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Report: Buckeye Five were not alone

Posted on: May 30, 2011 9:40 pm
Edited on: May 31, 2011 6:01 am

Posted by Tom Fornelli

With the announcement that Jim Tressel had resigned at Ohio State on Monday morning, it was mentioned that the move came following some findings of a report in the next issue of Sports Illustrated. That report was published on Monday evening. It includes new revelations that the five Buckeyes suspended after trading Ohio State memorabilia for tattoos were not alone. According to the report, it's a practice that has gone on for years and includes at least 28 players.

That support crumbled suddenly over Memorial Day weekend. Tressel was forced out three days after Sports Illustrated alerted Ohio State officials that the wrongdoing by Tressel's players was far more widespread than had been reported. SI learned that the memorabilia-for-tattoos violations actually stretched back to 2002, Tressel's second season at Ohio State, and involved at least 28 players -- 22 more than the university has acknowledged. Those numbers include, beyond the six suspended players, an additional nine current players as well as nine former players whose alleged wrongdoing might fall within the NCAA's four-year statute of limitations on violations.

One former Buckeye, defensive end Robert Rose, whose career ended in 2009, told SI that he had swapped memorabilia for tattoos and that "at least 20 others" on the team had done so as well. SI's investigation also uncovered allegations that Ohio State players had traded memorabilia for marijuana and that Tressel had potentially broken NCAA rules when he was a Buckeyes assistant coach in the mid-1980s.

The report later goes on to name a long list of players who allegedly traded items for tattoos and possibly other things as well. It's also reported that former Buckeye Jermil Martin gave Fine Line Ink owner Edward Rife a watch and four tickets to the 2010 Rose Bowl in exchange for a Chevy Tahoe. As for quarterback Terrelle Pryor, it's alleged that he made upward of 20 different trades -- including game-worn shoulder pads, helmets and game pants -- at the tattoo shop. When an employee asked Pryor how he got all this stuff Pryor responded "I get whatever I want."

Perhaps the most damning aspect of all of this for Jim Tressel was that some of the autographed merchandise that players traded at Fine Line Ink and Dudleyz Tattoo & Body Piercing -- the shop where Buckeyes allegedly began trading items years ago before Fine Link Ink opened -- featured Tressel's autograph.

Dustin Halko was an artist at Dudley'z from the fall of 2002 until early '04, and he says that players regularly visited the shop and handed over signed jerseys, gloves, magazines and other goods in exchange for tattoos. Halko says he personally inked at least 10 Ohio State players -- he clearly remembers tattooing guard T.J. Downing, tight end Louis Irizarry and wide receiver Chris Vance -- and in return he was given autographed memorabilia. (Downing denies ever entering Dudley'z and says that if his memorabilia was there it had been stolen out of his locker; Irizarry and Vance could not be reached for comment despite extensive efforts to contact them.) Halko says that more players, including Clarett (who declined to comment), traded with other artists, and he estimates that at least 15 players violated NCAA rules at Dudley'z just as Pryor & Co. did at Fine Line Ink. Two associates of Halko's who hung out at the shop -- they asked not be named because they fear reprisals from Ohio State fans -- confirmed Halko's account that players commonly swapped memorabilia for tattoo work. One said he saw "at least five" Buckeyes conduct such transactions; the other said "at least seven."

"What they brought in depended on the kind of tattoo they wanted," says Halko. "If it was just something small, it might be a signed magazine or something like that. If it was a full sleeve, they might bring in a jersey." (Tattoos range in price from less than $100 for simple designs to several thousand dollars for more elaborate ones like the full-sleeve inkings of some Buckeyes.) Halko says those working in the shop preferred receiving items with multiple autographs. His most memorable acquisition was a scarlet-and-gray training jacket with between 10 and 15 signatures on it, including Tressel's. Halko says he also traded tattoo work for a magazine bearing the coach's autograph.

As if all this isn't bad enough for Tressel and the Buckeyes, there were also some possible recruiting violations brought up that Tressel allegedly committed while serving as an assistant under Earle Bruce in the mid-1980s.

One of Tressel's duties then was to organize and run the Buckeyes' summer camp. Most of the young players who attended it would never play college football, but a few were top prospects whom Ohio State was recruiting. At the end of camp, attendees bought tickets to a raffle with prizes such as cleats and a jersey. According to his fellow assistant, Tressel rigged the raffle so that the elite prospects won -- a potential violation of NCAA rules. Says the former colleague, who asked not to be identified because he still has ties to the Ohio State community, "In the morning he would read the Bible with another coach. Then, in the afternoon, he would go out and cheat kids who had probably saved up money from mowing lawns to buy those raffle tickets. That's Jim Tressel." 

Just in case that wasn't enough, the report also goes into detail on some of Tressel's past transgressions while not only at Ohio State, but Youngstown State as well.

