Investigators with the NCAA are in Columbus looking into new allegations concerning the Ohio State football program that were unveiled in a Sports Illustrated article published earlier this week.
A source close to the ongoing investigation told 10TV's Dom Tiberi on Tuesday that the university invited the NCAA to campus, and that both parties were looking into allegations that as many as 15 current players traded memorabilia for tattoos.
Several players were seen arriving at the Fawcett Center on Tuesday evening, but it was not clear if their arrival had anything to do with the investigation. The players eat meals and attend meetings at the facility, Tiberi reported.
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The Sports Illustrated investigation alleged that since 2002, at least 28 Ohio State football players traded or sold their memorabilia. Sources told the magazine that players have been trading memorabilia, including items bearing former coach Jim Tressel's signature, since at least his second season at Ohio State.
The magazine reported that Tressel violated NCAA bylaw 10.1, unethical conduct, three times. The first when he failed to act when he was tipped off in April 2010 about six of his players selling their memorabilia for tattoos. The second was when he signed his standard form of compliance that declared that he knew of no violations. The third violation was in December when he was not forthcoming with school officials about his knowledge in the investigation.
Robert Rose, who played defensive end for Tressel told Sports Illustrated that he traded and "at least 20" others on the team exchanged memorabilia for tattoos.
The investigation also uncovered allegations that Ohio State players traded memorabilia for marijuana.
University Bumps Up Security At Fawcett Center
Ohio State took measures on Tuesday to increase security at the building that houses the university's athletic department.
Ohio State spokesman Dan Wallenberg said that random people have tried to enter the Fawcett Center since Jim Tressel's resignation was announced on Monday.
Wallenberg said only staff members or people with appointments will be allowed access to the elevators. It is the first time that the university has had to adopt such a policy at the Fawcett Center.
The athletic department's offices have been located at the Olentangy Road facility for about a year.
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May 31: 2011: Tressel Speaks To Players In Team Meeting
May 31, 2011: Ohio State, NCAA Open Investigation Into Terrelle Pryor
May 30, 2011: Sports Illustrated: At Least 28 Ohio State Players Traded, Sold Memorabilia
May 30, 2011: Jim Tressel Resigns At Ohio State