Current Buckeyes: New Items For Sale Discovered

Contained in an April, 2010, email exchange between Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel and ex-Buckeye and lawyer Chris Cicero was a detailed inventory of Ohio State player-only items that Columbus Tattoo Parlor owner Edward Rife told Cicero he owned.

Boom Herron Helmet For Sale: Wasn't Listed In NCAA report

From Cicero’s emails, those unredacted items were:

“15 pairs of cleats (with signatures), 4-5 jerseys—all signed by players ..

“9 rings Big Ten Championship ..

“National Championship ring”

Nine months after Cicero’s emails to Tressel, Ohio State - without Tressel’s assistance - self-reported NCAA violations by five football players who provided Rife with items available only to OSU squad members. The players and items reported to the NCAA by Ohio State were:

* Mike Adams: 2008 Big Ten championship ring
* Daniel “Boom” Herron: football jersey, pants and shoes
* DeVier Posey: 2008 Big Ten championship ring
* Terrelle Pryor: 2008 Big Ten championship ring, a 2009 Fiesta Bowl sportsmanship award and 2008 Gold Pants
* Solomon Thomas: 2008 Big Ten championship ring, 2008 Gold Pants

At the time Ohio State announced the NCAA impropriety involving those players, school athletic director Gene Smith said:

“There are no other NCAA violations around this case. We’re very fortunate that we do not have a systemic problem in our program. This is isolated to these young men, isolated to this particular instance. There are no other violations that exist.”

Thanks to Tressel, Smith’s proclamation was proven premature.


In the aftermath of Tressel’s Tuesday admonition that he lied to Ohio State investigators, I made a troubling discovery online today.

Jordan Hall Carlos Hyde Taurian Washington Pants For Sale Online

Ohio State football player-only items previously owned by as many as four current Buckeye players - items not inventoried in the NCAA Dec. 23, 2010 sanctions report - are currently displayed for sale at an online sports memorabilia site.

On a webpage created Feb. 23, the helmet worn by Daniel “Boom” Herron in the 2009 Michigan-Ohio State game was recently sold in an online auction at Gridironheroes.net for $1,000 with this sale item description:

Boom Herron Helmet For Sale: Wasn't Listed In NCAA report

-Ohio State Buckeyes 2009 helmet, #1. Riddelll Revolution Speed Pro Combat throwback model helmet worn against Michigan last season. Stephanie Spielman memorial decal on rear of helmet. This is a very rare helmet worn by a starting offensive player currently playing for the Buckeyes. Light wear is displayed. The original facemask has been replaced on this helmet. $1000-SOLD

Herron was suspended for five games by the NCAA for selling his Ohio State football jersey, pants and shoes - but not a helmet.

Also currently on sale at the same site are Ohio State game-worn pants from the 2010 Michigan-Ohio State game that belonged to current Buckeye players Jordan Hall and Carlos Hyde. Sale item description:

Ohio State Buckeyes 1942 Tribute Pro Combat pants worn vs Michigan in 2010. We have pants worn by Jordan Hall, and Carlos Hyde.. The #s in the pants under the size indiate the locker number, not the player #. Each locker # for the player is confirmed by Ohio State Athletic Dept. Hall and Hyde are very talented up and coming RBs.. Hall and Hyde, size 30, Washington is size 26. $300 each. -SOLD

Hall and Hyde were not mentioned in the December 23 Ohio State report.

A third player in the same item sale description is referred to only as “Washington.” The only player fitting that description on the current OSU roster who dressed out for the game would be current Buckeye wide receiver Taurian Washington.

Hall, who will be a junior for the 2011 Buckeyes, helped spark Ohio State to a 37-7 win over the Wolverines with an 85-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the Michigan game. The running back is from Jeannette, Pennsylvania, the hometown of Pryor.

Hyde, who appeared in seven games as a running back for Ohio State in 2010, will be a sophomore for the 2011 season.

It isn’t known if the three or possibly four items, once the property of current Ohio State football players, were ever in the possession of Edward Rife. (Ed. note: See update below on these items.)

The website Gridironheroes.net was registered under the name Shawn Kennedy on Oct. 18, 2010. The address associated with the site is in the Tampa-St. Pete area.

Again, Ohio State Athletic Director Smith’s declaration on Dec. 23, 2010, when he announced NCAA sanctions against the school:

“There are no other NCAA violations around this case. We’re very fortunate that we do not have a systemic problem in our program. This is isolated to these young men, isolated to this particular instance. There are no other violations that exist.”

With the online discovery of new items for sale attributed to current Ohio State players, including one player previously cited for violations by the NCAA and Ohio State, it isn’t unreasonable to think that Smith may have jumped the gun with his statement in more ways than one.

UPDATE: On Jan. 2, 2011, Jill Riepenhoff of the COLUMBUS DISPATCH reported:

The NCAA deferred all questions about the profiteering rule to Ohio State. Ohio State said it was the NCAA’s job to explain how and why the rule is enforced.

Ohio State tries to police the rule with occasional Internet sweeps of auction sites. The Dispatch found two items for sale last week from the 2009 Michigan game: a pair of shoes and a helmet. Both items, the seller posted, belonged to current players. Ohio State said that it is investigating.

The helmet for sale on the aforementioned auction site was also worn by a current Ohio State player in the 2009 Michigan-OSU game.

Gridironheroes.net also has a pair of Ohio State shoes, owned by a current Buckeye, for sale on the site with this description:

Ohio State '09 Michigan game shoes from current offensive lineman on sale

Ohio State Buckeyes 2009 shoes. Nike pro-combat shoes from the 2009 Buckeys vs. Wolverines game. Only worn during the one game by a back-up O-lineman who is now starting for the Bucks. $250

UPDATE: Ohio State is currently selling “Game Worn 1942 Tribute Pants” on its website with the following description:

The Ohio State football team wore a special uniform in its game Nov. 27 vs. Michigan as part of the Nike Rivalry series. This unique one-time-only tribute pays homage to Ohio State’s 1942 1st national championship team in its styling and design. Ohio State was one of 10 elite football programs to debut the Nike Pro Combat uniform.

The school’s site does not identify who wore the pants, but it isn’t unreasonable to think that the pants from Hall, Clyde and possibly Washington came from that same OSU site sale.

Though that doesn’t account for the Herron helmet and ‘09 Michigan game shoes from a “starting” Ohio State offensive lineman.

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