Yahoo! Sports, which is gaining a great reputation for its investigating of sports, particulary college sports, published a report Monday that Ohio State coach Jim Tressel knew of the gear scheme that his players were involved in eight months before the school told the NCAA about the problem. Withholding information from the NCAA is not a good practice, they have a tendency to get their pound of flesh.
By Charles Robinson and Dan Wetzel, Yahoo! Sports
Ohio State coach Jim Tressel was informed that several Buckeyes players were selling memorabilia more than eight months before the school claims it was made aware of the scheme, a two-month Yahoo! Sports investigation has found.
Tressel received information that players were selling items to Edward Rife – the owner of Fine Line Ink Tattoos in Columbus – as early as April 2010, according to a source. However, neither Ohio State nor the NCAA investigated the transactions or the players’ relationship with Rife until December 2010, when the school claims it was informed of the situation by the local United States Attorney’s office.
Ohio State director of compliance Doug Archie declined immediate comment when reached Monday by Yahoo! Sports. Tressel and athletic director Gene Smith were unavailable for comment. The NCAA declined comment. At a Dec. 23 press conference, Jim Tressell said he had only recently found out about players selling memorabilia.
A federal probe into Rife revealed he was in possession of multiple pieces of Buckeyes football memorabilia that previously belonged to five players: quarterback Terrelle Pryor, running back Dan Herron, wideout DeVier Posey, defensive end Solomon Thomas and offensive lineman Mike Adams. Federal officers contacted the school Dec. 7 to determine if the goods were stolen or instead sold by the players for cash, as Rife claimed.
According to a source, a concerned party reached out to Tressel last April, alerting the coach that memorabilia transactions had taken place between Rife and a handful of Buckeyes players, including Pryor. The selling of items violates NCAA eligibility rules. The source said Tressel was troubled by the information, and the coach indicated that he would investigate the matter and take appropriate action.
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