Attorney: Tattoo Shop Owner Didn't Tip Off Ohio State

Published: .
Updated: .

Steve Palmer said on Friday that his client knew nothing about the e-mails at the heart of an NCAA rules violation investigation.

"We knew absolutely nothing about these emails," Palmer said. "We didn't know about it until everybody else knew about it."

Palmer represents Ed Rife, the man who owns the west side tattoo parlor where Ohio State memorabilia was found, 10 Investigates' Paul Aker reported.

Quarterback Terrelle Pryor, and five other players, sold items to Rife in exchange for tattoos.

WEB EXTRAS:. Read Tressel's E-Mails  |   Read Cicero's Statement | VIDEO:  OSU March 8 News Conference | SPECIAL SECTION:  Ohio State Football

Federal investigators discovered the arrangement during an ongoing investigation that included searching Rife's home in April.

That is when Rife went to attorney Chris Cicero looking for advice. He decided against using Cicero and hired Palmer to represent him.

Cicero sent e-mails about the situation and his player's misconduct to coach Jim Tressel.
ESPN's Outside The Lines is reporting that an e-mail sent by Cicero to Tressel contained the names of players Terrelle Pryor and DeVier Posey. 

The e-mails showed that Tressel knew some of his players were linked to a man being investigated several months before federal officials informed the university.

While the e-mails showed that Tressel learned about what was going on in April, he did not disclose it to the university until January, when university attorneys discovered it. Ohio State self-reported it to the NCAA on Feb. 3.

During a news conference on Tuesday, Tressel said he made a mistake.

"Admittedly, I probably did not give as much thought to the NCAA," Tressel said.  "I definitely didn't move forward with this information to anyone simply because in my mind I didn't know who best it would be.  I learned that I probably should have gone to the top legal counsel at the university and perhaps gain the protection you might need in the process."

Ohio State has imposed a two-game suspension and a $250,000 fine. The NCAA is investigating the violation and could also impose additional consequences.

Rife has not been charged with any crimes, and his attorney said he never meant to harm the university or its football team.

"Mr. Rife certainly has no interest in harming any of these young players, the university, coach Tressel or anyone else," Palmer said.

Cicero has not returned calls seeking comment.

On Dec. 23, the university announced it was suspending Pryor, running back Daniel "Boom" Herron, wide receiver DeVier Posey, defensive end Solomon Thomas and offensive lineman Mike Adams for the first five games of the 2011 season.

Watch 10TV News HD and refresh for continuing coverage.

Previous Stories:

March 10, 2011: Gee: No 'Smoking Gun' In Ohio State Rules Violation Investigation
March 9, 2011: Ex-Ohio State Football Player Says He Told Tressel About Player Investigation
March 9, 2011:  Tressel's Rules Violation Could Impact Ohio State Recruiting
March 8, 2011:   Ohio State Suspends Coach Jim Tressel For 2 Games
March 7, 2011:   Report: Tressel Knew About Violations Last April
December 30, 2010:  NCAA Rebuts Critics Of Ruling On Ohio State Violations
December 28, 2010:   Suspended Ohio State Football Players Publicly Apologize
December 23, 2010:  Pryor, 5 Others, Face Sanctions For NCAA Violations
December 22, 2010:  Ohio State Probing Possible NCAA Violations By Football Players