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.
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.
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. Read more…