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: Nov 6, 2006
Posted on: April 25, 2011 1:41 pm

Report: NCAA hands OSU "notice of allegations"

The NCAA alleges that: Tressel was guilty of ethical misconduct when he knowingly provided false information to the NCAA in certifying that he knew of no potential violations by his players and failed to inform OSU officials. Ohio State fielded ineligible players last season when starting quarterback Terrelle Pryor and others competed despite Tressel's knowledge of their misconduct. NCAA bylaws call for immediate suspensions.


Since: Mar 24, 2009
Posted on: April 25, 2011 1:40 pm

Report: NCAA hands OSU "notice of allegations"

Ohio State should just cut its losses & let Jim Tressel "resign" immediately.I believe that his departure at some point is, by now, inevitable.Ohio State would be wise to act proactively & sever ties with Tressel now, before even more damage to the schools image is done. It's either that or have OSU suffer through a virtual "death by a thousand cuts" as more & more info slowly leaks out about the way their football program has been run.And,I'm sure Ohio State would have a veritable who's-who of the college coaching elite standing in line for the chance to be Tressel's replacement..

Since: May 29, 2009
Posted on: April 25, 2011 1:39 pm

Report: NCAA hands OSU "notice of allegations"

You guys must be jealous, just like the NCAA.  Just ask THE buckeye nation fanbase.  Tressel would NEVER hide violations for personal gain.  Even though the FBI had already raided the tattoo shop owner's home and work -- He just wanted to keep it on the down low, not compensate the FBI's investigation.  Lord knows -- NO ONE realized an investigation was ongoing when the FBI used a battering ram to knock down the front door of the guys house.  The flash grenades were played off as fireworks, so they could keep the investigation secret.

Tressel was just looking out for his players.  That is why he immediately contacted the players parents, oops, I mean a 67 year old "mentor" for Pryor.  This is all just one big misunderstanding.

Obviously Tressel is a players coach -- as he gave himself the two game suspension, which he in turn changed to a 5 game after the NCAA blatantly discriminated against THE ohio state, by not reducing the suspension.  There is talk of getting the ACLU and NAACP involved, as well as THE reverend Al Sharpton and THE jess jackson to help out THE ohio state -- so they can down to what this really is about.  It is because some of these players are african american that they are receiving harsh penalties.  That and the fact the NCAA is jealous of THE ohio state's success.  They are just haters.

Since: Jan 25, 2008
Posted on: April 25, 2011 1:34 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Jul 2, 2009
Posted on: April 25, 2011 1:22 pm

Report: NCAA hands OSU "notice of allegations"

 If i ever find myself on trial i want miked on that jury. Your pretty obtuse aren't you buddy.


Since: Jun 8, 2008
Posted on: April 25, 2011 1:20 pm

Report: NCAA hands OSU "notice of allegations"

The NCAA doesnt like lieing. It is one thing to commit the violations but to openly lie about them or interfere with investigations only make it worse and insure they drop the hammer. Ask USC

Since: May 5, 2009
Posted on: April 25, 2011 1:20 pm

Report: NCAA hands OSU "notice of allegations"

You're kidding right? 

Tressel is no different than any other Division I football coach.  They are paid to win games.  Which means turning your head when something goes wrong and hope no one finds out. 

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: April 25, 2011 1:17 pm

Report: NCAA hands OSU "notice of allegations"

Mr. Gordan Gee does not look like he can finagle Ohio State's way out of this in any way shape or form. This has got the Big 10 or 12 teams very happy to see Ohio State swinging in the breeze like this. I for one did not agree with the suspensions for the first 5 games of the season. Jim Tressel knew his players should have been ineligible and they should have to vacate their wins however painful it may be. They should be held accountable for repeat offender status because of the O Brian mess and the Robert Smith scandals. Michigan, Penn State and other university's have been held accountable for their past rule violation's. Now Gene Smith and Jim Tressel need their actions to be accounted for no matter how painful to their fans. Their fans do not deserve this in any way.

Since: Dec 24, 2007
Posted on: April 25, 2011 1:14 pm

Report: NCAA hands OSU "notice of allegations"

MikeD -- You missed your calling. You really should write comedy. Or science fiction.

Since: Dec 24, 2007
Posted on: April 25, 2011 1:13 pm

Report: NCAA hands OSU "notice of allegations"

Nixon showed us that covering up is worse than the event itself. OSU has no choice but to fire him.

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