It All Started with a Tattoo

By Alex on May 9, 2011 at 1:00p
90 Comments
TP knows how to pimp his ridePictures like this now require further explanation.

tat·too
2    [ta-too] Show IPA noun, plural -toos, verb, -tooed, -too·ing.
–noun
1.
the act or practice of marking the skin with indelible patterns, pictures, legends, etc., by making punctures in it and inserting pigments.
2.
a pattern, picture, legend, etc., so made.
–verb (used with object)
3.
to mark (the skin) with tattoos.
4.
to put (tattoos) on the skin.

It all started with a tattoo. A mark of the skin, performed by "artists" across the country on thousands of Americans per day. It seems so simple, but in the case of present context, this simple practice in life has become a headache none of us could ever imagine just six months ago. Some free ink started the prying open of the Ohio State jar of worms, a process that appears to have no end and becomes a nightmare each and every day with more details seeming to magically appear on the front page of newspapers and media outlets across the nation.

We all know the story by now. After a federal investigation lead the FBI to the tattoo parlor of Edward Rife, it was discovered that Terrelle Pryor, DeVier Posey, Solomon Thomas, Boom Herron, Mike Adams, and Jordan Whiting had all either traded or sold game-worn items and memoriabilia for cash and free or discounted tattoos. A month later, it was discovered that Jim Tressel had knowledge of the players selling their items to Rife, thus proving that he knowingly played ineligible players and lied to the NCAA about reporting all violations he was aware of by not signing a waiver issued early in the fall. Both of these events not only damaged the reputations of the players and the great Jim Tressel as well as suspended the guilty subjects for the first five games of the season, but also put the program at risk of greater penalty when their fate will be decided at the official NCAA hearing in August.

We thought that was it and prayed the NCAA would come down with some mercy on JT and the school, but boy were we wrong. When an event with the magnitude of Tatgate occurs, there will also be people who want to dig further into the proverbial closets of a big time program to see what other skeletons they can funnel out. That happened this past weekend, when the Columbus Dispatch reported that the university was investigating multiple automobile purchases by dozens of current and former OSU players and their families at two local car dealerships, where the said car salesman was a tad bit shady to say the least.

Before you start with the "this happens everywhere", please stop. I don't mean to be rude to your opinion or insight, and you are right that stuff like this does happen at all big time college programs, but we're the ones who got caught this time. Not only did we get caught, but we may have been caught at the most inopportune time. Yes, technically the accused should be innocent until proven guilty and some reports claim that OSU's compliance department approved the said purchases (if so, this could be even worse), but the writing is on the wall here people and this writer certainly isn't buying that ALL of those car deals were legitimate and done at fair value.

For starter's the biggest red flag to me is that one of the car salesmen, Aaron Kniffin, was put on the ticket list to get free passes to multiple OSU games, including the 2007 National Championship and the 2009 Fiesta Bowl. We all appreciate an honest car salesman (if there is one that exists) who could hook us up with a really good price on the car we want, but I don't think we'd go as far as to give him free tickets to games of those magnitude when ticket quantities are limited and everyone and their mother is begging you to get them into the stadium. The second sketchy issue to me here, is that Terrelle Pryor "test drove" a car for three days when going home for a weekend and that his mother and brother also bought cars from the dealership. Nobody test drives a car for three days, let alone three hours, and this is the same Terrelle Pryor who told Buckeye Nation he sold his memoriabilia to Ed Rife in order to help financially support his family who was in dire need of cash. How can both a mother and a brother in this same family afford cars at "book price" if TP had to go to such measures just to get them a few thousand bucks. Finally, the infamous Thad Gibson car, whose records show was signed over to the former Buckeye defensive end for $0. Gibson and the dealership claim that Thad is still paying this car off and don't know why the title shows $0, but even a five year old could tell you something shady is definitely going on here.

So what does this all mean, you ask. Are Jim Tressel and Thad Matta to blame? Is the OSU compliance department to blame? How could the Dispatch out the OSU program like that? What will happen to Ohio State now?

These are all valid questions, and some are not easy to answer. For starters, please stop again if you are blaming Matta, JT, or even the Dispatch. The coaches can't be held accountable for this. The players are fully educated in what receiving improper benefits means and what constitutes a violation. The coaches cannot be babysitters and have enough other problems to worry about, both on and off the field, to be sitting there watching every single move the players make. I think if a coach notices something a little shady, such as a player from a less fortunate background driving an expensive car or an athlete coming to the facility with a new car every other week, they should definitely report it, but once again, these are 18-22 year old kids and their families we are talking about, who know full well what is or is not a violation. If this turns out to be bad for OSU, the players and their families are the ones you need to hold accountable for these trangressions.

