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 for more on the Ohio State NCAA Investigation


Since: Sep 11, 2006
Posted on: March 25, 2011 11:09 am

Report: Tressel sent emails to Pryor's mentor

Doesn't this sort of undermine the entire defense?

Correct me if I'm wrong here, but it seems like the defenders of Tressel's actions have been saying, "The reason he didn't tell anyone at OSU was because he was asked not to share the information by an attorney!"

So, now if this report is true, that argument is gone. What's the next defense? That somehow it was critial that this guy knew about it but not the institution? Does anyone think that defense is going to fly?

Since: Mar 25, 2011
Posted on: March 25, 2011 10:51 am
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Jan 7, 2011
Posted on: March 25, 2011 10:29 am

Report: Tressel sent emails to Pryor's mentor

Like i said this is some cover-up on Tressels part.hes done say what you want, Jim Tressel is gone when investigation is finished!

Since: Jun 30, 2009
Posted on: March 25, 2011 10:28 am

Report: Tressel sent emails to Pryor's mentor

This seems like a coverup by the AD and not by Tressel himself.  The article even says how he said yes he forwarded the emails but was cut off.  To me that shows he was trying to tell more of what happened but the University reps.  stopped him.

Since: Aug 18, 2010
Posted on: March 25, 2011 9:54 am

Report: Tressel sent emails to Pryor's mentor

Tressel said at the press conference that he did not know who to inform, but he passed the "confidential info" on to Pryor's mentor, but not the AD at tOSU.  Sorry Buckeye fans, but this is pathetic and smells of an even worse coverup by Tressel.  I cannot imagine that the NCAA will like this at all. 

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