Monday, April 25, 2011

NCAA NOTICE OF ALLEGATIONS: OSU COACH TRESSEL WAS DISHONEST

Jim Tressel (The Buckeye Times/D.Dunkle)
COLUMBUS — Ohio State released a copy of its "notice of allegations" (issued by the NCAA) to the public on Monday, adding more fuel to the firestorm which has surrounded the Buckeyes football program in recent months.

The fourth page of the "notice" accuses Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel of dishonesty, stating that he "failed to deport himself in accordance with the honesty and integrity normally associated with the conduct and administration of intercollegiate athletics as required by NCAA legislation and violated ethical-conduct legislation when he failed to report information concerning violations of NCAA legislation and permitted football student-athletes to participate in intercollegiate athletics competition while ineligible."

Ohio State already issued a self-imposed five-game suspension of Tressel, as well as a $250,000 fine, for withholding information about player violations when he became aware of them more than a year ago.

However, the notice went onto to say that Tressel lied when filing a report to the NCAA in September, stating that he "falsely attested that he reported to the institution any knowledge of NCAA violations when he signed the institution's certification of compliance form, which is required under Bylaw 18.4.2.1.1.4."

The NCAA could impose further penalties on Ohio State's football program, possibly vacating their 2010 regular season, issuing post-season bans, and handing out more suspensions and fines to Tressel.

The notice also stated that the players who are responsible for the entire episode — Terrelle Pryor, Dan Herron, DeVier Posey, Mike Adams and Solomon Thomas — will not be issued any further punishment for accepting improper benefits. The players are suspended for the first five games of the 2011 regular season.

The NCAA did not cite the university for "failure to monitor" or "failure of institutional control," which can certainly be view as a positive for Ohio State. If the NCAA would've held the university responsible, the penalties could've been catastrophic.

It was made quite clear throughout the 13-page notice that Tressel is the one the NCAA is targeting. Ohio State representatives — Tressel, President E. Gordon Gee and AD Gene Smith —will meet with the NCAA on Aug. 12 in Indianapolis to answer questions and state its case on the matter, before any further judgement is made.

The university is not issuing any comment on the matter, or Tressel's future, until the investigation is complete.

In March, Smith said no matter what happens with the NCAA, Tressel will not be fired by the university.

"Anywhere we end up, Jim Tressel is our football coach," Smith said. "Jim Tressel is a coach of young men and we are behind him 100-percent."