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Tag:Ohio State investigation
Posted on: December 20, 2011 4:23 pm
 

Meyer, Smith release statements on NCAA sanctions

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Statement from Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith:

“We are surprised and disappointed with the NCAA’s decision,” said Gene Smith, Ohio State’s Athletics Director and Associate Vice President. “However, we have decided not to appeal the decision because we need to move forward as an institution. We recognize that this is a challenging time in intercollegiate athletics. Institutions of higher education must move to higher ground, and Ohio State embraces its leadership responsibilities and affirms its long-standing commitment to excellence in education and integrity in all it does.

“My primary concern, as always, is for our students, and this decision punishes future students for the actions of others in the past,” said Smith. “Knowing our student-athletes, however, I have no doubt in their capacity to turn this into something positive – for themselves and for the institution. I am grateful to our entire Buckeye community for their continued support.”

“All of us at Ohio State are determined to ensure that our compliance programs and protocols are best in class,” said Smith. “We will assume a leadership role in representing our university and its values.

“It is important to remember that Ohio State has one of the nation’s largest self supporting athletics programs, with students succeeding both in competition and in the classroom,” said Smith. “We have more than 1,000 students who compete in 36 intercollegiate sports, and the overall grade-point average of our student-athletes is just over 3.0. During the last two years, the University has had more student-athletes named to the Academic All-Big Ten Team than any other school. Further, Ohio State finished second in last year’s Directors’ Cup, which recognizes the best athletics programs in the country.”

Statement from Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer:

“I agreed to become the Head Football Coach at The Ohio State University because Shelley and I are Ohio natives, I am a graduate of this wonderful institution and served in this program under a great coach. I understand the academic and athletic traditions here and will give great effort to continue those traditions.

“It is still my goal to hire excellent coaches, recruit great student-athletes who want to be a part of this program and to win on and off the field. The NCAA penalties will serve as a reminder that the college experience does not include the behavior that led to these penalties. I expect all of us to work hard to teach and develop young student-athletes to grow responsibly and to become productive citizens in their communities upon graduation.” 

Posted on: December 20, 2011 2:14 pm
Edited on: December 20, 2011 6:11 pm
 

NCAA gives Ohio St. bowl ban, Tressel show-cause



Posted by Adam Jacobi

Urban Meyer may have high hopes for his first season at Ohio State in 2012, but his team's first appearance in the postseason is going to have to wait until 2013 at the earliest. Ohio State has been given a one-year postseason ban, effective next year, by the NCAA. The NCAA also found Ohio State's offer of giving up five scholarships over three years inadequate, and will require that the Buckeyes give up a total of nine scholarships over that period instead.

The sanctions stem from a litany of NCAA violations committed by various Buckeyes and ousted head coach Jim Tressel. Terrelle Pryor was one of the worst offenders, repeatedly receiving impermissible benefits and allegedly participating in a system where he traded signed memorabilia for free tattoos, and DeVier Posey was suspended for a total of 10 games in 2011 for multiple instances of receiving impermissible benefits.

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Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith had said previously that he didn't anticipate a bowl ban for Ohio State, and Meyer told reporters after being hired that he had received "extremely positive feedback" about OSU's prospects before the NCAA.

Tressel was also given a five-year show-cause penalty by the NCAA. The "show-cause" label means that the NCAA considers Tressel a serious offender, and any NCAA school interested in employing Tressel must show why it does not deserve sanctions for doing so. The five-year sanction effectively ends Tressel's coaching career in the collegiate ranks.

Tressel's decision not to inform the NCAA of the violations once he learned of them played heavily into the decision to hit him with such a heavy penalty.

"Of great concern to the committee was the fact that the former head coach became aware of these violations and decided not to report the violations to institutional officials, the Big Ten Conference or the NCAA," the NCAA said in its report.

Tressel is now a game-day consultant for the Indianapolis Colts in the NFL.

Smith said in a statement that Ohio State would not contest the NCAA's ruling.

“We are surprised and disappointed with the NCAA’s decision,” said Smith. “However, we have decided not to appeal the decision because we need to move forward as an institution. We recognize that this is a challenging time in intercollegiate athletics. Institutions of higher education must move to higher ground, and Ohio State embraces its leadership responsibilities and affirms its long-standing commitment to excellence in education and integrity in all it does.

“My primary concern, as always, is for our students, and this decision punishes future students for the actions of others in the past,” said Smith. “Knowing our student-athletes, however, I have no doubt in their capacity to turn this into something positive – for themselves and for the institution. I am grateful to our entire Buckeye community for their continued support.”

Urban Meyer also released a statement that was even more forward-looking than Smith's.

“I agreed to become the Head Football Coach at The Ohio State University because Shelley and I are Ohio natives, I am a graduate of this wonderful institution and served in this program under a great coach. I understand the academic and athletic traditions here and will give great effort to continue those traditions.

“It is still my goal to hire excellent coaches, recruit great student-athletes who want to be a part of this program and to win on and off the field. The NCAA penalties will serve as a reminder that the college experience does not include the behavior that led to these penalties. I expect all of us to work hard to teach and develop young student-athletes to grow responsibly and to become productive citizens in their communities upon graduation.” 