As for the Dispatch, I do understand the sentiment that you may be angry at them for "letting this information out". I always wondered why the Detroit Free Press wrote the articles about the players practicing too many hours at Michigan, thus getting the Wolverines in some hot water with the NCAA, but after this incident I fully understand why. As I mentioned there are many media outlets prying further into OSU's closet full of skeletons after Tatgate. This information would have come out eventually, and the writers over at the paper were just doing their jobs by reporting significant information that would have came out in a matter of weeks anyway. The more important fact here in defending the Dispatch, is that they weren't breaking the story and making people aware of these potential violations for the first time, rather just reporting that the school had launched an investigation on potential violations of multiple players across multiple sports. The compliance office was already aware of this issue and performing their due dilligence, so this was no breaking news to the school or the NCAA.

Finally, there is the compliance office. If they knew of these purchases and "approved" them and they end up becoming NCAA violations, they are certainly to blame. If that is not the case and they had no knowledge of these purchases, whether these become violations or not, you have to commend the office for doing their job and digging into this issue further. I certainly think this could have been caught earlier and it certainly may have, but would you report something like this if you didn't have to? I know I sure wouldn't, but with what is currently going on with JT and the Tat Five, Gene Smith may have ordered Doug Archie's troops to just get everything off the table at once and clear the program of all bloody hands.

It is unknown what will happen to Ohio State's program at this point. This may be prove to be just precautionary nonsense and go away, or it may linger and tie in with everything else the NCAA plans to hammer down on the school in August. Those accusations of being a repeat offender or having lack of institutional control could certainly come back into play with these new details, charges that could end up penalizing OSU worse than you ever could imagine. On top of that, the school's reputation is sure to take a big hit either way, which is a whole other beast in that recruiting will be extremely more difficult and your life as a Buckeye fan could be terribly miserable for the next five years or so.

The bottom line is that this one is sure hard to swallow. Ohio State did wrong, and in this case there is no defense for these actions. The good thing is that Buckeye pride is strong, but the bad news is that the golden era of Ohio State that we have grown accustomed to over the last six years appears to be coming to a rapid ending. As fans we will fight through this and know that the program will be back on top one day, but for now we need to prepare for the worst and the potential doom that lies ahead in the next few months.

It all started with a tattoo. A simple mark of the skin. Some free ink. Itseemed so simple at first, but this tattoo is sure leaving a permanent scar on the Ohio State program that will last an eternity.

90 Comments

Comments

BuckeyeSki's picture

Well written Alex. I dont disagree with anything you wrote.

Banned from BlackShoeDiaries since 2008. Crime: Slander/Defamation of Character Judgement: Guilty

Irricoir's picture

What is worse? All of the sudden waking up and discovering your proud team that you pay homage to is getting the death penalty, or getting fed bits and pieces, over a 6 month ordeal, all with the intentions of "Prepairing the Reader" for the worst possible outcome? You know, all of the worrying is not going to change a thing. There is no amount of preperation that will soften the blow when the hammer finally drops. I think I will take the route of the Ostarich and bury my head in the sand until that final bullet bites me in the ass. No news is good news. I might be absent for a few months. You will be missed. /endsarcasm

I don't always take names when I kick ass but when I do, they most often belong to a Wolverine.

Alex's picture

I'd rather have the hammer dropped all in one shot as well...unfortunately it has been a long, painful torcher that is occurring and burying your head in the sand won't do any good...i think we all just want this to end and move on with whatever the end result is...i don't think it will be the "death penalty" a la SMU, but I do think the NCAA is going to make a statement against the way big time programs are operating and unfortunately, the victim is OSU

builderofcoalitions's picture

It's looking more and more like USC-type sanctions. I suspect the bowl season and a few sholarships are up for grabs.

That said, I suspect most, if not all of the car transactions are questionable. I'm wondering if any deals were made like the one LeBron James' mother made in buying him a Hummer during his senior year. She borrowed the money based on his earning potential. It wasn't a big deal for the state of Ohio, but I suspect it will be for the NCAA, especially if the players were the ones doing the borrowing.

