty to report the violations and did not--instead sitting on the info... that is bad.  2 to 5 games bad.  But this forwarding of emails thing eludes me.  If anything, Gene Smith is the one that lied to the media. 



Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: March 25, 2011 4:41 pm
 

Report: Tressel sent emails to Pryor's mentor

Dude just face it....."THE" Ohio State University is a bunch of criminals. They finally were caught, and just like any other program needs to be punished. By the way, why do you guys refer to it as "THE" Ohio State University, what like you're the only fucking school in the shitty state of Ohio that matters???  Come on seriously, who the hell wants to live in Columbus, Ohio. I've been there, and it's a shit hole. That's why you guys cheat to get the criminals...I mean players to come play for you.  I mean REALLY, who the fuck wants to go to a school in Columbus, Ohio????? That's like paying for a hooker with a personal check!!!  I'm sure I will get ripped apart by THE Ohio State fans, but do I care?? Hell no, fuck the Buckeyes, and that turd of a mascot Brutus.  I loved it when he got his ass kicked by Ohio's Bobcat....funny shit!!!!!



Since: Jan 1, 2010
Posted on: March 25, 2011 4:36 pm
 

Report: Tressel sent emails to Pryor's mentor

I think everyone involved should be punished and sentenced to Death... Not just death, but cruel and unusual death.  Selling jerseys and the coach keepin quiet about it is unforgivable in my opinion... sarcasm folks


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