Posted on: August 17, 2011 9:59 am
Edited on: August 17, 2011 10:00 am
 

Report: NCAA investigating Pryor's trip to Miami

Posted by Chip Patterson

The NCAA has reportedly expanded their Ohio State investigation to include a trip Terrelle Pryor took to the Miami area in March, according to a report in the Columbus Dispatch.

The findings that left left Pryor suspended for five games and lost head coach Jim Tressel his job were in connection with improper benefits regarding a tattoo parlor owner and the sale of memorabilia. When the NCAA's investigation began to focus more on Pryor directly, the star quarterback abruptly left school in June and declared his intentions to participate in the NFL's supplemental draft.

The Dispatch cites two sources who claim that the NCAA was checking into Pryor's trip to South Beach over spring break in March, a trip that may have been arranged by Jeannette, Pa. businessman Ted Sarniak.

Sarniak, if you recall, was one of the people that Tressel turned to after receiving an email tip regarding possible wrongdoing in his football program. The former Buckeyes coach defended himself saying he was looking out for Pryor's safety, and Sarniak has been a mentor to Pryor since the quarterback was in high school. But Sarniak's mentor status was addressed already by Ohio State's compliance director in 2008 when Pryor began his freshman year. The school determined that the businessman may continue his relationship with Pryor, but "the relationship must change."

The NFL was supposed to hold the supplemental draft on Wednesday, but they have decided to postpone to a later date. Pryor is one of six players hoping to get picked up in the unique player acquisition event that allows a team to trade a future pick for the opportunity to draft a player who has become ineligible for collegiate play since the January deadline.
Posted on: August 10, 2011 5:37 pm
Edited on: August 10, 2011 6:14 pm
 

Report: NCAA still investigating Ohio State

Posted by Adam Jacobi

The specter of NCAA scrutiny is, apparently, still hanging over Ohio State. As the school prepares to meet with the NCAA Committee on Infractions on Friday, a report has surfaced that the NCAA is still investigating OSU, and has let the school know thusly.

According to ESPN, the NCAA has sent Ohio State another letter, this one informing the school that its investigation is still ongoing. This would make sense, as most of the accusations against Terrelle Pryor have come after the NCAA's original notice of allegations, which focused almost exclusively on the actions of since-departed head coach Jim Tressel

For as much as this reported letter is, it's also important to emphasize what it isn't: another notice of allegations. As Ohio State announced, there have been no new allegations brought against the school, and ESPN's report doesn't make clear what's in the actual letter sent from the NCAA to OSU. So from a material standpoint, Ohio State is in no worse shape right now than it was before it received the letter.

Still, it's reasonable to believe that the NCAA's investigation is still continuing, and that it won't be time to exhale in Columbus even after Friday's COI meeting. For a school that's already spent $800,000 and counting on this probe, that's hardly welcome news.
Posted on: July 22, 2011 4:34 pm
Edited on: July 22, 2011 5:13 pm
 

Ohio State won't be hit with failure to monitor

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Ohio State got some good news on Friday when the NCAA announced that it had not found any new violations to charge Ohio State with, and would not be hitting the school with a "failure to monitor" charge. From the report in the Columbus Dispatch:
The NCAA has notified Ohio State University that it will not face charges of failing to appropriately monitor its football team as part of a memorabilia-sales scandal that brought down former Coach Jim Tressel.

The NCAA has not uncovered any new, unreported violations during its investigation and agrees with Ohio State that Tressel was the only university official aware of violations by his players and that he failed to report them.

"Other than (two redacted player names) and (Ted) Sarniak, there is no indication that Tressel provided or discussed the information he received ... with anyone else, particularly athletics administrators," the NCAA reported in an enforcement staff case summary.
The entire case summary can be read here. You can also read all 139 pages of the NCAA's interview with Jim Tressel here

What does this mean for Ohio State? Well, no school has ever received a postseason or television ban without being hit with the "failure to monitor" charge, and the odds of Ohio State facing such a punishment are now essentially non-existent. This also means that the blame for the entire situation will continue to lie solely at Jim Tressel's feet, and since he's already stepped down as head coach at Ohio State, the rest of the school's athletic department can sleep soundly tonight and in the future.

This news all comes after a report was released by a Columbus-area television station earlier on Friday afternoon saying that Tressel had told the NCAA he informed others at Ohio State about the transgressions of his players in December of 2010. A full month before Ohio State claims it came upon any information regarding the case.

Ohio State "categorically" denied the report, and with this latest announcement from the NCAA, it seems the NCAA felt the same way.
Posted on: July 22, 2011 3:39 pm
Edited on: July 22, 2011 4:05 pm
 

Report: Tressel let OSU know of problems in Dec.

Posted by Tom Fornelli

If you thought that you were done reading about Jim Tressel, tattoos, Terrelle Pryor and Ohio State, well, then you're incredibly naive. This is a story that won't be going away anytime soon.

