Blog Entry

Report: NCAA hands OSU "notice of allegations"

Posted on: April 25, 2011 10:19 am
Edited on: April 25, 2011 4:17 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson

As Ohio State prepares for an eventual ruling from the NCAA regarding knowledge of players receiving improper benefits, college football's governing body issued the school an official "Notice of Allegations" letter on Monday.  The document detailed the potential violations committed both by the football program and individually by head coach Jim Tressel.  The Columbus Dispatch, which also received a copy of the letter, reported that Ohio State could face "the most severe NCAA penalties to its storied football program."

The official wording in the letter was that the Buckeyes, and Tressel in particular, faced charges that are being considered "potential major violations."  The 13-page document also points a very stern finger at the iconic head coach, claiming Tressel "permitted football student-athletes to participate in intercollegiate athletics while ineligible" and declaring that he "failed to deport himself ... (with) honesty and integrity".  That last "honesty" part is where things get particularly difficult for Tressel, who signed and dated a compliance form last September that acknowledged he was unaware any possible NCAA violations.  

As more details continue to be released from the NCAA investigation as well as efforts by the local media, that "honesty" bit gets tougher for Tressel.  Earlier Monday the Dispatch reported the findings from an email request that reveal much more contact between the head coach and other people involved in the accusations.  University president Gordon Gee, athletic director Gene Smith, and most importantly Ohio State's compliance office, were not included in the series of phone calls and emails around the time of Tressel receiving the tip.

The trouble began for the Buckeyes' head coach when he received an email from a former Ohio State player and current Columbus lawyer, Christopher Cicero. Cicero informed Tressel that a Federal raid of a local tattoo parlor turned up several thousands of dollars worth of Ohio State memorabillia.  Tressel responded to the lawyer that he would "get on it ASAP," and then proceeded to contact Ted Sarniak - a local Pennsylvania businessman and advisor/mentor to Terrelle Pryor.  

The notice from the NCAA did say the case is closed against the five players who exchanged memorabillia for cash, free/discounted tattoos, and discounts/loans towards the purchase of a used vehicle. The NCAA has said that the players (Pryor, Dan Herron, DeVier Posey, Mike Adams, Solomon Thomas and Jordan Whiting) will not face further punishment. They have been suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season.  However, the program could still receive punishment for fielding ineligible players, and obviously Tressel faces much more serious charges invidually.

Another thing that the letter included was a notice that Ohio State could be treated as a repeat-offender by the NCAA because of violations stemming from Troy Smith and former basketball coach Jim O'Brien.  Both instances involved improper benefits as well, however neither was damning enough to warrant severe punishment by itself.  If the Buckeyes' program is treated as a repeat offender, they could be looking at the possibility of a postseason ban or the loss of scholarships.

The one piece of good news for Ohio State fans fearful of the future is the lack of the phrase "institutional control."  Those phrases, which normally lead to violations with the harshest penalties, are designed for programs which have insufficient compliance offices.  For a program like Ohio State to get hit with such a violations would rock the college football world, but thankfully for their fans and alumni it looks like they will dodge that bullet.

READ MORE:'s Dennis Dodd asks "What's next for Ohio State?"

Click here for the full "Notice of Allegations" from the NCAA to Ohio State President Gordon Gee [via Columbus Dispatch]

Keep it here at and the Eye on College Football for more on the Ohio State investigation as it develops. 


Since: Apr 25, 2011
Posted on: April 25, 2011 5:16 pm

Report: NCAA hands OSU "notice of allegations"

I just cannot agree with you, Jeff. The best thing for the university would be for Tressel to admit guilt and accept whatever punishment is levied, but not lose his job. Ohio State will recover from this with or without Tressel; the program is too storied, the diasporic support too strong, and the allegience of Ohio high school footballers too dedicated for this to have a lasting impact on the school. Ohio State is uniquely positioned as one of maybe 10 schools that can afford this kind of publicity and persevere through it; the only question is if there's a two season ban, would you prefer to come out of the other end with Tressel -- a proven winner and son of Ohio -- or the mystery of the unknown?
 I'll take Tressel, he has given us a lot and it's high time the community support him in his darkest hour because he and the program need us now more than ever. I was at the '03 Fiesta Bowl and the '10 Rose Bowl, and I'll never forget the memories Jim Tressel has given me and I will not turn my back on him at the first sign of indiscretion. He's my boy! He's my coach, and Buckeye fans everywhere need to stand together behind him so we can get back to Buckeye basics -- smashmouth football and winning Big Ten titles. This is not Ohio State's "death blow", even if there is a two season ban, this is the shot that re-focused the beast and we'll be back in no time, hungrier and meaner than ever.

Since: Jan 13, 2007
Posted on: April 25, 2011 5:05 pm

Report: NCAA hands OSU "notice of allegations"  got me,i'm an older guy and don't type very well I just sit here and peck away and try to stir things up a little and get a few laughs,so you can hammer me if it makes you feel better I got it coming,but I may not be a English Lit. major like you claim but facts are facts and OSU has dominated Michigan since the fifties and your first heisman winner(Harmon) was from Indiana and the other two(Woodson & Howard) are from Ohio  along with your beloved Bo and most of your greatest players,so in turn you should be thankful to the great state of Ohio for all their gifts the state has given to your football team.I can truly understand why any Michigan fan would want to see Tressel go down because of the way he has dominated the Blue ones,I would feel the same if it were to ever be reversed.

