Blog Entry

Report: Buckeye Five were not alone

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


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Comments

Since: Dec 8, 2006
Posted on: May 31, 2011 12:32 pm
 

Report: Buckeye Five were not alone

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." 



Since: Dec 8, 2006
Posted on: May 31, 2011 12:30 pm
 

Report: Buckeye Five were not alone

You know for a fact huh? Well I know for a fact that yuo can't possibly know that.....but nice try!

It is funny to me how OSU fans try to justify cheating and being unethical and immoral!

Look like you are taking after Tressel and pretend none of it is going on........that worked well:)

Michigan still owns the W-L record against those sorry cheats! And they are about to get 4 or 5 more when they have to forfeit those W's cuz they CHEATED!!! FACT!




Since: May 26, 2011
Posted on: May 31, 2011 12:30 pm
 

Report: Buckeye Five were not alone

Seriously.... I mean, really???  Are you guys now using the "everyone is guilty" line?  When USC was going through this, OSU fans were one of the worst at calling them out.  Not to mention all of the hate thrown at the SEC when none of there schools are "guilty" by NCAA standards.  Look, as a Florida fan, I am not saying these types of things do not go on everywhere... but we do not know for sure.  I am always worried the something is going on at Florida.... I hope it isnt, but I think any fan of a top program should always wonder when/if their school is next. 

Having said all of that....  the "everyone is guilty" line doesnt work and is sad.  You got caught and its time to deal with the punishment.  Other schools will get caught in the future as it always happens.  Until that other school is caught, keep your mouth shut and just ride out the punishment.



Since: May 23, 2011
Posted on: May 31, 2011 12:28 pm
 

Report: Buckeye Five were not alone

NoelCav,

Therein lies the problem.  It wasn't Tressel alone.  It is quite apparent that there are a whole lot of people including kids seeking autographs outside of the tattoo parlor that knew exactly what was going on.

This is a really sorry state for a great institution.


While true, if Tressel would have just been honest last April, very high likelhood that none of this would be going on right now.

I see your point though.  And it is definitely a sad situation for any school that has to go through this.



Since: May 23, 2011
Posted on: May 31, 2011 12:27 pm
 

Report: Buckeye Five were not alone

To all BUCKEYES fans,
      Do not worry , Do not fret, the NCAA has done nothing yet.  NCAA cannot hammer the school because the school self reported when they found out, Coach Tressell should have resigned when he admitted to forwarding the emails to Pryor's mentor.   The players were cleared in any "drug investigation" and the car thing?  I know for a FACT (something that exists or is real) that the car thing with players happens at ALL Division 1 football schools with the exception of the service academies (because their players are receiving pay).  NCAA cannot SLAM the BUCKEYES because the NCAA knew about the allegations and YET ALLOWED each player to play in the Sugar Bowl (because of money). Hey it is May 31, 2011 and Michigan still STINKS.

There isn't a single thing factual in your post.  Regarding the cars, most schools would have known something fishy was going on when 4 dozen players got cars from not only the same dealership, but the same salesman.  Most schools would have nipped that in the bud as soon as the 3rd or 4th player turned his auto registration form into the Compliance office.

And you're setting yourself up for disappointment.  The NCAA is going to rightfully crush OSU.



Since: Feb 8, 2008
Posted on: May 31, 2011 12:23 pm
 

Report: Buckeye Five were not alone

NoelCav,

Therein lies the problem.  It wasn't Tressel alone.  It is quite apparent that there are a whole lot of people including kids seeking autographs outside of the tattoo parlor that knew exactly what was going on.

This is a really sorry state for a great institution.




Since: Apr 22, 2009
Posted on: May 31, 2011 12:21 pm
 

Report: Buckeye Five were not alone

To all BUCKEYES fans,
      Do not worry , Do not fret, the NCAA has done nothing yet.  NCAA cannot hammer the school because the school self reported when they found out, Coach Tressell should have resigned when he admitted to forwarding the emails to Pryor's mentor.   The players were cleared in any "drug investigation" and the car thing?  I know for a FACT (something that exists or is real) that the car thing with players happens at ALL Division 1 football schools with the exception of the service academies (because their players are receiving pay).  NCAA cannot SLAM the BUCKEYES because the NCAA knew about the allegations and YET ALLOWED each player to play in the Sugar Bowl (because of money). Hey it is May 31, 2011 and Michigan still STINKS.



Since: Feb 8, 2008
Posted on: May 31, 2011 12:17 pm
 

Report: Buckeye Five were not alone

Hey OSU fans, can you spell D-E-A-T-H P-E-N-A-L-T-Y.

A serious message has to be sent.  It is absolutely ridiculous that nobody at Ohio State including their 6 employees on staff to watch for just type of infraction knew nothing about this.  Shame on the school, the University officials, and most of all the holier than thou coaching staff.

Note to Urban Meyer, stay at ESPN.

 




Since: May 23, 2011
Posted on: May 31, 2011 12:16 pm
 

Report: Buckeye Five were not alone

I am shocked there is not more loyality to the sweater vest and OSU.  These guys are bringing down the whole program and seem to have no issue with spilling all the secrets.  Very suprising.

Tressel brought down the entire program by himself.



Since: Aug 26, 2006
Posted on: May 31, 2011 12:04 pm
 

Report: Buckeye Five were not alone

I am shocked there is not more loyality to the sweater vest and OSU.  These guys are bringing down the whole program and seem to have no issue with spilling all the secrets.  Very suprising.


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