The lastest in the ongoing saga at Ohio State involves when Jim Tressel let the school know about any possible issues involving his players and their love of getting tattoos in exchange for Ohio State memorabilia.

According to Ohio State, the school did not become aware of any problem until January while it was investigating an "unrelated legal matter." Well, according to a report from Ohio television station WBNS, that's not the case. The report says that Tressel told NCAA investigators he told Ohio State officials about a tip he received on the issue a month earlier in December.
Multiple sources told 10 Investigates' Paul Aker that Tressel claimed he verbally disclosed the tip he received about his players' involvement with tattoo shop owner Ed Rife around Dec. 16 to compliance director Doug Archie, Julie Vannatta, Ohio State's senior assistant general counsel, and perhaps others.

10 Investigates asked Vannatta about the claim. She said that she is aware Tressel made such a statement, but that it is not true.
What does this mean for Ohio State and the current NCAA investigation? Honestly, I'm not sure it means much. Obviously, if Tressel is telling the truth, then it's pretty clear that Ohio State has been lying to the NCAA, which wouldn't be good for the school, Gene Smith, Doug Archie or Julie Vannatta. Still, even if Tressel is telling the truth -- and I don't see why he'd have any reason to lie about it at this point -- the NCAA would still have to prove that Ohio State had been lying to them the entire time, and without concrete evidence -- like an email -- it's just a case of "he said, they said."

It could just be possible that Tressel is getting his dates mixed up. I mean, it's been reported he first found out about all of this in April of 2010, and when you sit on information for as long as he did, it's easy to forget whether you were hiding information for eight or nine months. I mean, it's not like Tressel would be the first person to get his dates and concept of time altered during this mess.
Posted on: July 9, 2011 3:05 pm
Edited on: July 10, 2011 2:58 pm
 

Buckeye players keeping rings, but trophies to go

Posted by Tom Fornelli

So it appears that while you can erase history, you can't erase a ring.

Even though Ohio State announced on Friday that it would vacate every one of the school's victories from the 2010 season -- which includes wiping out a share of a Big Ten title and a Sugar Bowl victory -- a report in the Columbus Dispatch says that Buckeyes players will not have to return their rings.

Even though the record book won't show [Bryant] Browning's Big Ten title, his ring will. The Buckeyes already have received their Big Ten championship rings, and athletic director Gene Smith said they won't be recalled.

"They'll keep those," Smith said. "We didn't feel we needed to take those back."

Browning, a senior lineman, said he appreciated the gesture.

"I guess it does show they care about our senior class, that we did earn those rings," he said.

Feel free to make your "they can get some sweet tattoos for those rings" joke here.

Of course, just because Ohio State players will be able to hold onto their rings, that doesn't mean all the championship hardware that Ohio State earned in 2010 will remain. The school will remove the Big Ten trophy and the Sugar Bowl trophy from the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, though it's not sure whether or not Ohio State will return the trophies to Chicago and New Orleans respectively.

Some may take offense to the fact that players will be allowed to keep rings for a title that we're supposed to pretend never happened, but I think in a case like this, it's more important that the school bears the weight of the punishment, not the players. After all, while a few members of the Buckeyes roster broke NCAA rules, the overwhelming majority of players followed NCAA guidelines and shouldn't be punished for the actions of others. After all, it wasn't the players who decided to sit on this information for nine months and deliberately send ineligible players onto the field to play every week. 

Posted on: July 9, 2011 3:05 pm
Edited on: July 10, 2011 2:58 pm
 

Buckeye players keeping rings, but trophies to go

Posted by Tom Fornelli

So it appears that while you can erase history, you can't erase a ring.

Even though Ohio State announced on Friday that it would vacate every one of the school's victories from the 2010 season -- which includes wiping out a share of a Big Ten title and a Sugar Bowl victory -- a report in the Columbus Dispatch says that Buckeyes players will not have to return their rings.

Even though the record book won't show [Bryant] Browning's Big Ten title, his ring will. The Buckeyes already have received their Big Ten championship rings, and athletic director Gene Smith said they won't be recalled.

"They'll keep those," Smith said. "We didn't feel we needed to take those back."

Browning, a senior lineman, said he appreciated the gesture.

"I guess it does show they care about our senior class, that we did earn those rings," he said.

Feel free to make your "they can get some sweet tattoos for those rings" joke here.

Of course, just because Ohio State players will be able to hold onto their rings, that doesn't mean all the championship hardware that Ohio State earned in 2010 will remain. The school will remove the Big Ten trophy and the Sugar Bowl trophy from the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, though it's not sure whether or not Ohio State will return the trophies to Chicago and New Orleans respectively.

Some may take offense to the fact that players will be allowed to keep rings for a title that we're supposed to pretend never happened, but I think in a case like this, it's more important that the school bears the weight of the punishment, not the players. After all, while a few members of the Buckeyes roster broke NCAA rules, the overwhelming majority of players followed NCAA guidelines and shouldn't be punished for the actions of others. After all, it wasn't the players who decided to sit on this information for nine months and deliberately send ineligible players onto the field to play every week. 

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com