Ohio State Will Avoid ‘Failure to Monitor’ Charges
NCAA Finds ‘No New Violations’
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Finally, some good news for Ohio State.
After months of torrential downpour and violent thunderstorms surrounding the Buckeye football program, the dark clouds dissipated enough Friday that fans might actually be able to enjoy their weekend without having to worry about the next shoe dropping on this eight-legged scandal.
One week after their prehearing conference with Ohio State, the NCAA notified the University it would not face charges of charges of failing to monitor its football program.
In contrast to a report released by WBNS-10TV Columbus Friday, the NCAA acknowledged it had not uncovered any new violations stemming from memorabilia-sales scandal that led to the forced resignation of former Head Coach Jim Tressel.
“Considering the institution's rules education and monitoring efforts, the enforcement staff did not believe a failure to monitor charge was appropriate in this case,” the NCAA concluded in its report.
“Although the institution did not specifically provide education to football student-athletes regarding the sale of institutionally issued athletics awards, apparel and equipment until November 2009 (after many of the violations occurred), the enforcement staff did not believe that such omission rose to the level of a failure to monitor.”
Multiple unnamed sources reportedly told 10TV that Tressel informed NCAA investigators that he shared information about the tip he received from Chris Cicero back in December. However, the NCAA investigation came to a much different conclusion.
“Other than (two redacted player names) and (Ted) Sarniak, there is no indication that Tressel provided or discussed the information he received ... with anyone else, particularly athletics administrators,” the NCAA reported in the enforcement staff case summary they released Friday.
According to the summary of the enforcement case, Tressel did meet with players who have been identified as Terrelle Pryor and DeVier Posey in the days following his first email from Cicero in April 2010.
The NCAA reported that Tressel stated: "I talked with them ... it was two minutes max - it was pretty one-sided. And the message was, 'I'm hearing things. They're bad things. Better stay away from people. You know we've talked about this often.'"
Tressel told the NCAA that his conversations with Pryor and Posey were vague and did not specifically address Edward Rife, the tattoo parlor, the sale of memorabilia, a federal raid or NCAA violations.
One of the players told the NCAA that Tressel did inform them of the federal raid on the tattoo parlor and instructed them to “cut ties with Rife.” According to that player, Tressel also told them “whatever you guys did, I don't want to know but when it comes back up, just make sure you tell the truth.”
The other player did not remember Tressel being specific about anything dealing with Rife or the tattoo parlor, but to “be smart” and not to sell any Ohio State memorabilia.
The NCAA also confirmed that it looked into the allegations made in the Sports Illustrated report and that only one of the nine players mentioned had been proven to have committed an NCAA violation.
In the 15-page case summary, the NCAA made it sound as though Ohio State will avoid any major sanctions beyond the two years probation and vacated 2010 season proposed in the University’s response to the NCAA Notice of Allegations.
“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,” the NCAA staff case study stated.
Ohio State officials, including Tressel, are scheduled to appear before the NCAA's Infractions Committee on Aug. 12. According to Athletic Director Gene Smith, the NCAA will then decide whether to accept the proposed penalties or apply further sanctions within 6-8 weeks. That could include a loss of scholarships or even a postseason bowl ban, but the latest case summary makes both far less likely.
Complete NCAA Case Summary
Related Story - Media Witch Hunt Worse that Offenses
Related Story - Tressel Explains his silence to NCAA
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