It seems as though the NCAA troubles at Ohio State have taken more twists than the latest episode of General Hospital, with a new story seemingly popping up every day. The latest twist seems to come from former Buckeye Ray Small denying many of his comments to the Ohio State student newspaper, The Lantern, about multiple student-athletes selling memorabilia and receiving discounts on cars. Small's story is just another thing for some fans to shake their heads at in the nearly five months since violations involving the so-called 'Buckeye Five' were brought to light.
“There are no other NCAA violations around this case,” athletic director Gene Smith said in a Dec. 23, 2010 press conference. “We’re very fortunate we do not have a systemic problem in our program. This is isolated to these young men, isolated to this particular incident. There are no other violations that exist.”
As time has passed from that presser however, Smith has seen several other damaging stories about additional violations - head coach Jim Tressel lying to about his knowledge of the case being the biggest - since then. It's quite possible that even more could come out before the school's August 12th hearing before the NCAA Committee on Infractions.
Several alumni, fans and media members have publicly called for the resignation of some of Ohio State's leadership - particularly Smith and Tressel - as a way to stave off possible sanctions. That, however, doesn't appear to be on the table in the near future based on documents obtained Friday by the Associated Press and CBSSports.com.
Although the school declined to turnover communications from Tressel to administrators involving quarterback Terrelle Pryor (citing privacy laws), they did release several documents that pointed to Smith's standing in the athletic department.
|More on Ohio State|
"Over time we will reach the point where I recognize your University leadership role with a Vice President title."
Gee's comments, written in August of last year, seem to channel his thinking with Tressel and speak to both leaders' stature at the school despite being at the center of the controversy in Columbus.
“No, are you kidding me? I’m just hopeful that the coach doesn’t dismiss me,” Gee said during a March press conference.
While widely mocked about the comment, it appears it's very reflective of Gee's thinking about the Buckeyes head coach and the documents released today seem to reflect the same about Smith. Tressel's performance evaluation was done verbally and thus, was not able to be requested.
There's still plenty of time between today and the school having to explain themselves to the Committee on Infractions. It seems hard, however, to fathom that Gee will make a move against either Smith or Tressel in the meantime.