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: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: March 25, 2011 8:04 pm

Report: Tressel sent emails to Pryor's mentor

I agree with your sentiments, and there can be no disputing what he has done the past 10 years - especially kicking my alma mater's ass up and down the field all but one year.   However, OSU does not generally do the right thing, and Gordon Gee's stupid comment about "hoping Tressel did not dismiss him" leads me to believe this will be shoved under the carpet.   The problem is that so many of today's fans are not concerned about integrity or looking at things over the long haul.   All they want is WIN NOW and AT ANY COST . . . and that is why you get so much of this garbage going on.   OSU is surely not alone in this category, but I am surprised that Tressel would use such bad judgment.    He put himself in a position where his entire legacy could be destroyed, not to mention his financial position taking a major hit.

At least the Buckeye fans can distract themselves temporarily with the success of the basketball team, but I think more trouble is ahead between now and the Fall.    Maybe I will be surprised and this situation will be handled in an admirable manner.   I wish Tressel no ill, but he has to take responsibility for his actions . . . or else what kind of a leader of men is he!

Since: Jan 19, 2009
Posted on: March 25, 2011 7:58 pm

Report: Tressel sent emails to Pryor's mentor

nothing but a cheater. It's a shame because i always had respect for tressell as a coach (even though i hate OSU with a passion) Any other team would lose bowl eligibility for at least 4+ years and the same better happen to OSU! They should also be losing scholarships for recruits as the ncaa would do that without a doubt to other teams as well.

Since: Aug 29, 2006
Posted on: March 25, 2011 7:57 pm

Report: Tressel sent emails to Pryor's mentor

I think the whole thing is bullshit. The colleges bank millions off these players. They are not there for a degree in human relations or pinball mastery...Most players are there on student loans in all sports. It is a business for the players who are broke ass college kids exploited by the school and NCAA. So they were trying to make an extra buck, just like the NCAA does with Bowl Games. I hate the way the system is designed. Bowl systems, are designed to bring in cash. Thats it. Thats all the NCAA cares about. Thats all they ever will care about. I say KUDOS to you Tressel for trying to hide the fake ass crime of selling autographs or whatever it was and keeping the young man from harms way. You did what a coach should do and protect his players. You handled it wrong but you still tried. Motive probably (ok completely) was only to win for yourself, but hey, I still salute you for trying to stick it to the corruption that is the NCAA.

Since: Aug 9, 2007
Posted on: March 25, 2011 7:56 pm

Report: Tressel sent emails to Pryor's mentor

Laws were broken. Laws are a set of rules set down by a governing body as to the regulations and what is  and isn't permissibleby the persons being governed. Are these crimal laws requiring jail time  NO but are they the laws by which the NCAA governs college athletics YES. Not saying they are right or wrong . Just saying the rules were known by all and were premediatedly broken.

Since: Jan 6, 2007
Posted on: March 25, 2011 7:48 pm

Report: Tressel sent emails to Pryor's mentor

I am a huge OSU fan and I think this latest revalation should be the end of the line for Tressel.  I love what he has done for the program, but integrity is far more important than winning.  Tressel will work again and OSU will find a high profile coach to take over the reigns.  I hope OSU does the right thing here.  

Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: March 25, 2011 7:42 pm

Report: Tressel sent emails to Pryor's mentor

He's guilty of putting W's in front of decency and morals.  Can him...or keep him and turn the coaching game into the political game where nothing matters, its all spin and bs

Since: Aug 28, 2009
Posted on: March 25, 2011 7:36 pm

Report: Tressel sent emails to Pryor's mentor

Are you from Ohio?  That must be some goooood Kool-Aid they are serving.

Since: Sep 26, 2008
Posted on: March 25, 2011 7:22 pm

Report: Tressel sent emails to Pryor's mentor

Ohio lawyer, you missed the part of my post where I said it could cost the school millions in lost revenue due to his lack of judgement in regards to the emails and not reporting them. Now it has reached a bad level and involves the NCAA and the school being at odds over timelines and ineligible players. See to read what I posted and gleen what you wanted to read is one thing, but to read what i posted and know the reality that if a "Lead" or linch pin loses millions for a business that he is going to lose his job is reality. Go to work on Monday, find a million dollar acoount and ruin that relationship for your business and see if you dont get fired. My analogy was spot on if a business is run with the principles of leading, doing your job and not covering up theft in a company no matter how small or large.

Since: Sep 2, 2008
Posted on: March 25, 2011 7:01 pm

Report: Tressel sent emails to Pryor's mentor

What a stupid comment.

Since: Apr 16, 2009
Posted on: March 25, 2011 6:50 pm
This comment has been removed.

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