Although this doesn't look good right now, I don't think we're in SMU territory just yet. If you remember, the straw that broke the camel's back in that one involved continued payments after the NCAA had already found SMU guilty, similar to Bruce Pearl. This investigation may cost OSU some wins, scholarships, and bowl games, but I doubt we're looking at a death penalty.

Was I the only one who remembers that Yahoo! Sports claiming that there were still two big stories coming out in regards to major viloations at major programs? That news can't come quickly enough.

Because we couldn't go for three.

Colin's picture

Pursue "Ohio State and Scandal," It's what's hot right now!

btalbert25's picture

Eh, I'm done worrying about it.  This stuff has been going on for a long time, not only here, but right now we're the one under the microscope.  If you look at the success on the field and in recruiting its really quite amazing we've been able to dodge the bullets for so long.  FSU, Miam, Bama, Auburn, Michigan, USC, and many many others have gotten themselves in varying degrees of trouble in the last 15 years.  Some of them have landed in hot water more than 1 time.  I guess it's our turn now.  Take it like a champ and move on.  The rest of the summer will be rough, but for fans of many schools, not just the Buckeyes.  This will be the summer or sanctions for the FBS. 

The only thing I hate to see is that we likely won't see JT coach another game at Ohio State.  Gene Smith could end up taking the fall too if this car thing becomes something major.  For what it's worth, I don't believe that any of the trouble the school has gotten in is anything new to Ohio State either.  One recruiting class doesn't just come in and start doing all this stuff.  This was a precedent that was set years ago, probably into the Cooper tenure.  I guess the NCAA turned a blind eye long enough, now we'll take our turn as the example of how the NCAA is relevant.

builderofcoalitions's picture

You're probably right. Get ready for 5-7.

Because we couldn't go for three.

btalbert25's picture

Truth be told, I can still see the upcoming season being not that bad, with or without any of the Tat 5.  After that, who knows I guess, but it'll likely take a couple of season for any sustained bad play.  We'll have this year and next years recruiting classes still I'm sure.  If there is a reduction in scholarships, it probably wouldn't be til we are recruiting the 2013 kids.  Bowl bans would suck, and probably will come, we'll see I guess.

builderofcoalitions's picture

At least the young talent already on the roster (and coming in the next two seasons) looks good. They might be able to survive a season or two before making another title run. However, I think it will be Fickel at the helm and not Tress.

Because we couldn't go for three.

tampa buckeye's picture

The NCAA better not bite off more than they can chew.

 USC and Ohio State could be the start of two pretty good super conferences.

 What can the ncaa really do?  Piss and moan about some kids selling and trading their own shit? MY GOD?! How do they sleep at night?  

People that aren't sports fans are laughing at all the money wasted on the investigation.  If they do decide to drop the "hammer" (as many of you put it)  Ohio State could survive without them.  Ohio State T.V. coming soon.  Death to the NCAA!

Nitz25's picture

It's that kind of attitude that got SMU the death penalty

Seth9's picture

What can the ncaa really do?  Piss and moan about some kids selling and trading their own shit?

For starters, they can suspend them...

Pam's picture

They all ready did that.  It's about Tressel now.

m1ek's picture

You guys do realize the "everybody does it" defense is both lame AND untrue, right?

First, you have the issue of scale, but even then, there's this:

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/campusrivalry/post/2011/02/with-...

Look at that. Why, it's a school in your own conference, one that actually won 'co-championships' in recent memory. Imagine that.

 

BuckeyeSki's picture

Look at that! They also hired a known child molestor and have a player rap-sheet that rivals Thug U. So much in fact, that the State Penn (see avatar) meme holds true. I dont think I have to mention it, but will anyways, there was an ESPN Outside the Lines special on the criminal activity at State College.....good try though

Banned from BlackShoeDiaries since 2008. Crime: Slander/Defamation of Character Judgement: Guilty

m1ek's picture

Nice redirect. 0 NCAA violations. Period. So, no, everybody doesn't do it.

BuckeyeSki's picture

0 NCAA Violations. 1 pair of fecal stained khakis. One is squeaky clean, and the other, well...not so much.

 

 

Banned from BlackShoeDiaries since 2008. Crime: Slander/Defamation of Character Judgement: Guilty

SouthPlainfieldNut's picture

The "You too" defense is a well-established reasoning fallacy, and I'm pretty sick of hearing it. I can't stand the "this goes on at every school in the country" approach to somehow rationalizing the behavior of Ohio State athletes and its coaches. It's ridiculous. So, because this happens everywhere, that makes it ok? Here's a thought, why don't we be the trendsetters? If it happens everywhere, is it absolutely absurd to suggest that Ohio State athletes be the first to not do this? Because, I don't know, it's the right thing to do?

m1ek's picture

Hence untrue AND lame. Don't forget the untrue part, though.

