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 11, 2010
Posted on: March 26, 2011 1:14 am

Report: Tressel sent emails to Pryor's mentor

I'm no hater, but if Tressel stays this will not work out well for OSU.  Even though it wasn't a major infraction(IMO), the obvious coverup shows there is no internal control.  Liars are leading the way.  Ohio State needs to clean house immediately.  Every major school has questionable things going on, but OSU clearly doesn't get it.  Step down Vest.

Since: Apr 22, 2009
Posted on: March 26, 2011 1:14 am

Report: Tressel sent emails to Pryor's mentor

I am a Ohio State fan.  I believe that the selling of ones own property (exception of the player who sold a uniform) is of NO concern of the NCAA or any university. The players in question did not cheat, rob anyone, assault anyone,  Their crime is because the NCAA is a crooked orginization that makes BILLIONS of dollars of the backs of young people, many of them who could not afford the ahtletic clothing that WE as fans wear.  That all being said Coach Tressel should resign, not for not telling the school or the NCAA about the investigation, but for FORWARDING the emails to the "mentor".  If Coach Tressel does NOT resign, then the university should terminate his contract.  I am an OHIO STATE fan.

beer is great
Since: Mar 18, 2011
Posted on: March 26, 2011 12:41 am
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Oct 19, 2006
Posted on: March 26, 2011 12:05 am

Report: Tressel sent emails to Pryor's mentor

Hope you enjoyed your last year coaching at OSU!  He deserves the Death Penalty.  Anything less than this and the NCAA is a joke.

Since: Aug 8, 2008
Posted on: March 25, 2011 11:47 pm

Report: Tressel sent emails to Pryor's mentor

I was giving Tressel some benefit of the doubt because I kind of believed him about not wanting to mention this while an investigation is going on.  Then I read he did notify someone, but his choice was horrible.  I have no doubts now that Tressel is no better than any other coach and he deserves a harsh punishment.

Since: Feb 5, 2010
Posted on: March 25, 2011 11:37 pm

Report: Tressel sent emails to Pryor's mentor

Why didn't the NCAA investigate the Cam Newton and his father fiasco like they are investigating Ohio State. Didn't Cam's father ask for alot of money compared to student athletes selling memorabila to a tattoo parlor so they can have some money to enjoy life. I feel they covered up the Cam Newton ordeal cause it would have hurt the NCAA too much. This is why athletes should be given some of the money they make for the Universities.

Since: Aug 13, 2008
Posted on: March 25, 2011 10:39 pm

Report: Tressel sent emails to Pryor's mentor

I work with elementary kids every day, and almost every time one of them gets in trouble, they say "well, ____ did it too." My response is always the same. "Thank you for admitting you're guilty, now here are your consequences for your actions." In the end, only the guilty try to justify what they did in their own minds by claiming everyone else does it.

And also, he was just trying to protect his players, but as a representative of the university, he revealed private communication that he received only because he was that university representative to a third party who was not one of the players, their parents, or their legal guardians.  That is unethical and illegal.

Since: Feb 24, 2007
Posted on: March 25, 2011 9:10 pm

Report: Tressel sent emails to Pryor's mentor

Exactly muwolverine, as a non-Ohio State fan, I too had (and I emphasize "HAD") respect for Tressel. What he has shown is nothing but pure selfishness and a lack of the morals I once gave him credit for. I don't care if you think the NCAA exploits the players or not, he didn't just break the rules, he shattered them. Why? Because he thought they had a shot at a national title this year and also thought they could keep it hidden, and if not, he didn't think most of the guys were coming back anyway. He doesn't care about teaching these young men about right and wrong, he taught them that winning is more important. So when their college career is over and the NFL doesn't come calling, what have they learned? Cheating to win is better than losing. If they don't like the rules, don't play football. Try getting in on their academic merit alone. Some would make it, most would not. What happens to OSU now is anyone's guess, we'll see how much of an example the NCAA wants to make of them. If you don't agree with it, that's too bad, they made their bed, now it's time to lie (sic) in it.

Since: Feb 2, 2007
Posted on: March 25, 2011 8:50 pm

Report: Tressel sent emails to Pryor's mentor

Hypocracy.  NCAA makes billions on the backs of these student athletes.  Most of them come from poor homes, their parents can't even afford to come watch them play.  Then they try to bust players for making a few hundred bucks selling personal items. 

The coach was just trying to protect his players.  What did they want him to do?  Announce it to the world?  That would guarantee his players get suspended.  Or maybe even thrown out.  Not to mention nobody would ever come play for him again, if he threw his kids under the bus like that.

Like anyone else in his position who cares about his players more than NCAA blowhards, he tried to keep a lid on the story.  Unfortunately, he failed at that.

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Since: Oct 14, 2007
Posted on: March 25, 2011 8:32 pm

Report: Tressel sent emails to Pryor's mentor

Dirty man + dirty coach + dirty players = lack of insitutional control (AKA.....the DEATH PENALTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

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