Ohio State Football Investigation Continues
Ohio State’s football violations are still being investigated by the NCAA. ESPN has reported that the matters currently being looked at go beyond the Jim Tressel era scandal relating to tattoos for memorabilia.
ESPN reports that a letter about the other issues was sent to Ohio State by NCAA last week. The university has not yet confirmed that this letter has been received although an email to ESPN from Jim Lynch, the Ohio State spokesman, referred to an ongoing active investigation being conducted by the NCAA.
At a hearing last Friday, the NCAA’s infractions committee learned more about the tattoo scandal. Ohio State has already admitted that players were involved in exchanging memorabilia for cash and/or tattoos. Ohio State came away from the meeting returning the money that it earned from the Sugar Bowl last year.
Jim Tressel, the former coach, admitted that by spring 2010 he was aware that his players may have been guilty of violations. He neglected to disclose this information to NCAA or the University, and resigned from his post on Memorial Day.
Five of Ohio State’s players were suspended from playing in the first five games of the season. In June one of the five suspended players, quarterback Terrell Pryor, announced that he would forgo playing the senior season and pursue a career as an NFL player. He is still waiting for a decision on the supplemental draft which was just postponed today.
The original allegations of violations were set out in a notice sent by the NCAA to Ohio State on 25 April. According to ESPN’s report, new claims of violations were made after the notice of allegations was sent. Among the new allegations is a claim by ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” that a local memorabilia had paid Pryor thousands of dollars for autographs.
In July Ohio State made it known that it would vacate all of last season’s wins and impose a two year period of probation on the team. After Friday’s hearing the NCAA is considering whether to accept Ohio State’s proposed self-imposed sanctions or enforce harsher penalties such as postseason playing bans and scholarship cuts.
Luke Fickell has replaced Jim Tressel and the Coaches Poll conducted by USA Today ranks Ohio State as No. 16 in the current competition. The team’s opening game of the season will be played against Akron on September 3.