Timeline - Evolution of the OSU NCAA Scandal
By Brandon Castel
Aug. 12, 2011: Ohio State officials and Jim Tressel appear before the NCAA Committee on Infractions for nearly four hours. They agree to pay revenue from 2011 Sugar Bowl ($338,000) to charity, but announced that final ruling may not come for eight to 12 weeks.
Aug. 3, 2011: Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee receives procedural letter from NCAA updating the list of documents to be reviewed during the hearing with the NCAA infractions committee.
July 21, 2011: The NCAA releases its case study surrounding the allegations made of Ohio State and former head coach Jim Tressel. In the release, the NCAA says it has found no additional violations by Ohio State and that the university will not face charges of “failure to monitor” the football program.
July 13, 2011: NCAA Director of Enforcement sends internal memo to Director of Committee on Infractions notifying them of the additional violation reported in Ohio State’s response. Memo says violation is related to first allegation but no evidence to warrant new allegations or a postponement of the Aug. 12 hearing. Memo is carbon copied to Tressel’s lawyer and Chuck Smrt.
July 8, 2011: Ohio State sends official response to the NCAA’s Notice of Allegations, announcing that it will vacate the 12-1 season from 2010 and place the program on probation for two years. Ohio State officials also reveal that they ‘sought and received’ Tressel’s resignation and that there is a sixth player “H” who received improper benefits from Edward Rife.
June 29, 2011: Rife, owner of Fine Line Tattoo where Ohio State players traded memorabilia for cash and tattoos, pleads guilty to drug trafficking.
June 7, 2011: Three-year starting quarterback Terrelle Pryor announces he will forgo his senior season at Ohio State amidst mounting allegations.
May 31, 2011: Sports Illustrated releases investigation piece into Tressel and Ohio State naming nine additional current players with ties to Edward Rife and Fine Link Ink. Only one of the nine is proven to have had improper dealings involving memorabilia and tattoos.
May 30, 2011: Ohio State announced it has accepted Jim Tressel’s resignation after 10 seasons as the head football coach. Linebackers coach and co-defensive coordinator Luke Fickell is named the new head coach for the entire 2011 season.
May 13, 2011: Tressel hires attorney Gene Marsh to represent him.
April 21, 2011: Ohio State receives the NCAA’s Notice of Allegations, which includes charges Tressel was guilty of ethical misconduct when he provided false information to the NCAA and Ohio State officials when he signed the Certificate of Compliance Form in August of 2010.
March 30, 2011: Luke Fickell is named ‘interim’ coach for the first five games of the 2011 season while Tressel serves his five-game suspension.
March 17, 2011: Ohio State increases Tressel’s suspension to five games after the NCAA turns rejects the University’s appeal to reduce the suspensions of the five players.
March 8, 2011: In the now infamous press conference, Ohio State announces it will suspend Tressel for the first two games of the 2011 season and fine him $250,000 after self-reporting that he committed a major 10.1 NCAA violation when he failed to report knowledge of memorabilia sales by at least two of his players. Both Gene Smith and Gordon Gee publically back Tressel as the school’s head football coach. Ohio State also appeals five-game suspensions of the five players involved.
March 7, 2011: Yahoo! Sports reports Ohio State coach Jim Tressel knew of NCAA violations involving his players in April 2010 but did not report it to University officials.
Feb. 8, 2011: Jim Tressel and Ohio State compliance members meets with NCAA investigators and Chuck Smrt, an outside consultant hired by the University to handle their end of the investigation. During the interview, Tressel admitted to allowing Pryor and DeVier Posey to play the 2010 season, but said he believed they would eventually have to pay if they made mistakes. Also said he was disappointed when the NCAA allowed the players to participate in the Sugar Bowl.
Jan. 13, 2011: Ohio State officials discover Tressel’s email exchanges with Columbus attorney Chris Cicero from April-June 2010 while working on an appeal for the suspended players.
Jan. 4, 2011: Ohio State beats Arkansas 31-26 in the Sugar Bowl with all five players making major contributions, including Thomas, who intercepted Ryan Mallett in the final minute.
Dec. 23, 2010: Ohio State announces that five players — quarterback Terrelle Pryor, tailback Dan Herron, receiver DeVier Posey, offensive tackle Mike Adams and defensive lineman Solomon Thomas — will be suspended for trading memorabilia for tattoos. One other player — linebacker Jordan Whiting — will miss one game for accepting free tattoos. NCAA will allow all six players to play in Sugar Bowl, but they will sit first five games of 2011 season.
Dec. 19, 2010: Ohio State submits self-report to the NCAA, ruling that the players involved should be suspended for committing major violations.
Dec. 17, 2010: Ohio State tells the NCAA and Big Ten it plans to self-report violations committed by six current student athletes involving the exchange of memorabilia, including jerseys and rings, for cash or tattoos.
Dec. 16, 2010: Ohio State interviews all current players with memorabilia found at Rife’s home and tattoo parlor. That group includes Pryor, Posey, Boom Herron, Mike Adams, Solomon Thomas and Jordan Whiting.
Dec. 8, 2010: United States Attorney's office informs the Ohio State Athletic Department of the discovery of memorabilia belonging to current and former players at the home and business of Rife, who is being investigated by the federal government.
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