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Tag:NCAA Violations
Posted on: May 13, 2011 12:14 pm
 

Nightclub tries to get OSU in more trouble

Posted by Tom Fornelli

As if Ohio State isn't having a hard enough time keeping itself out of trouble, now nightclubs are trying to get the school hit with NCAA violations. A nightclub in Huber Heights, Ohio was planning on having a graduation party of sorts for Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller and his high school teammate Tre Moore. Both players graduated from high school earlier this year and enrolled early in college for spring practice, though Moore is attending Northern Illinois.

The club, Heat, had advertised the party on Facebook and since it used both Miller and Moore's names, it was an NCAA violation and one that both players had to distance themselves from.

Even though [Miller and Moore] said they had no part in the planning of the event, they moved quickly to disassociate themselves from it after being questioned about their involvement by Wayne coach Jay Minton.

“I was coming home from Illinois after spring ball at Northern Illinois, and coach Minton gave me a call when I was in the airport trying to get to Ohio,” Moore said. “And then Braxton gave me a call and said, ‘We have to find out who did this and get it taken care of.’

“I’m guessing they found some people who knew me and Braxton, probably some Wayne kids. I don’t how they picked me and him, but I’m glad we can clean this mess up.”

The bar had been planning on charging $10 at the door for guys, and $7 for ladies.

Making things more interesting, the club was supposedly throwing a party for two 18-year old kids when it's a 21-and over establishment. Local police said that it would be illegal for the club to even let Miller and Moore inside. Not that this club is averse to breaking the law, as the story points out that there have been 15 incidents with police, including arrests for drug possession, gun possession and an assault of an officer, at the club since it opened in December.

And it's only open on weekends.

Posted on: May 11, 2011 2:43 pm
Edited on: May 11, 2011 2:44 pm
 

Thaddeus Gibson's car was not free

Posted by Tom Fornelli

When the latest news regarding Ohio State and a car salesman first broke over the weekend, there was a lot to take in. While there may be all sorts of reasonable excuses for why so many Ohio State players and family members were buying cars from one man, Aaron Kniffin, at two separate dealerships, perhaps the thing that stuck out the most was what Thaddeus Gibson paid for his car. Or more specifically, what he didn't pay. According to the original report, the title on Gibson's car listed the purchase price at zero. Which was news to Gibson who claimed he was still making payments on the car.

And, as it turns out, he likely is. In another story in the Columbus Dispatch on Wednesday, it turns out that Gibson paid quite a bit more than zero dollars for his Chrysler.

As Ohio State University and the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles continue separate investigations into athletes' automobile purchases, one mystery has been solved.

BMV records show that former linebacker Thaddeus Gibson paid $13,700 for a 2007 Chrysler 300C that he bought from former Jack Maxton salesman Aaron Kniffin in June 2007. 

So at least that mystery is solved, and obviously things look a lot better for Ohio State in this case now that they have proof none of the players were getting cars for free. Still, this news doesn't absolve Ohio State of any possible wrongdoing. A lot of people associated with the school and football team have bought cars from Kniffin over the years and if the NCAA decides that they were getting a discount on the vehicles based on who they are, then the school is going to be punished for it.
Posted on: May 7, 2011 1:00 pm
Edited on: May 7, 2011 1:06 pm
 

Ohio State needs to part ways with Tressel

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Over the last decade he's gone 106-22 with seven Big Ten titles and a national championship. Against Michigan, he's led his team to a 9-1 record, and has sent countless players from his school on to the NFL. All are wonderful accomplishments that make sure his name belongs beside the great Woody Hayes as one of the best football coaches in Ohio State history.

Unfortunately that name, Jim Tressel, will likely evoke some other images besides on field success years from now. Much like so many people remember Woody Hayes' name for the time he punched a player to put an end to his career, Jim Tressel's legacy could face the same kind of fate.

