Former Ohio State wide receiver Ray Small said on Friday that he was mischaracterized this week in an interview he had with the university's newspaper.
Small, who said he and "everybody" on the team sold memorabilia and received discounts on cars while playing football, told 10 Investigates' Paul Aker that he was misrepresented in an article that was published this week in The Lantern.
"It's hard being an athlete," Small said. "That was basically what I was saying. (The Lantern author) just flipped my words around and make the whole Buckeye Nation hate me. I spoke (about) my college career (and) never spoke (about) anybody else. (I) never talked about (Ohio State coach Jim Tressel). That whole conversation, I never mentioned anything except about myself."
SPECIAL SECTION: Ohio State Investigation
Small went on to say that The Lantern got the majority of the story wrong.
The Lantern denied Small's allegation, Aker reported.
"We, 100 percent, stand by our story," said Lantern Editor Zack Meisel. "Everything (Small) said was recorded."
Late Friday afternoon, the newspaper posted some audio clips from Small on its Web site.
Small was quoted in The Lantern article and said that some players "don't even think about NCAA rules."
He told the newspaper that he sold his Big Ten championship rings to cover the cost of living. He also said that the "best deals" came from car dealerships.
Several Ohio State football players spoke out against Small through their Twitter accounts.
"Show me a coward and I will show you Ray Small," center Mike Brewster tweeted. "He isn't part of the sacred brotherhood anymore. Never on time, never accountable, never sacrificed for the team. Can you trust his word?"
"People are calling me a sellout, a snitch, a trader," Small said on Friday.
Five Buckeye players are suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season for selling memorabilia to the owner of a local tattoo parlor. That is considered an improper benefit under NCAA rules.
Coach Jim Tressel was suspended and is under investigation by the NCAA for knowing about his players' involvement and not telling his superiors for more than nine months.
On Friday, the tattoo parlor owner whose relationship with the players led to suspensions and the NCAA investigation will plead guilty to federal charges, including drug trafficking, according to court documents filed in U.S. District Court.
Edward Rife faces a possible sentence of up to 40 years in prison and a $2 million fine, according to documents detailing terms of the plea agreement.
During a federal drug investigation, authorities raided Rife's home and west side tattoo shop. Among the items seized were several pieces of Ohio State football memorabilia.
Watch 10TV News and refresh 10TV.com for continuing coverage.
May 26, 2011: Ex-Buckeye Ray Small Claims He Got Car Deals As Player