Andy Gottesman / Multimedia Editor
Ohio State has suspended football coach Jim Tressel for the first two games of the 2011 season for violating provisions of an NCAA rule when he failed to report information involving two Buckeye football players.
As part of its self-report, the university also imposed a $250,000 fine; a public reprimand and apology; and attendance at a compliance seminar.
Tressel, President E. Gordon Gee and athletic director Gene Smith addressed the media Tuesday evening at the Jack Nicklaus Museum.
“The most pathetic thing is a leader looking for self-pity,” Tressel said quoting President George W. Bush. “So at no point in this time…am I looking for anything other than doing what needs to be done.”
Smith said the NCAA still has to provide feedback on the self-imposed sanctions and additional penalties “could happen.”
Yahoo Sports reported Monday that Tressel was made aware that quarterback Terrelle Pryor and four other juniors sold memorabilia to the owner of Fine Line Ink tattoos in Columbus in April. OSU reported the violations to the NCAA on Dec. 8, 2010. The NCAA handed down five-game suspensions to the five juniors on Dec. 23, 2010.
The NCAA granted the players eligibility for the Sugar Bowl, which Tressel only allowed the suspended juniors to attend after they pledged to return for their senior seasons.
OSU beat Arkansas, 31-26, in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 4. An interception by defensive end Solomon Thomas ended a Razorbacks drive in Buckeye territory with less than a minute left, sealing the victory.
Besides Thomas and Pryor, the other juniors suspended for the first five games of next season are: offensive lineman Mike Adams, running back Dan Herron, and wide receiver DeVier Posey.
This isn’t the first time Tressel has faced scrutiny for NCAA infractions within the OSU football program.
Running back Maurice Clarett was suspended for the 2003 season for accepting improper benefits.
Quarterback Troy Smith was suspended for the 2004 Alamo Bowl and 2005 season opener after accepting money from a booster.
Tressel was scheduled to sign copies of his book, “Life Promises for Success,” at Barnes & Noble on OSU’s campus tonight from 7-9. The store confirmed to The Lantern Tuesday afternoon that the event was postponed until Spring Quarter.