Tag:Jim Tressel
Posted on: June 2, 2011 6:57 pm

Former Buckeye LB says he was offered a car

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Well what do you know. A post about an Ohio State football player and his car, and the football player isn't Terrelle Pryor. Former Ohio State linebacker Brian Rolle, who was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in April, says that he was offered a car while he played at Ohio State, but he turned it down. In an appearance on ESPN Radio's All Night on Wednesday night, Rolle told the story to host Jason Smith and the Naples News has the details of the conversation.

“Somebody actually offered me a car and I said no,” Rolle told Smith. “I bought a 2002 VW Jetta in ’09 and someone offered to give me another car, a better car, and cheaper, and being the type of a person I am I said no to it because I wasn’t raised to do something like that.”

Rolle also went on to praise his former coach, Jim Tressel.

“I love the guy, he showed me how to grow from an immature kid coming to college now I’m a man getting ready to graduate,” Rolle said. “All because of him taking the chance coming down to Immokalee, a small town and recruit a kid like myself. I owe him a great deal for the success I’ve had thus far. I love him and he’s a guy I haven’t lost faith in and I still trust in him.” 

Rolle also went on to say that he isn't going to follow the trend of bashing his former teammate Terrelle Pryor, calling him a brother and saying he loves him. Which is probably the right thing to do. Understandably, Pryor has taken a lot of heat in recent days for everything that's gone on during his time in Columbus, but it's really not fair to blame Pryor and Pryor alone. He was one of many Ohio State players over the years who allegedly skirted NCAA rules while at Ohio State, and all under the watch of Tressel and the Ohio State Athletic Department. 

Posted on: June 2, 2011 1:14 pm

Gary Pinkel has no Ohio State aspirations

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Now that Jim Tressel is no longer the head coach at Ohio State, we should all probably get ready for six to eight months of speculation about who will eventually take his place in Columbus. The name we'll hear about more often than any other is Urban Meyer, but what if Meyer is serious about being done with coaching? Where will Ohio State go from there? Gary Pinkel's name is one that could come up, as Michigan was interested in the Missouri head coach, and Pinkel is from Ohio. Given the success he's had at Mizzou and his Ohio roots, it would only make sense that he be mentioned.

Though Pinkel would like to put an end to that speculation right now. Talking to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Pinkel said that Missouri is where he's at and where he plans on being.

"There's 5,000 names probably up for that," Pinkel told the paper. "I grew up in Ohio and I have great respect for Jim Tressel, too. It's very unfortunate what happened and how everything came down.

"I'm the head football coach at the University of Missouri and I'm committed to trying to continue to build the program and make it better and better. And that's what I intend to do."

Which is a lot easier said than done because, after all, there is no offer in front of Pinkel right now. The Dispatch also asked him what he would say should he get an offer, and Pinkel said he'd tell Ohio State the same thing. Which is no doubt exactly what Missouri fans want to hear from their head coach, but depending on what happens with Ohio State when the NCAA is done with the school, it may not be as easy to tell Ohio State no if a real offer eventually does come along.

Posted on: June 2, 2011 9:49 am

Podcast: Ohio State, Preseason Top 25s

Adam Aizer and J. Darin Darst react to the latest news out of Ohio State and the Sports Illustrated story that blasts the program. What is Jim Tressel's legacy? Who else should be held responsible at Ohio State? Plus, we take a sneak peak at Phil Steele's Top 25.

Listen now:
Posted on: June 1, 2011 5:44 pm

Coaches (and LeBron) respond to Tressel decision

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Since seemingly the entire college football world is talking about Jim Tressel's decision to step down at Ohio State amid the program's growing improper benefits scandal, it's no surprise that his contemporaries across the FBS are, too.

Perhaps most solidly in Tressel's corner is Texas's Mack Brown, who had this to say:
“He’s done a lot of great things in college football,” Brown told the [Austin] American-Statesman, “and I know he’ll be a hall-of-famer at some point.”