Since: Nov 17, 2006
Posted on: April 25, 2011 4:47 pm

Report: NCAA hands OSU "notice of allegations"

And if Tressel mans up and admits it, maybe he'll get fired.  And then?  That's just it -- there is no "and then" if Tressel is gone. The media circus grinds to a immediate screeching halt because the NCAA's issues aren't with OSU.  They're targeting JT.

As much as I like Tressel and what he's done for my alma mater, the best outcome for the program right now would be for him to admit guilt, take whatever punishment is levied, possibly including his job, and allow OSU to move on and try to stay at the top of the standings.

Since: Jan 13, 2011
Posted on: April 25, 2011 4:46 pm

Report: NCAA hands OSU "notice of allegations"

Dang! sure picked a bad week to quit sniffing glue. But hey, once you get used to it reality is a great place to live. And there's a cool gift shop.

Since: Jan 13, 2011
Posted on: April 25, 2011 4:43 pm

Report: NCAA hands OSU "notice of allegations"

miked5405....since Wooy Hayes took as football coach
LOL ... Hey! I thought this was an English only site? Anyone want to bet he's an English Lit major?

Since: Sep 26, 2008
Posted on: April 25, 2011 4:41 pm

Report: NCAA hands OSU "notice of allegations"

I will say this is exactly as i saw it. I made the statements back when it happened they would see that the kids were ineligible to play last season based on Tressell Lying. I also stated they would see that tressell himself was in violation of rules by playing those kids and hiding the facts of the case. The author of the story uses words like "good news" to speak about the administrations level in all of this. The words I would lack at are the ones stating " The 13-page document" which in itself says they have found so much more than just the emails being covered up. It does not take that many pages to use "legaleze" to say, your coach lied and played players who were ineligble.
      I would be especially concerned about the statements in the official letter concerning the items about the school size, department size, past players for the four years and the total money in aid provided during that span. Seems like they are fishing for something to see if an admission of guilt will come forth. Also the part about wanting to know about the pattern of secondary violations self reported during the past four years and the number each season. Sounds like they have something they want to add to the official  list of major violations here. They outlined a bunch of items in the report I read, sounds like Tressell might have been a bad boy for longer than we know.

Since: Jan 13, 2007
Posted on: April 25, 2011 4:35 pm

Report: NCAA hands OSU "notice of allegations"

miked5405....since Wooy Hayes took as football coach at OSU the Buckeyes have a winning record against U of M,if you want to go back to the early 1900's and count those games you're right about the wins,Ohio State was terrible at the turn of the century in football but have dominated Michigan in the modern era of football,and if you look at Michigans roster ther are many years that there are more players from Ohio on your team than kids from Michigan so in a round about way your cheering and rooting for Ohio and you don;t even know it.

Since: May 29, 2009
Posted on: April 25, 2011 4:27 pm

Report: NCAA hands OSU "notice of allegations"

Well ScUM has never been cited for cheating, does not mean they never did.  And I can give a rats azz about ScUM and what they do other than lost to tOSU which they are so good at.  sporthc tOSU will get their penaly they deserve for this incident and we will continue whooping on ScUM regardless of who is at the helm.  How will that feel, if we have an interim coach and you still lose to the best damn team in the land?  It will feel like the last six years that is how.
I have no allegiance to any college, which is why I don't list a favorite college team.  I cheer on both of Michigan's major universities when they play whoever.

What I don't get is -- you state UM is so good at losing to OSU, but the overall record for the rivalry is Michigan 57 - OSU 44 with 6 ties.  Would that mean UM knows what it feels like to beat OSU, than OSU knows what it is like to beat UM?

I don't know exactly what the record for OSU was before Tressel took over, but didn't UM beat than for an extended period of time as well?  As a matter of fact -- I just looked up the last 25 years of the rivalry -- UM has won 12 -- OSU has won 12 and they tied once.  Is that dominating a rivalry?  Seems pretty even to me -- OSU has just had the best of it the last 10 years.

No is arguing UM has been a powerhouse recently -- they have looked brutal, so it is not much of an accomplishment to beat them.  The new coach they hired seems to have thing going in the right direction, so the rivalry may mean more in about 2 or 3 years when he can field a team of players who fit his system.

And not to argue, as you have your own opinioni, but if OSU was the best damn team in the land, you'd think they would be winning NC's.  Last I checked -- The SEC has owned the National Championship game for the last few years, including twice embarassing OSU teams who didn't belong there.

Since: Jan 13, 2011
Posted on: April 25, 2011 4:24 pm

Report: NCAA hands OSU "notice of allegations"

"Not as hard hit as how poorly written , badly punctuated your post is. Obviously an English major from the u of m."

LOL ole albert fancies himself as a pulitzer worthy writer. Heh, just another one of those Ohio State "roads" scholars. Hey buckeye fans, if I were you I'd contact SMU and ask them how they handled the death penalty.

Since: Nov 12, 2010
Posted on: April 25, 2011 4:15 pm

Report: NCAA hands OSU "notice of allegations"

Not as hard hit as how poorly written, badly punctuated your post is. Obviously an English major from the u of m.

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