BuckeyeSki's picture

It's absolutely true bromo. And if we wanna get into whats lame and not lame, why dont you look into the mirror and realize that you literally created an account less than an hour ago so you could troll a rival teams fan-base and pound your chest about having 0 violations. Thats not lame at all. /sarcasm

Someone has their panties in a bunch because they know that tOSU could get the death penalty and STILL smash on State Penn annually. Have a wonderful day good sir.

Banned from BlackShoeDiaries since 2008. Crime: Slander/Defamation of Character Judgement: Guilty

m1ek's picture

"everybody does it" = untrue.

"everybody does it except Stanford and Penn State" = marginally defensible, as long as "it" means "any major violation in any sport, ever".

You still, after that, have to worry about scale. # of violations, severity of violations, etc.

Hope this helps.

 

Alex's picture

M1EK not trying to burst a bubble here but I guarantee you athletes at Penn State currently are or have in the past received improper benefits...they just haven't got caught...i guess props to Joe Pa for fooling the world for this long! It's not about who cheats...it's who gets caught that matters in college sports

scrappled's picture

O RLY?  You guarantee it?  Is this some reverse trolling technique with which I'm unfamiliar?

btalbert25's picture

Just because there haven't been any violations doesn't mean there aren't special benefits made for athletes.  If you've ever known anyone who lived in a major college town, or you have lived in a major college town, you've seen or heard of players who drive really nice cars, players who didn't go to jail when they got pulled over and were drunk, players who didn't have to pay a bar tab, and players who have gotten stuff for free.  That is the "everyone does it" defense.  It has nothing to do with actual NCAA violations or sanctions.  Ohio State, other than secondary infractions, have not been in impending doom mode in my whole life until now.

Alex's picture

+1000000000000

m1ek's picture

Guys, you really don't get it.

 

It IS possible to, although probably not be completely perfect, be a lot better than what Ohio State has apparently been doing lately - and, no, tatgate isn't all of it - there's also the Clarett and Smith stuff, as well as the QB at Youngstown (for Tressel's record book).

And the NCAA violations are a completely separate issue from trouble with local law enforcement. BTW, you're trying to use that as a crutch against the guy who was eventually banned from the biggest PSU homerhole on the internet for being too rough with the homers on that very issue.

It is NOT an accident that PSU's never had a major violation, and it's not a coincidence that the only other school without one also has a rep for clean living. It's NOT an accident that schools like Notre Dame have one major violation that they couldn't have done a lot to prevent, while other schools have boatloads of them. It's NOT an accident that tOSU has eleventy billion minor violations and other schools have far less - and it's NOT just due to the fact that other schools are lucky, or hide it better, or are somehow not being investigated, ever.

Don't you think a journalist would love to be the one to break the scoop that PSU was finally caught cheating, if that's what's really happening?

The one thing Paterno STILL does, even in his obvious decline, is run a clean program. Period. You guys could do a lot worse than to learn from him in this instead of resorting to poop jokes and the like.

JakeBuckeye's picture

It's NOT an accident that tOSU has eleventy billion minor violations and other schools have far less - and it's NOT just due to the fact that other schools are lucky, or hide it better, or are somehow not being investigated, ever.

Its actually because we self report our violations. The NCAA rarely has to find violations for us. We find them, and we report them.

The one thing Paterno STILL does, even in his obvious decline, is run a clean program. Period. You guys could do a lot worse than to learn from him in this instead of resorting to poop jokes and the like.

Lets pretend like Paterno actually still runs the Penn State program: That depends on what you call clean. If we are playing a game of morals, I'm sure any moral person would consider committing a crime much worse than breaking the NCAA's silly, corrupt, greedy rulebook and/or guidelines.

Pam's picture

And let's pretend that if JoPa was 53 instead if 83 and an unifirable icon,whether he would still have his job with his win/loss record in the last ten years, clean NCAA record or not.  Lloyd Carr never had a violation and got fired for losing. Cooper too. Face it, nobody at PSU will fire Joe, but if he was the coach at most schools, we would be gone by now.  Tressel wouldn't have survived 4 losing seasons in 5 years. 

GunnersApe's picture

Lloyd wasn't fired he retired. RR was fired, Gary Moeller was "asked to resign".

