The old adage that the cover up is worse than the original crime is being demonstrated at Ohio State University as the school received the official, “notice of allegations” from the NCAA in which they question head football coach Jim Tressel’s honesty, integrity and cooperation in connection with the, “tattoo-gate” scandal.
Just a few months ago the NCAA had suspended five players from the football team for the first five games of next season, but did allow the players to participate in the Sugar Bowl. OSU’s star quarterback, Terrelle Pryor, was one of the players suspended and won the MVP of the Sugar Bowl. The NCAA at the time said the players were given an additional fifth game of suspension for not being completely forthright in the investigation. It seems they may have just followed the lead of Tressel.
At the time Ohio State also announced their own one-game suspension of Tressel for next season, which was subsequently bumped up to a five-game suspension when the school discovered Tressel had not informed school compliance officers or administrators of, “what he knew, and when he knew it.”
Read the full allegations against Tressel from the NCAA here.
The layers on this onion keep coming off, and the odor gets stronger.
Tressel has been the OSU head coach for 10 years and has won seven Big Ten titles and a national championship in 2002, “The Vest,” as he is known, has been very popular as well. So popular that when the initial suspension of Tressel was announced at a press conference, OSU school president E. Gordon Gee joked with the media that he hoped “Tressel doesn’t fire me.”
During Tressel’s reign, his football program has been cited for 376 NCAA infractions, mostly minor. This despite the fact Ohio State employs eight full-time compliance officers, more than any other NCAA school. His star running back from his national championship team spent a number of years in prison and Troy Smith, the Heisman Trophy winning quarterback for Tressel, had also been suspended for receiving improper benefits.
The local media, which for years has acted more like a cheerleader than an objective watchdog of the program and Tressel, may now be turning their tides. For months The Columbus Dispatch online version, dispatch.com, has been sifting through emails, text messages and phone records via the freedom of information act. You can find their extensive coverage here.
In today’s edition dispatch.com reveals some of their findings and startling details including Tressel contacting an FBI agent whose son had played quarterback for Ohio State. Tressel never informed his superiors about the FBI, and the FBI agent said the call was “unofficial.”
When the hometown media turns from ostriches with their head in the sand into circling vultures, it is time to start worrying.