“Jim Tressel’s a good friend,” Brown added. “I hate it for him, and that he and Ellen (Tressel’s wife) are going through this.”
Tressel's rival at Michigan, Brady Hoke, was similarly supportive ... if not so supportive as to abandon his habit of not actually naming the school from which Tressel resigned:
“I have great respect for Jim Tressel and what he has accomplished during his coaching career. We enjoy competing in ‘The Game’ and have great respect for our rivals in Ohio. Our program looks forward to the last weekend of November.”
At the SEC spring meetings, Bobby Petrino wasn't quite as sympathetic, saying he "felt" for Tressel but also questioning why the "Buckeye Five" had been eligible for his Razorbacks' Sugar Bowl defeat to OSU. (A discussion of his demands that his players tell the truth also seemed to be a rebuke of Tressel's cover-up attempts.) Nick Saban, though, used a military metaphorto express his reaction (emphasis added):
"I guess if you were in the military, we would say we lost a fine comrade in this whole thing," Saban said Tuesday at the Southeastern Conference spring meetings. "He's a good friend. He's been somebody that I've had a tremendous amount of respect for for a very, very good number of years. We kind of grew up together in coaching. I'm from the Big Ten - Ohio and Michigan are places I've spent time in coaching, and we crossed paths quite a bit. I always had a tremendous amount of respect for Jim Tressel as a person and professionally - the way he sort of handled his business with a lot of class and character."
While we're talking about Ohio, though, we may as well mention the reaction of one of the state's most famous sons ... and most hated villains. Via our sister Eye on Basketball blog, LeBron James:
"He's done some great things for that university. It's unfortunate all the allegations and things that have come out in the past year," James said."Everyone in Columbus and Ohio knows how important, how great he was for the team and university ... "I wish him the best, and the organization. Hopefully the university will come back. It's one of the best universities we have in America."
That's a very nice thing for LeBron to say. The guess here is that he's still not allowed inside the state's borders.
Posted on: June 1, 2011 5:17 pm
Edited on: June 2, 2011 7:16 am

Terrelle Pryor driving with suspended license?

Posted by Adam Jacobi

If there was any hope at Ohio State that the heightened media scrutiny on the Buckeyes would relax with Jim Tressel out of the picture, that should be out the window already. USA Today reported this afternoon that Terrelle Pryor, who's already under NCAA investigation for various car-related dealings, actually shouldn't be driving that Nissan 350 Z at right at all, considering that he currently has a suspended license. Here's more:

Pryor's license was suspended last month because he had no proof of insurance when he was stopped by Columbus police for running a stop sign Feb. 17.

"His suspension was related to the Feb. 17, 2011, conviction," said [spokeswoman] Lindsey Wayt Bohrer of Ohio's BMV. "His court date for this was April 2. We didn't receive the paperwork from the court on this until April 14. Then we give the customer 30 days notice before suspending. To lift the suspension, he must show proof of insurance from the Feb. 17, 2011, date. As of now, he has not shown proof of insurance. If he shows proof of insurance, the suspension will be deleted. If he does not show proof of insurance, he will have to pay the reinstatement fee and be suspended through at least Aug. 18."

From what Bohrer explained, even though Pryor failed to show proof of insurance in the middle of February, his license wasn't suspended until May 14, so he's only been driving illegally for fewer than three weeks. Further, he could have the suspension lifted tomorrow if he can prove he's been insured since February. He's a Pennsylvania native living in Ohio, so it's possible that the paperwork is all still out there and he hasn't gotten an opportunity to get it together for the courts yet. Also, there's nothing inherently dangerous about driving with a suspended license, per se; it's not affecting the car's equipment or Pryor's ability to operate it, so the only irresponsibility here is to Pryor himself.

And yet. And yet, and yet, and yet.

This report would seem to further demonstrate that Pryor is of the mindset that he can play by different rules than everybody else. And for the most part, he has been allowed to operate exactly that way during his time in Columbus. Major college football players are pretty much exalted wherever they go, so Pryor's hardly alone, but the man was allowed to drive up to eight different cars (not all at the same time, that's physically impossible) while in Columbus. According to Monday's Sports Illustrated report, he also traded over 20 pieces of equipment for tattoos and, when asked by a tattoo parlor employee where they came from, reportedly told him "I get whatever I want."

