NCAA Football: Ohio State's Tressel Gets Fined, 2 Game Suspension

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It was announced last night that Ohio State coach Jim Tressel will be suspended for two games and fined $250,000.

In a press conference that took place at 7 p.m., Tressel acknowledged that the allegations that he knew of April’s violations by six players months before it was made public, but did not do anything about it, were true.

These allegations were made Monday night by Yahoo! Sports, citing an anonymous source.

It was stated that Tressel was emailed about a financial relationship between two OSU players and a Columbus tattoo parlor. The emails were passed around at the press conference, the first being dated April 2.

In the emails, Tressel’s tipster first informed him that a raid on Edward Rife’s home had turned up OSU memorabilia. Rife is the owner of Fine Line Ink Tattoos. Tressel responded that he would “get on it ASAP.”

The next email was sent on April 16 and stated what Rife said he had in his possession: 15 pairs of signed cleats, four or five signed jerseys, nine Big Ten championship rings and a 2002 national title ring. Tressels response was that he would “keep pounding these kids hoping they grow up.” He also thanked the tipster and told him or her to keep him posted on if he had to do anything.

The last email, dated June 1, was sent by Tressel, asking his tipster for names of current players which might have sold championship rings. The response from the tipster was dated five days later and said he didn’t know any other names, besides the two he had previously named.

Joining Tressel at the conference was Ohio State president Dr. E. Gordon Gee and athletic director Gene Smith. Smith stated that OSU has known of Tressel’s prior knowledge for weeks. OSU self-reported the fact to the NCAA, who said they became aware of it Feb. 3.

According to Smith, he had planned to let the process play out with the NCAA before going public with the media, but decided to call the press conference in response to the Yahoo! Sports report.

Smith also said that OSU is working closely with the NCAA, regarding both Tressel’s violation and regarding an appeal on the suspensions of the five players on Dec. 23.

The two games Tressel will miss are two home games, against Akron on Sept. 3 and Toledo on Sept. 10. The penalties announced at the press conference were just those made by OSU. The NCAA could add onto them at a later date.

Tressel stated that he was very sorry for what he did, but at the time he held back because he did not know who he should tell.

“Obviously, I plan to grow from this,” he said. “I’m sincerely saddened by the fact that I let some people down and didn’t do things as well as I could possibly do.”

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