Dozens of Ohio State Items Traded for a SUV, Money and Tattoos
A letter from the Justice Department to Ohio State was recently obtained that highlights just how much memorabilia has been traded by OSU players to a tattoo parlor owner and just what they received in exchange. The number of items traded is a bit of shock, reported to be 36, and the items received in exchange are impressive. One player was given a SUV for a watch and four tickets to the 2010 Rose Bowl.
By Steve Patterson
The big number from the letter is $14,000, the amount received in cash for memorabilia. Since 2008, players traded 36 items for tattoos, the SUV and the money before it was revealed and they were suspended for the first five games of 2011. Eddie Rife is the owner of the tattoo parlor and the man who orchestrated the exchanges. He is also a suspected drug dealer although the players do not appear to be involved in the selling or purchasing of drugs from Rife.
The University had failed to disclose the large amount of items in prior press meetings and releases and contends that some of the items do not involve a violation. The NCAA case against the players is currently closed unless new information is discovered that warrants additional penalties. The NCAA case against Jim Tressel is still in process with the coach and Ohio State’s Athletic Director scheduled to meet with the body in August. The football program hopes the 5 game suspension for Coach Tressel is adequate for not revealing his knowledge of the violations when first discovered.