Terrelle Pryor and DeVier Posey reportedly are the Ohio State football players who were mentioned in e-mails to coach Jim Tressel regarding his players’ association with a Columbus tattoo shop owner who is under a federal drug trafficking investigation.
In an interview with ESPN’s “Outside the Lines,” Columbus lawyer Christopher Cicero confirmed he mentioned Pryor and Posey while informing Tressel of his players’ involvement with Eddie Rife, the owner of Fine Line Ink tattoo parlor.
Pryor and Posey, along with Dan Herron, Mike Adams, Solomon Thomas and Jordan Whiting, were suspended for the start of the 2011 season for selling memorabilia and receiving improper benefits from Rife.
Tressel exchanged eight e-mails about the players’ involvement with Rife from April 2, 2010, through June 6, 2010. Earlier this week, OSU released the e-mail conversation between Cicero and Tressel
OSU representatives on Friday declined to confirm the names of the football players Cicero mentioned.
University spokesman Jim Lynch said the university is required by law to redact information that is specific to individual students.
“The Federal Education Rights & Privacy Act requires us to redact any information that can lead to the identity of students, especially a student’s name,” Lynch said in an e-mail to The Lantern. “As caretaker of these documents, we still cannot reveal the student names in the document.”
Athletic department spokeswoman Shelly Poe also declined to confirm ESPN’s report, saying in an e-mail to The Lantern, “We will not have any more comments until the NCAA makes its ruling.”
Tressel said he did not report the actions of his players because of confidentiality issues.
OSU’s investigation of the matter also resulted in suspending Tressel for the first two games of 2011 for failing to properly report the possible infraction to the university after Cicero brought it to his attention. Tressel was fined $250,000 to cover the costs of OSU’s self-imposed investigation.
Cicero, a former OSU linebacker and letterman during the 1983 season, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.