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: Feb 19, 2008
Posted on: March 26, 2011 11:43 am

Report: Tressel sent emails to Pryor's mentor

Once a liar & a cheat...ALWAYS a liar & a cheat.

Since: Mar 26, 2011
Posted on: March 26, 2011 11:28 am

Report: Tressel sent emails to Pryor's mentor

Get thick skin, learn to live with the finger pointing and try not to make a fool out of yourself right now by making claims your school cannot back up
Very good advice, but if you are a college football fan do you really think Buckeye Nation will be able to do this?  No way.
If the Buckeye Fans would have learned anything in the last 2 seasons while Michigan's program got hit from the NCAA, it is BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR.

Since: Oct 10, 2007
Posted on: March 26, 2011 11:11 am

Report: Tressel sent emails to Pryor's mentor

Spoke a little to soon.  Nice job against Kentucky.

Since: Nov 17, 2006
Posted on: March 26, 2011 10:46 am

Report: Tressel sent emails to Pryor's mentor

The shell game is over!  Tressel should be fired and OSU should get sanctions on par or worse than what USC got.  The Buckeyes should be ashamed of themselves for their complicity in this cover up. 

Since: Oct 25, 2006
Posted on: March 26, 2011 10:21 am

Report: Tressel sent emails to Pryor's mentor

Attention OSU fans who are supporting Tressel, I have a question. If this were to happen to another prominant football program, lets say Michigan, wouldnt you be asking the same thing about being fired and delivering all the talk smack? Its hard when the shoe is on the other foot eh? Tressel made a poor choice and OSU is going to pay the consequences for it. Its time to man up and take it. Just like the UM basketball team, UM has had to take its medicine after everything broke out there. The program took a huge hit and UM fans alike were ashamed of what had happened. Stop acting like there was nothing wrong and start hoping the reprecussions are not going to be as bad as what they could be.

Since: Nov 21, 2006
Posted on: March 26, 2011 9:58 am

Report: Tressel sent emails to Pryor's mentor

Rough week for PSU.  No team n the Big Dance and stuck with a 90 year old has been for a football coach.  Leep talking smack.  You can't back it up.

Since: Sep 26, 2008
Posted on: March 26, 2011 9:41 am

Report: Tressel sent emails to Pryor's mentor

No new information is exactly what tOSU needs at this point, the damage has ben bad enough at this point. Reality check here people, rules have been broken...major rules, and the reality is no matter how much spin anyone out here puts on it the University and Tressell are going to pay a hefty price for this one. Take your head out of the sand and realize that Tosu is guilty of trying to keep this from leaking out in some fashion or another, either Tressell did not want it out, or the University did not. Any way you spin it, it still smells of covering it up until the season is over so we can self report it. Facts dont lie and right now the facts are saying tOSU is guilty of major violations on a few rules. Time is going to heal this wound, but the tarnished reputation of tOSU is going to live on for a good long time. Egg on the face is not a bad thing if you emerge from this a better and stronger program than when you went in, but that is the trick because its not easy to escape this kind of stigma. 
    Here is some advice for all you high horse tOSU fans that still feel your school has done no wrong. Get thick skin, learn to live with the finger pointing and try not to make a fool out of yourself right now by making claims your school cannot back up. They are caught between a rock and a hard place and its only going to get worse before it gets better.Bottom comes on judgement day from the NCAA, until then you are free falling. 

Since: Apr 14, 2008
Posted on: March 26, 2011 9:40 am

Report: Tressel sent emails to Pryor's mentor

If you watch the press conference again, and keep your eyes on Tressel when the reporter asks him if he forwarded any of the emails while Gene Smith intervenes and stops Tressel from answering, you'll realize this isn't "breaking news".  If you can't see the answer to the reporter's question in Jim's body language, then perhaps you shouldn't be slamming the coach.  There is even more to this story that will eventually, more than likely, come out and my thought is this:  If Tressel is ousted, then there's a great chance Ohio State will be looking for a new AD as well.  He's involved in this rule violation as much, or maybe even more than Tressel is.  If Tressel goes, so should Smith.

Since Gee likes to involve himself in the athletic arena so much, and make public statements demeaning non-Big 6 BCS conference programs, maybe he should be forced out too.  Clean house and start fresh.  He's a fruit cake, and Ohio State would be served much better with a more professional president.


Since: Jun 25, 2010
Posted on: March 26, 2011 9:29 am

Report: Tressel sent emails to Pryor's mentor

If you read the story in the Columbus Dispatch it paints a picture that is not about greed and cover-ups and powerful boosters. The picture is about a Norman Rockwell small town in western PA that is proud of a young man that is trying to learn how to adjust from small town humble pie to bright lights and national titles and Heisman Trophy aspirations. Maybe its naive to think that this is simply a kid trying to adjust - but this seems like a million miles away from the Cam Newton story and this guy that owns the glass store doesn't sound at all like Newton's father trying to make money off his relationship. It also doesn't sound like Tressel was trying to be covert - but as the gatekeeper to the football program's integrity, he should have known better. I'm not an Ohio State fan, but I hope the NCAA does not start digging deeper. This story has run its course.

Since: Oct 19, 2006
Posted on: March 26, 2011 8:44 am

Report: Tressel sent emails to Pryor's mentor

Let me enlighten you:PEARL:
BBQ was minor violation. LYING ABOUT IT MADE IT MAJOR!The football team had minor issues-not serious (need to modify your post)Pearl was suspended for 8 SEC GAMES and over 1 MILLION IN SALARYPEARL WAS FIRED!!!!
THE KICKER:2 GAME SUSPENSION AND $250,000 IN PAY (Toledo and Akron)ADDED 3 Games after the fact

If you and your #UCKEYE NATION, believe that TN should get the Death Penalty.  OSU should already be in there coffin and 6 feet under.
No better pleasure than seeing your team go down last night than to an SEC team.

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