Now a lot of people will remember Tressel for his seeming lack of control or his flaunting the rules over the last year. First there were the revelations that Tressel's players had been selling and trading merchandise for discounts at a tattoo parlor, which was only made worse when we found out that Tressel knew about it months before Ohio State reported it to the NCAA.

That story, deservingly, put a huge target on Jim Tressel. It was a blatant and unacceptable skirting of the rules by the head coach. One, that if done by any other college football coach in the country without the accomplishments of Tressel, would have resulted in that coach being fired. But not at Ohio State where the school's president, E. Gordon Gee, was too busy making jokes about whether or not Tressel would fire him.

I don't think Gee or many others at Ohio State are still laughing.

Not with the story that broke on Saturday morning involving a couple of Columbus-area car dealerships, one salesman and a lot of Ohio State players and family members buying cars. Now, this isn't a situation that can be placed solely on the shoulders of Jim Tressel, but the entire compliance department of the Ohio State University. I mean, it's possible that the Committee on Infractions could find out that Ohio State players received discounts on numerous cars, and that Ohio State's compliance department approved of the purchases. That is the kind of thing that happens before the NCAA says those words that no school in this country ever wants to hear.

Lack of institutional control.

While it may not be fair to pin the blame for this latest Buckeye mishap squarely on Tressel's sweatervest, the fact is that right now, the best thing for Ohio State to do would be part ways with their head coach. He needs to go, and as I've already said, he already deserves to be fired for the way he handled "Tatgate."

There always has to be a fall guy. In sports, in business, in politics, in just about every walk of life. As the public face of Ohio State football, Tressel is that fall guy. This latest compliance disaster may not be his fault, but by firing Tressel, Ohio State could save itself some larger sanctions from the NCAA.

More on Ohio State

Make no mistake, there will be sanctions coming from the NCAA and the COI. If USC could be held responsible for Reggie Bush's car, then you have to think Ohio State will be as well. When the NCAA does get ready to come down on Ohio State, if it sees that Jim Tressel is still the head coach and has survived, it will look like Ohio State is sticking a certain finger in the air at the NCAA, the COI and college football in general.

From outside the NCAA perspective, the longer Tressel sticks in Columbus, the longer the media will continue digging into any other possible transgressions that may have taken place under Tressel's watch. As long as he is there, there will be media scrutiny, and as we've seen in recent months, the media has a tendency to be a better watchdog than the NCAA itself. And who knows what is left to be uncovered? Considering we first began hearing about questionable behavior at Ohio State under Tressel with Maurice Clarett in 2003, you'd be naive to think that these cars and those free tattoos were the only times that Buckeye football players possibly broke NCAA rules over the last eight years.

There are a lot of dark clouds over Columbus right now, and they won't be going anywhere for a while. Still, the sun is going to break through at some point, and the sooner Ohio State says goodbye to Jim Tressel, the sooner the sun will reappear.

 

Posted on: March 17, 2011 8:40 pm
Edited on: March 17, 2011 8:46 pm
 

NCAA upholds OSU suspensions, Tressel to sit too

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The chances that the Ohio State Buckeyes will be contending for a Big Ten title or a national title in 2011 have just taken a hit. The suspensions of the five Ohio State players from TattooGate, the mess that got Ohio State in all this hot water in the first place, have been upheld by the NCAA.
According to this decision, Mike Adams, Daniel Herron, DeVier Posey, Terrelle Pryor and Solomon Thomas must sit out the first five games of the 2011 season for selling awards, gifts and university apparel, as well as receiving improper benefits in 2009. These student-athletes must also repay money and benefits ranging from $1,000 to $2,500.
“While we are disappointed that our appeal request was denied, we respect the NCAA and accept its ruling,” said Gene Smith, Ohio State associate vice president and athletics director. “The players are sorry for the disappointment they have caused, will learn from their mistakes, and will strive to earn the confidence and support of everyone associated with the university through their future conduct.”
“The university remains steadfast in its commitment to continually improve the compliance education process,” said Dr. John Bruno, faculty athletics representative to the Big Ten and NCAA and Ohio State professor of psychology. “We believe that we do a good job in educating our more than 900 student-athletes, but we strive to do better to help them make good decisions.
There will be no further appeals from this point, and all five players will sit out the first five games of the 2011 season. And guess what?

