Posted by Tom Fornelli
According to a report in the Plain Dealer, Ohio State first received a warning about photographer Dennis Talbott as early as 2007. Talbott was recently alleged to have paid Terrelle Pryor anywhere between $20,000 and $40,000 for signed memorabilia. Allegations that Talbott has steadfastly denied. In the latest report it's said that Talbott has been dealing with Ohio State players and signed merchandise for a few years now.
In a March 21, 2007 email to Tressel, which was provided to the Plain Dealer, a source gave the following warning about the alleged online activities of Talbott, a Columbus-based freelance photographer who also is involved in memorabilia sales:
"He has sold over 50 items with underclassmen signatures before their eligibility expires and would seem to be someone that both you and the university is aware of. I have a full report of his eBay activities if you would like to explore further or require documentation."
The email was sent to the account firstname.lastname@example.org. That is the same address that Columbus attorney Chris Cicero used to email Tressel in April of 2010 about OSU players selling memorabilia, an email that Tressel did not disclose to his bosses, an NCAA violation that eventually led to his May 30 resignation.
The Dealer goes on to say that even though Ohio State and Jim Tressel had been warned about Talbott in 2007, that did not stop Talbott from receiving free tickets to eight games in 2008, though the names of the players who left the tickets were redacted from the record.
Ohio State then received a second warning about Talbott in 2009.
The second warning about Talbott to OSU came in the summer of 2009. Two employees of Scioto Reserve Golf Club contacted members of the athletic department after seeing Talbott and Pryor golfing together. One employee said he talked to an Ohio State assistant coach he knew socially, and was told the matter would be taken care of. Another employee, Regan Koivisto, the club's general manager, said he called the football office and detailed his concerns while talking to an administrative assistant.
"I just thought it would be best if the coaching staff was aware, because I'm certain they always had their players' best interests in mind and would want to know," Koivisto told The Plain Dealer.
So you'll begin to notice an alarming trend taking place at Ohio State under Jim Tressel. Tressel would be alerted about potential problems with his players and then do nothing about it. Despite the concerns about Talbott expressed to the school, that didn't stop Ohio State from allowing Talbott to work as a credentialed photographer at home games in 2009.
Obviously, on the surface, Terrelle Pryor playing golf with somebody isn't anything to be alarmed about. But when that person is somebody you've already been warned about in the past when it comes to his relationship with Ohio State players, the fact that Ohio State wouldn't address the issue is mind-boggling.