Lantern file photo
The NCAA has informed Ohio State that the university will not face charges of failing to monitor its football team. The NCAA report also said it has not uncovered any new violations by OSU officials or players.
The NCAA agreed with the university that former head coach Jim Tressel was the only university official aware of any violations by football players.
“The enforcement staff, institution and Tressel are in substantial agreement as to the facts of both allegations and that those facts constitute violations of NCAA legislation,” according to the statement that OSU received Thursday and released on Friday. “There are no remaining issues regarding either allegation.”
The statement reiterated that Tressel’s actions were wrong, that he acted alone, failed in his duty to report violations and wrongfully fielded ineligible players.
“Other than (two names redacted) and (Ted) Sarniak, there is no indication that Tressel provided or discussed the information he received from (Chris) Cicero with anyone else, particularly athletics administrators,” the statement said.
The statement said the need for a hearing is necessary due to the nature of the case, but there are no new violations to be reported.
“Nonetheless, the enforcement staff believed that a hearing was appropriate, rather than a summary disposition report, due to the nature of unethical conduct involving the head football coach,” the statement said.
Due to this response from the NCAA, the university is not going to face charges of a lack of institutional control or failure to monitor. That means OSU will not face the harshest penalty the NCAA has to offer, the death penalty, which could have prevented the Buckeyes from participating in the 2011 football season.
On Aug. 12, when OSU will meet with the NCAA on these violations, the university could learn what punishments the NCAA could give to the university.
“The enforcement staff reviewed information related to the institution’s education and monitoring efforts prior to and during the time frame of the violations but concluded that a failure to monitor charge was unwarranted,” the NCAA informed OSU.
The NCAA said it believed the university provided student athletes with proper education on compliance protocol.
“The institution demonstrated that each fall and spring during the time frame of the violations, it provided education to football student-athletes and staff regarding extra benefits and preferential treatment,” the NCAA continued. “Thus, the student-athletes were aware that it was impermissible to receive payment, benefits and free or discounted services on the basis of their athletics reputation or skill.”
In April 2010, local attorney Chris Cicero sent Tressel an email saying that several players were involved with a now-convicted drug dealer.
Cicero said this tattoo parlor owner and drug dealer, Edward Rife, had several pieces of memorabilia belonging to current student athletes.
In March, Tressel, university president E. Gordon Gee and athletic director Gene Smith, addressed the media and public that Tressel had knowledge of these violations without reporting them.
Tressel resigned from his post of head football coach on May 30. Since his resignation, the terms have changed to a retirement, and the original $250,000 fine inflicted on him was waived.
Former quarterback Terrelle Pryor, one of the players involved in the scandal, left the university on June 8 to pursue a professional career in the NFL.
In addition to Pryor, five other players that received suspensions because of their affiliation with Rife and the tattoo parlor. Wide receiver DeVier Posey, running back Dan Herron, linemen Mike Adams and Solomon Thomas all received a five game suspension in 2011. Linebacker Jordan Whiting also received a one-game suspension.
A Columbus news station, WBNS-10TV, reported Friday that Tressel verbally disclosed the tip he received about the players’ involvement with Rife around Dec. 16, when he was interviewed as part of OSU’s internal investigation.
This information differs from the investigation by the NCAA that Tressel disclosed the information to university officials in January.
The university “categorically” denied the report by 10TV, standing by the facts presented by the NCAA in its statement to the university.