Jim Tressel will be joining them. For all five games. From the Columbus Dispatch:
Ohio State and football coach Jim Tressel announced tonight that he would accept a five-game suspension for his role in the scandal that brought major NCAA violations to OSU's door.
The announcement came moments after the NCAA denied Ohio State's appeal to reduce the five-game suspensions of five football players for selling memorabilia and accepting discounts on tattoos, a violation of the NCAA extra benefits rule.
Tressel had been suspended for two games and fined $250,000 by the university for his own violations, which came to light last week. A source told The Dispatch that it was his decision to increase his suspension to five games; his fine will remain the same.
The five games that Tressel and his players will miss are against Akron, Toledo, Miami, Colorado and Michigan State. While I wouldn't worry much about Akron and Toledo if I were a Buckeye fan, those games against Miami and Michigan State could pose quite a problem to a team without it's starting quarterback, running back, wide receiver and head coach.
Posted on: March 11, 2011 12:24 pm
Edited on: March 11, 2011 1:05 pm
 

Luke Fickell may fill in for Jim Tressel

Posted by Tom Fornelli

While we don't know what the NCAA and the Big Ten are going to do with Ohio State and Jim Tressel, we do know that the school itself has suspended Tressel for the first two games of the 2011 season against Akron and Toledo. Which means that Ohio State needs to figure out who will take over the role of head coach during those two games.

While there isn't exactly a rush to make a decision, and there's some uncertainty as to who would make the decision, the consensus in Columbus is that it will likely be co-defensive coordinator Luke Fickell.
With Tressel suspended for a major violation of NCAA rules, the Buckeyes will need to designate an acting coach for games in September against Akron and Toledo. The buzz has been building that the nod will go to co-defensive coordinator Luke Fickell.
Tressel used to have an assistant head coach, but that person, Darrell Hazell, left in December to become head coach at Kent State. Since then, speculation has been that Tressel would recommend Fickell for the position this spring. Fickell coaches linebackers and works with fellow coordinator Jim Heacock on the defensive game plan.
As is only natural at this point, the Columbus Dispatch also did a quick background check on Fickell and found that he's had only four minor rules violations in 10 years at Ohio State, and none since 2005. Which, in case you aren't completely aware of how many violations actually occur, is pretty good. Minor violations happen all the time as the NCAA has a whole lot of rules. Some make sense, and some are ridiculous, and plenty of coaches violate the rules without realizing it at the time.

What Fickell really has going for him, though, is that of the four minor rules violations he committed, he didn't wait eight months to report them.
Posted on: March 9, 2011 2:15 pm
Edited on: March 9, 2011 5:02 pm
 

Georgia self reports 5 NCAA violations

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Take not of this, Jim TresselGeorgia found out about five violations the school committed stemming from its recruitment of defensive end Ray Drew and it reported them right away. Georgia didn't wait eight months in hopes that Drew could still play this season or anything!

The violations are all of a secondary nature, and are mostly a result of former Bulldogs Randall Godfrey and David Pollack -- a current analyst on ESPN -- attending Drew's commitment ceremony in January.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has learned that UGA had to report five NCAA rules violations to the SEC as a result of Drew’s Jan. 28 news conference at Thomas County Central High School. Drew, a five-star recruiting prospect, announced that day he was committing to the Bulldogs.  The 6-foot-5, 250-pound defensive end has since signed a national letter-of-intent with UGA.
Georgia Athletic Director Greg McGarity detailed the violations in a March 4 letter sent to SEC Commissioner Mike Slive. That letter was obtained by the AJC through an open records request.
“The University of Georgia (UGA) is reporting an institutional violation of NCAA Bylaws . . . within our program,” McGarity wrote in the letter. “The violation involves prospective student-athlete (PSA) Mr. Ray Drew and two former letter winners who appear to be representatives of the University’s athletics interests.”
Neither Godfrey or Pollack are named in the school's report, but there's plenty of evidence they were there from photos, and their presence is what caused Georgia to look into the case to begin with. The violations being of a secondary nature, it's not likely that the NCAA will impose any kind of punishment on the school, but odds are the SEC will. Though I wouldn't expect there to be loud repercussions.
Posted on: March 8, 2011 7:54 pm
 

