Anyone who is tired of the Terrelle Pryor-Jim Tressel-Ohio State rings and memorabilia scandal, avert your eyes.
During a recent interview with Ohio State’s student newspaper The Lantern, ex-Buckeyes wide receiver Ray Small reiterated that selling rings and other memorabilia items was a regular occurrence among him and other players. He also admitted that he sold things for cash and got car deals while he was attending the school and an active member of the heralded football program. In Small’s own words, “everyone was doing it.”
Amongst the gems that Small offered in the interview:
- "I had sold my things but it was just for the money. At that time in college, you're kind of struggling."
- "It was definitely the deals on the cars. I don't see why it's a big deal."
- "If you go in and try to get a tattoo, and somebody is like 'Do you want 50 percent off this tattoo?' You're going to say, 'Heck yeah.'"
Small was also asked if he was aware of NCAA policies in place that prohibit players from doing specifically what he cited he and his teammates had repeatedly done.
"They explain the rules to you, but as a kid you're not really listening to all of them rules," Small said. "You go out and you just, people show you so much love, you don't even think about the rules. You're just like 'Ah man, it's cool.' You take it, and next thing you know the NCAA is down your back."
In December, of course, the school’s athletic director Gene Smith famously said: "There are no other NCAA violations around this case. We’re very fortunate that we do not have a systemic problem in our program. This is isolated to these young men, and isolated to this particular instance."
So much for that theory.
The team’s head coach, Tressel, will go before the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions on August 12 to answer for team’s many, many violations.