Tag:Christopher Cicero
Posted on: June 7, 2011 11:12 am
 

Tressel, Pryor mentors in regular phone contact

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Contrary to previous e-mail releases that suggested their contact had been minimal and over the Internet, records obtained by the Columbus Dispatch and reported this morning show Jim Tressel and Terrelle Pryor's Pennsylvania mentors were in regular phone contact.

How regular?
After Tressel received an April 2, 2010, email from a former player warning him of potential NCAA violations, the coach exchanged 77 calls and text messages with and spent a total of 4 1/2 hours talking on the phone with Ted Sarniak, the hometown mentor of quarterback Terrelle Pryor in Jeannette, Pa. ...

Tressel also sent 91 text messages to Roy Hall, the current Jeannette football coach and another of Pryor's mentors. Hall previously told The Dispatch that he was not aware of the investigation and had not talked with Tressel about it.
As part of its investigation, the NCAA is reviewing the nature of Tressel's relationship with Sarniak, who the university claims does not qualify as an Ohio State booster. But in any case, the regular contact between Tressel and Sarniak and Hall will not look good contrasted with the lack of contact between the former Buckeye coach and the OSU compliance department.

Tressel also exchanged 31 text messages last Christmas Eve with Christopher Cicero, the Columbus lawyer whose original e-mail to Tressel was the coach's first notification that Buckeye players were receiving tattoo discounts and exchanging Buckeye memorabilia.

The school also released a number of phone records -- including to CBSSports.com's Bryan Fischer -- from athletic director Gene Smith, though they show no contact between Smith and Pryor's mentors or Cicero. Fischer reports there is one interesting nugget from the Smith records, however: once the story broke and Smith knew his dpeartment to be facing an NCAA investigation, he put in a call to North Carolina athletic Dick Baddour, whose school will receive its "notice of allegations from the NCAA" as soon as this week.

But as for Tressel, he faces the NCAA in a hearing Aug. 12. Today's revelations won't be the most damning evidence against him--but they won't do a thing to help him avoid NCAA sanctions, either.

Posted on: March 10, 2011 11:32 am
Edited on: March 10, 2011 12:12 pm
 

Tressel in trouble? Bylaw history says yes

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

This morning's latest story on the Jim Tressel brouhaha from the Columbus Dispatch answers a few pressing questions, such as: who was the infamous lawyer whose name was redacted in the publicly-released e-mails that Tressel elected not to forward to Buckeye compliance officials? Christopher T. Cicero , a former Buckeye walk-on who had formerly represented the tattoo parlor owner (Edward Rife) whose memorabilia purchases from (and tattoo discounts for) current Ohio State players kickstarted the entire mess.

The story also quotes an attorney with an NCAA- familiar law firm who answers the "could Tressel get tagged with a much longer suspension?" question with a hearty affirmative ("In those periods when he had an opportunity and a duty to disclose, he failed to do so," he said. "I think the NCAA could also come back and add failure to monitor or failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance.") But the most chilling answer for Tressel supporters and Buckeye fans is what the Dispatch found in regards to past violators of NCAA bylaw 10.1, which prohibits coaches from withholding knowledge potential violations from the appropriate authorities (emphasis added):
Since 2006, the NCAA has sanctioned 27 schools for violating bylaw 10.1 ... Of the 12 coaches involved, only one kept his job . The others either resigned or were fired by their schools.

Former men's basketball coach Jim O'Brien , one of his assistant coaches and former football running back Maurice Clarett each faced unethical-conduct charges by the NCAA. It cost all of them their careers at Ohio State.

Of course, most of those coaches didn't have their university presidents joking at press conferences that the coach had the power to fire him, as Gordon Gee did Tuesday. But all joking aside, that so few coaches have crossed the 10.1 line and lived to tell about it (even at OSU) illustrates why Tressel's future in Columbus is no laughing matter.


 
 
 
 
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