Pam's picture

You think if Lloyd had beaten tOSU in '07, he would have "retired"?

GunnersApe's picture

Rumor was that Lloyd wanted out after 05 and Bo talked him out of it. 2007 Lloyd was on "cruise control" letting Mike Debord and Ron English do the heavy lifting, even after App St. UM's AD "Sailor" Bill Martin said "Lloyd could coach as long as he wanted". He would of never been fired.  

Lloyd was gone regardless even if it was 14-3 UM in 2007.

Pam's picture

RR was the coach in '08. Carr's last game was the Cap One bowl 1/1/08

GunnersApe's picture

Yes, the smack down of Tebow.

Pam's picture

On that day and that day only, I was a Wolverine fan.  Afterward, I took a shower to wash off the filthy residue left behind and resumed my hatred for everything maize and blue

btalbert25's picture

No where did I comment on legal/moral issues or did I fall back on poop jokes.  I specifically said go to any major college town where there is a major program in one of the revenue sports and tell me they aren't getting improper benefits or that they aren't gaining personally for being a football player at Ohio State, yes PENN STATE, Alabama, Notre Dame etc.  So, when you respond to a post I make, attack what I said, no what I didn't say.  I have personally witnessed, at programs which have not been in trouble in the last 25 years, players driving around in Lexus, Mercedes, and Range Rovers.  Now, I don't know where you come from, or how much you had in college, but I certainly couldn't have afforded these kind of rides as a kid.  However, the kids with such rides are ones who will certainly end up cashing in big on down the road. 

So if you believe that Penn State lands big recruits because the kids want nothing more than to sport the Penn State uniform and to play for Joe Pa, so be it.  That is certainly your opinion and you are entitled to it.   As for me, I believe that all programs have perks for the kids to come.  Much better than average housing, the best meals, and yes, funky arrangements for the sale of cars to various players.  Lets not forget, the wining and dining that goes on at official visits before guys sign on. 

I'm not contesting Penn State's record in terms of the NCAA and sanctions.  I'm not bringing up poop or cops, I'm just saying it's extremely naive to think that Penn State doesn't have players who receive improper benefits.  Whether it's secondary infractions by the school in recruiting or some rich booster who is giving loaded hand shakes and cheap cars.  Penn State plays the game just like everyone else.  I don't wish ill will to your program, but prepare youself, their day will come, and it may be as soon as Joe Pa is gone.

m1ek's picture

You are making the same stupid claim the SEC makes - that everybody does it but only poor widdle us gets picked on.

BTW, when I went to Penn State back in the early 1990s, I did not ever, not even one time, see a football player driving a vehicle that was obviously beyond their means.

It IS possible to be clean, or at least cleanER. You guys are trying to pretend that if you're not perfect (which PSU probably isn't!) you shouldn't bother to at least try to be cleanER. That's sad; that's SEC-level sad.

btalbert25's picture

Where did I say anything about us being picked on?  You are certainly drawing conclusions, because I never one time said or even defended the infractions.  I have said all along, it's our turn to be the school that gets caught and made and example of.  Look at my previous posts on this topic?  I'm just making the claim, that at some level, everyone is cheating and that if you think your program is above that, perhaps you head is in the sand a bit.  Look, Ohio State got caught.  Do I like it? No not at all.  Did I expect that they probably play the same corrupt game as everyone else?  Yep.  The level of success the team has had on the field and in recruiting for the last decade has been great, but we all knew it would come to an end.  We just were hoping it wouldn't be ugly.  We though Tressel and this program were above those kinds of things.  Clarrett and Troy Smith had nothing to do with Tressel, it was booster related and the NCAA found no wrong doing by the program.  This time, it's the program and Tressel.  We were shocked.  You'll be quite shocked one day when it's your school that gets nailed.  I'm not saying a clean program can't be run.  I'm saying a clean program can't be great.  Maybe that is why Penn State and Notre Dame are no longer serious contenders year in and year out. Maybe they just aren't cheating enough to land what it takes to have sustained success.  Whatever the reason, please don't act like I feel we are a victim here.  While I hate that we got caught and are the ones the NCAA is going to make an example out of, we fully deserve everything that is coming our way.  I just suggest that you don't be so high and mighty about your Nittany Lions because once the NCAA is at the door, everyone will trash you guys, deserved or not.

m1ek's picture

You're back to "everyone does it and we're just getting picked on" (insert "this time" if that helps).