Jim Tressel fined $250k, suspended 2 games

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Shortly before a press conference on Tuesday night, Ohio State announced some self-imposed penalties on head coach Jim Tressel in regards to Tressel's knowing about six Ohio State players selling memorabilia eight months before the school reported the case to the NCAA. Tressel will be fined $250,000 and suspended for the first two games of the 2011 season against Akron and Toledo.

Along with those penalties, Tressel will also be required to attend a 2011 NCAA Regional Rules seminar before September, and must review the "Protocol of Reporting Violations and bylaw 10.1 with the entire Ohio State staff on a quarterly basis through 2012.

Of course, these are just the penalties that Ohio State is imposing on Tressel, though the school said it has no plans on firing him -- in fact, President Gordon Gee said he's more worried Tressel would fire him -- and Tressel said at no time did the thought of resigning cross his mind. Still, the NCAA and possibly the Big Ten are yet to weigh in on the case. 

It's entirely possible that if/when they do, Tressel's punishment will be much more severe than what Ohio State has imposed.

As for the press conference, Tressel, Gee and athletic director Gene Smith said quite a bit without saying much of anything. The trio also refused to answer a lot of questions claiming that since the case was ongoing, they couldn't comment. Which, in the realm of public opinion, won't do Ohio State any favors.
Posted on: March 7, 2011 7:48 pm
Edited on: March 7, 2011 8:05 pm
 

Report: Tressel knew of violations in April

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Remember last December when there was all the hullabaloo about five Ohio State Buckeyes selling memorabilia to Edward Rife, the owner of a tattoo parlor in Columbus? Remember how everyone was all up in arms about those five Buckeyes all being allowed to play against Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl, and not having to begin serving their suspensions until next season?

Man, those were some crazy times. Thank goodness we don't have to deal with any of that mess anymore. Oh, wait. Yes, it appears we do. According to a Yahoo! sports report, Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel knew what his players were up to in April of last year. A good eight months before Ohio State told the NCAA it knew of the situation.
Ohio State coach Jim Tressel was informed that several Buckeyes players were selling memorabilia more than eight months before the school claims it was made aware of the scheme, a two-month Yahoo! Sports investigation has found.
Tressel received information that players were selling items to Edward Rife – the owner of Fine Line Ink Tattoos in Columbus – as early as April 2010, according to a source. However, neither Ohio State nor the NCAA investigated the transactions or the players’ relationship with Rife until December 2010, when the school claims it was informed of the situation by the local United States Attorney’s office.
Ohio State director of compliance Doug Archie declined immediate comment when reached Monday by Yahoo! Sports. Tressel and athletic director Gene Smith were unavailable for comment. The NCAA declined comment.
If this is true, then both Tressel and Ohio State could be in a lot more trouble. Tressel could be charged with all sorts of violations, including unethical conduct and failure to monitor and promote an atmosphere of compliance. Just imagine the fun Michigan fans would have with that following the beating they took with the whole Rich Rodriguez investigation.

In fact, things could be so bad for Tressel if this is true, that failing to report what he knew right away could result in his termination. As is detailed in section 5.1 of his contract which says that failure to report "any violations" could lead to "termination by Ohio State for cause." There's no way to know if things will go that far.

Still, if this report turns out to be true, and the NCAA comes down hard on Ohio State -- though with the decisions the NCAA has made lately, who knows where they'll come down on this -- it's not entirely out of the question. It's going to be an interesting spring for Tressel and the Buckeyes, that's for sure.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com