Ohio State Receives Notice Of NCAA Allegations


UPDATED: Thursday April 28, 2011 12:05 PM

The Ohio State University Athletic Department announced on Monday that it received a letter of NCAA allegations against the football program and coach Jim Tressel.

According to the NCAA, Tressel knew or should have known that at least two of his players received preferential treatment and sold memorabilia to a Columbus tattoo shop owner.  The NCAA said that Tressel failed to report it to the university.

The NCAA concluded that Tressel also permitted football student-athletes to participate while ineligible.

WEB EXTRAS:  NCAA Letter To OSU Tressel's NCAA Compliance Form | SPECIAL SECTION:  Ohio State Investigation

The NCAA also said that Tressel withheld the information from April 2010 until the university discovered e-mails in January.  In September, Tressel falsely said that he reported to the university any knowledge of NCAA violations when he signed the university's certification of compliance form.

Ohio State was not cited for "failure to monitor" or "failure of institutional control" violations.  The violations would have led to more severe penalties against the university.

The NCAA also indicated that Ohio State could be considered a repeat violator dating back to cases involving quarterback Troy Smith in 2004, when it was discovered he took money from a football booster, and men's basketball coach Jim O'Brien, who, in 2004, was forced to disclose the payment of $6,000 to a recruit.

The NCAA later made rulings on both cases.  Combined with Tressel's penalties, the violations would fall within its five-year statute of limitations and could place the university as a repeat violator.

The sanctions could be serious to forfeiting games to losing scholarships and being banned from a bowl game.

The NCAA also asked Ohio State for information concerning the 2007-08 football season, 10TV News reported.

Ohio State is scheduled to meet with the NCAA on Aug. 12 in Indianapolis.

A list of phone calls, e-mails and text messages was obtained by 10TV News on Monday that showed Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel not reporting possible violations to the university's compliance office.

The documents showed that Tressel exchanged 12 e-mails with Columbus attorney Chris Cicero, more e-mails than were previously reported.  Cicero tipped off Tressel that some of his players were trading memorabilia for free tattoos from a suspected drug dealer.

Documents also showed that Tressel communicated with quarterback Terrelle Pryor and Pryor's mentor, Ted Sarniak.

Ohio State is awaiting word from the NCAA about Tressel's failure to immediately report what he knew to the university's compliance department.  Tressel and the university face possible sanctions for ethical misconduct and allowing potentially ineligible players to compete last season.

According to the documents released Monday, Tressel called Ted Sarniak, a mentor to Pryor in his hometown of Jeanette, Pa., just hours after he learned from Cicero about his players' alleged involvement with the tattoo parlor.  Tressel then forwarded Cicero's original e-mail to Sarniak.

Phone records showed that Tressel exchanged 33 calls and messages with Pryor in April 2010.

10TV also learned that Tressel made a phone call to FBI Special Agent Harry Trombitas. Trombitas told 10TV's Chuck Strickler that the call was "coincidental" and that it had nothing to do with the NCAA investigation.  According to Trombitas, Tressel was reaching out to him on behalf of someone who wanted information about becoming an FBI agent.

Stay with 10TV News and 10TV.com for continuing coverage.

Previous Stories:

April 23, 2011: Progress In Tressel Investigation Could Come As Early As Next Week
April 19, 2011: Smith: Tressel's $250K Won't Cover Investigations
March 30, 2011:  Tressel Apologizes, Says He Has No Plans To Resign
March 17, 2011:  NCAA Upholds Ohio State Suspensions; Tressel To Sit Out First 5 Games In '11
March 14, 2011: Tressel Gets Standing Ovation At Canton Speaking Engagement
March 12, 2011: OSU AD Smith Asked About Tressel On CBS Broadcast
March 11, 2011: Attorney: Tattoo Shop Owner Didn't Tip Off Ohio State
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