At the same time, even if Jim Tressel hadn't yet resigned, this isn't really an issue that should be left at his feet. Pryor's the one deciding to drive on a suspended license, not Tressel, and there's only so much responsibility a coach should take for the everyday decisions of his grownup players. If Terrelle Pryor wants to ball harder than Arthur Bach when he's off the field, that's his choice and the consequences will be his too. 

Posted on: May 31, 2011 4:59 pm
Edited on: May 31, 2011 5:38 pm

Minor league baseball team pokes fun at OSU

Posted by Chip Patterson

The story of trouble at Ohio State is everywhere you look in sports right now. Whether it is Jim Tressel's resignation, or even more news regarding Terrelle Pryor and/or automobiles; you can't avoid talk about the scandal in Columbus. Heck, even LeBron James was questioned about the issue leading up to the biggest series of his career. But one minor league baseball team has decided to spin the scandal into one of the more creative game promotions I've heard this season. Fans of the Fort Myers Miracle will get a chance to participate in "Rest the Vest" Night at Hammond Stadium when the Miracle host the Jupiter Hammerheads on Monday, June 6.

As part of the "Rest the Vest" promotions, fans are encouraged to bring in their sweater vest and place it in a retirement bin near the front gate of the stadium. Turning in your sweater vest will give you the opportunity to participate in a test drive of a sports car from Classic Cars of Florida. In addition to the sweater vest drive, fans who show their tattoo will be given a piece of Miracle memorabilia to keep or sell.

This will likely enrage many Ohio State fans, but it seems like just the type of creativity that you could only get away with minor league baseball - the best kind. Not only are they knocking on Tressel, but also including car dealerships and tattoos for memorabilia "to keep or sell."

The Fort Myers Miracle are a Class A Advanced affiliate of the Minnesota Twins. For more information on "Rest the Vest" Night, you can find it at their official site here.

H/T: @OmarDuckets via @darrenrovell
Posted on: May 30, 2011 9:40 pm
Edited on: May 31, 2011 6:01 am

Report: Buckeye Five were not alone

Posted by Tom Fornelli

With the announcement that Jim Tressel had resigned at Ohio State on Monday morning, it was mentioned that the move came following some findings of a report in the next issue of Sports Illustrated. That report was published on Monday evening. It includes new revelations that the five Buckeyes suspended after trading Ohio State memorabilia for tattoos were not alone. According to the report, it's a practice that has gone on for years and includes at least 28 players.

That support crumbled suddenly over Memorial Day weekend. Tressel was forced out three days after Sports Illustrated alerted Ohio State officials that the wrongdoing by Tressel's players was far more widespread than had been reported. SI learned that the memorabilia-for-tattoos violations actually stretched back to 2002, Tressel's second season at Ohio State, and involved at least 28 players -- 22 more than the university has acknowledged. Those numbers include, beyond the six suspended players, an additional nine current players as well as nine former players whose alleged wrongdoing might fall within the NCAA's four-year statute of limitations on violations.

One former Buckeye, defensive end Robert Rose, whose career ended in 2009, told SI that he had swapped memorabilia for tattoos and that "at least 20 others" on the team had done so as well. SI's investigation also uncovered allegations that Ohio State players had traded memorabilia for marijuana and that Tressel had potentially broken NCAA rules when he was a Buckeyes assistant coach in the mid-1980s.

The report later goes on to name a long list of players who allegedly traded items for tattoos and possibly other things as well. It's also reported that former Buckeye Jermil Martin gave Fine Line Ink owner Edward Rife a watch and four tickets to the 2010 Rose Bowl in exchange for a Chevy Tahoe. As for quarterback Terrelle Pryor, it's alleged that he made upward of 20 different trades -- including game-worn shoulder pads, helmets and game pants -- at the tattoo shop. When an employee asked Pryor how he got all this stuff Pryor responded "I get whatever I want."