All in all, this is not a report that sheds a favorable light on Jim Tressel, the Buckeyes or Ohio State in general. It's rather obvious now why Tressel decided to resign on Monday morning. Whether that move will cause the NCAA to show the school some mercy remains to be seen, but you have to believe that Buckeye fans across Ohio and the country won't be sleeping well tonight. 


Since: Jan 17, 2007
Posted on: May 31, 2011 3:43 pm

Report: Buckeye Five were not alone

Wow, Jim Tressel turns out to be just another hypocritical, bible-thumping sleazebag!  Why am I not surprised??

Since: May 30, 2011
Posted on: May 31, 2011 3:39 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Sep 5, 2010
Posted on: May 31, 2011 3:32 pm

Report: Buckeye Five were not alone

I'm not sure why or how this story is any more damaging what than the investigation has already presented?  Signatures, rings, pants for tattoos, etc.  I think it's being blown out of proportion but they lied about it and it is indeed a violation, hence, they should pay the price.  I have no issue with that.

As for some of you SEC fans on here... quit it already.  You have coaches that blatantly bend or break every rule known to the NCAA.  Functionally illiterate buffoons running around getting tons of cash for their services while they commit felonies on nearly a daily basis (rapes, drugs (not just weed), armed robberies, weapons charges, etc.).

The NCAA is a farce and don't kid yourself that Big Ten boosters won't "demand" that all of the tomfoolery of the SEC gets hit next - and gets hit hard.  See that's the really sad part about the NCAA... money runs it all and the B10 has A LOT more money than the SEC.

Mark my words, Mike Slime will be lucky to have a job in the next 18 months.  Auburn, Alabama, Florida, LSU, etc., pick up that ringing phone.  It's the NCAA and you boys know it won't be pretty.

Since: Feb 16, 2009
Posted on: May 31, 2011 3:32 pm

Report: Buckeye Five were not alone

really please proof read before you submit things as that entire comment was jibberish in any country.

Since: Oct 9, 2006
Posted on: May 31, 2011 3:31 pm

Report: Buckeye Five were not alone

Tattoos. really? i mean its tattoos... buckeye haters rejoice! tressel is the devil. ye haw... idiots. people love to see people burn.

Since: Oct 2, 2006
Posted on: May 31, 2011 3:31 pm

Report: Buckeye Five were not alone

If I made a bunch of T-shirts that said "NoleCav is a d-bag" and made loads of $$$ on wouldn't you feel entitled to get a piece for yourself? It's no different for these players.

NoleCav - don't let me speak for you now - but I'm guessing if he offered to pay your school tutuition, room and board, and give you a small stipend for 4-5 years, you may let him make that shirt...

Am I right?


Since: May 29, 2011
Posted on: May 31, 2011 3:26 pm

Report: Buckeye Five were not alone

im from toronto canada so i play ball small school seneca college i got nagging knee injured 2nd yr i got kick off team lost my scholarship on bs dat i wasnt complaining to teams rule wen it was really ova not wanting to play hurt n gettin more injured..all college care about is winning and athlete r just a expenable commodity unless ur the stars of the team..the point is that school dont really care about player we r investment to generate revenue..i work 9-5 as welder now also as commercial diver underwater welder wen i get contract but the fact if i continue playin hurt i wudnt beable to dive wit bum knee

Since: May 23, 2011
Posted on: May 31, 2011 3:24 pm

Report: Buckeye Five were not alone

Just eligible for one game, then back to being ineligible.  Learn the rules and process??? The rules are filled with such gray area and the process is so confusing that it makes no sense.  If they are ineligible then thats what they are.  Don't make some stupid loophole so that the best players can bring in the Tv ratings and the coporate sponsors can be happy.  The NCAA is a joke.  Lying to the NCAA is a violation, not breaking the law. JT is anot a criminal.  Neither are the players.  This whole thing has been sensationalized by the media to make it into a bigger issue than what it is.  If I made a bunch of T-shirts that said "NoleCav is a d-bag" and made loads of $$$ on wouldn't you feel entitled to get a piece for yourself? It's no different for these players.

Look everyone...I have a fan!  lol.

The rules aren't gray regarding this stuff.  Maybe you just have a hard time understanding them. 

Regarding the shirts, if you had admitted me to a great college, one that I had no business being at, and then gave me upwards of $175,000 during 4 years all the while allowing me a stage to exhibit my talents to my future, I probably wouldn't mind that you made loads of money off your creative shirt idea.

Since: May 23, 2011
Posted on: May 31, 2011 3:21 pm

Report: Buckeye Five were not alone

Unlike others who would fight to the bitter end, he chose to resign.

Do you really think that was his decision?

Since: May 24, 2008
Posted on: May 31, 2011 3:21 pm

Report: Buckeye Five were not alone

you suck and so does the state of ohio

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