Monday, May 30, 2011

Sports Illustrated alleges years of violations by Ohio State under Jim Tressel

Ohio State isn't out of the woods with the NCAA even thoughJim Tressel has resigned his job. A Sports Illustrated articledelves deeper in the career of Tressel and alleges years of rules violations by the coach and his players.

The article takes Tressel to task for is apparent ignorance of players receiving money and improper benefits, including cars and marijuana, during his time at Youngstown State and Ohio State.

It also touches on Tressel's actions as assistant for the Buckeyes under Earle Bruce in the 1980s. Here's an excerpt of the article:

One of Tressel's duties then was to organize and run the Buckeyes' summer camp. Most of the young players who attended it would never play college football, but a few were top prospects whom Ohio State was recruiting. At the end of camp, attendees bought tickets to a raffle with prizes such as cleats and a jersey. According to his fellow assistant, Tressel rigged the raffle so that the elite prospects won -- a potential violation of NCAA rules. Says the former colleague, who asked not to be identified because he still has ties to the Ohio State community, "In the morning he would read the Bible with another coach. Then, in the afternoon, he would go out and cheat kids who had probably saved up money from mowing lawns to buy those raffle tickets. That's Jim Tressel."

SI claims at least 28 Ohio State players dating back to 2002 are either known or alleged to have traded or sold memorabilia in violation of NCAA rules in exchange for tattoos from local Columbus businesses.

Former defensive lineman Robert Rose was one of those players. He has no regrets about receiving impermissible gifts.

"I knew how much money that the school was making," he told the magazine. "I always heard about how Ohio State had the biggest Nike budget. I was struggling, my mom was struggling. ... It was just something that I had to do. I was in a hard spot. ... [Other] guys were doing it for the same reasons. The university doesn't really help. Technically we knew it was wrong, but a lot of those guys are from the inner city and we didn't have much, and we had to go on the best we could. I couldn't call home to ask my mom to help me out."

Sports Illustrated contacted the school for comment about the new allegations in the story Friday. The magazine was referred to Tressel and his attorney, Gene Marsh. Neither responded to inquires during the weekend. And on Monday after 10 seasons Tressel stepped down.

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