Perhaps the most damning aspect of all of this for Jim Tressel was that some of the autographed merchandise that players traded at Fine Line Ink and Dudleyz Tattoo & Body Piercing -- the shop where Buckeyes allegedly began trading items years ago before Fine Link Ink opened -- featured Tressel's autograph.

Dustin Halko was an artist at Dudley'z from the fall of 2002 until early '04, and he says that players regularly visited the shop and handed over signed jerseys, gloves, magazines and other goods in exchange for tattoos. Halko says he personally inked at least 10 Ohio State players -- he clearly remembers tattooing guard T.J. Downing, tight end Louis Irizarry and wide receiver Chris Vance -- and in return he was given autographed memorabilia. (Downing denies ever entering Dudley'z and says that if his memorabilia was there it had been stolen out of his locker; Irizarry and Vance could not be reached for comment despite extensive efforts to contact them.) Halko says that more players, including Clarett (who declined to comment), traded with other artists, and he estimates that at least 15 players violated NCAA rules at Dudley'z just as Pryor & Co. did at Fine Line Ink. Two associates of Halko's who hung out at the shop -- they asked not be named because they fear reprisals from Ohio State fans -- confirmed Halko's account that players commonly swapped memorabilia for tattoo work. One said he saw "at least five" Buckeyes conduct such transactions; the other said "at least seven."

"What they brought in depended on the kind of tattoo they wanted," says Halko. "If it was just something small, it might be a signed magazine or something like that. If it was a full sleeve, they might bring in a jersey." (Tattoos range in price from less than $100 for simple designs to several thousand dollars for more elaborate ones like the full-sleeve inkings of some Buckeyes.) Halko says those working in the shop preferred receiving items with multiple autographs. His most memorable acquisition was a scarlet-and-gray training jacket with between 10 and 15 signatures on it, including Tressel's. Halko says he also traded tattoo work for a magazine bearing the coach's autograph.

As if all this isn't bad enough for Tressel and the Buckeyes, there were also some possible recruiting violations brought up that Tressel allegedly committed while serving as an assistant under Earle Bruce in the mid-1980s.

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." 

Just in case that wasn't enough, the report also goes into detail on some of Tressel's past transgressions while not only at Ohio State, but Youngstown State as well.

All in all, this is not a report that sheds a favorable light on Jim Tressel, the Buckeyes or Ohio State in general. It's rather obvious now why Tressel decided to resign on Monday morning. Whether that move will cause the NCAA to show the school some mercy remains to be seen, but you have to believe that Buckeye fans across Ohio and the country won't be sleeping well tonight. 

Posted on: May 30, 2011 5:54 pm
Edited on: May 31, 2011 5:56 am

Report: Significant NCAA investigation of Pryor

Posted by Chip Patterson

The Ohio State football community was rocked early Monday with the news of Jim Tressel's resignation as the head football coach. This may end up being a Memorial Day that Buckeyes fans would rather forget, particularly if star quarterback Terrelle Pryor ends up receiving further punishment for receiving impermissible benefits.

Trouble at OSU

The Columbus Dispatch reported Monday afternoon that the NCAA and Ohio State are conducting an independent investigation of Terrelle Pryor, according to sources close to the situation. The school would not confirm whether Pryor is being investigated, but sources informed the Dispatch that this is the "most significant inquiry to date." Pryor has been questioned by OSU compliance officials before, but after seeing Tressel's tale come to a screeching halt there is plenty of reason for concern in Pryor's case.

Pryor has already been suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season for selling or exchanging memorabilia for cash and tattoos, so it is hard to imagine any good ending to further investigation. Since that December suspension, more details have emerged that tie Pryor to different automobiles and signed uniforms.

With all the buzz around Pryor, particularly with rumors of more Ohio State related information to be released in the coming days, it is not unlikely to imagine that Pryor may have played his final game in a Buckeyes uniform.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com