There are cleanER programs and dirty(ER) programs. Apparently you think that since none of them are perfect (although by rule Stanford and PSU still are), there's no need to point out any difference between, say, Notre Dame and Switzer-era Oklahoma.

Woooo!

And, by the way, one of the teams we got voted #1 over after the 1982 season was the cheatenousest cheaters that ever done cheated. And the team we beat to win the 1986 MNC wasn't precisely white hatters either. I don't think (K)nebraska cheated when they jobbed us out of the 1994 MNC though, if that helps.

Didn't we, supposedly unable to compete with the cheaters, beat you guys head to head to win our "co" championships in 2005 and 2008, BTW? Did you forget about that already?

btalbert25's picture

Clearly, you aren't grasping what I'm saying.  It doesn't matter if you are cleanER or dirtiER.  If you aren't 100% clean, you are a cheater.  So the Tat 5 selling their shit is probably not as bad as Cam Newton getting 200,000 grand or whatever he got, but it's still breaking a rule which is cheating.  Improper benefits of any kind nt mater what ER you want to look at is still CHEATING.  So, at some level, yes everyone does stretch the rules to varying degrees.  No matter what, it's still cheating and if the NCAA chose to pursue it, they could find some violation by someone at any major program. Now it could be small or it could be big, but either way the NCAA could nail the school for it if they chose to do so.

I never said anyone was picking on poor Ohio State.  So, you  need to get that into your skull.  I'm not outraged over what is happening here.  We got caught, it was wrong, we'll take our punishment now.  WE GOT CAUGHT CHEATING.  I said it, I keep saying it, but you chose to ignore the fact that I have never said anyone is picking on us, or singling us out.  So, just because you think your team is lessER of a cheatER doesn't mean your program is bettER.  In my eyes you are still a cheater.  Wrong is wrong, a white lie is still a  lie, stealing a dollar is still stealing.  If you think that your program is better because they are not as dirty as Ohio State, that's fine, I think if you stretch any rules, you are still a cheater, and your day will come.

You are right you had 2 really good years, and we made BCS bowls still those 2 years and were disappointed by the outcome of both those seasons.  So that's where Ohio State's program has been. So yeah competing 2 years out of 10 I guess is alright.

m1ek's picture

Oh, it matters a hell of a lot. Because nobody's perfect (Notre Dame's one major violation was arguably out of their control), but you can strive to be better...

unless you're Ohio State, apparently, where the proper response is to just claim we're all dirty so there's no point in trying to be cleaner than you are now.

BuckeyeSki's picture

Careful beating on your chest so hard bro, your gonna bruise!

Banned from BlackShoeDiaries since 2008. Crime: Slander/Defamation of Character Judgement: Guilty

btalbert25's picture

Dude, one more time you have read a post I made and then drawn a conclusion that was no where in the text of what I say.  I never said we shoudln't strive to be a cleaner program.  I never condoned anything that was done.  I just said it happens and we got caught.  In the NCAA's eyes, a violation is a violation and they'll chose to slam some schools for something fairly minor, and let another school go for something major.  The Moe Clarrett stuff and Troy Smith stuff weren't the universities fault.  They were booster related!  It had nothing to do with Tressel, the AD, or the University.  This stuff has everything to do with players getting improper benefits and a coach not reporting it.  Major violation.  We'll get more than a wrist slap but we probably won't have to bend over.

What is worse, a guy being payed by a university, 6 figures no less or guys selling their own property?  In the NCAA's eyes, it's the guys selling their personal property.  Alabama got busted over freakin textbooks.  Wisconsin basketball got nailed and players were suspended over a discount a store gave the players.  So, the NCAA doesn't care what degree of cleanliness your program has.  There is nothing rational about how they dole out punishment.  They say a cheater is a cheater and if you get caught, you may or may not get nailed.

m1ek's picture

I keep reading your comments and they keep saying the same thing - you keep defending tOSU for being a cheater just like every other school (ignoring the fact that some cheating, like what Notre Dame got dinged for, is far more defensible than what you're getting dinged for now; and other cheating, such as SMU's, is worse).

The rest of the college football world sees what you guys are doing/saying this way:

"I'm not saying everybody does it, but everybody does it". 

And that's exactly what you've been trying to get away with here, over and over and over again. Feel free to turn "you" into "y'all" if that helps; you're obviously just one among many.

Call it moral relativism if you must, but I think being cleanER than the other guy is, in fact, something to aspire to. You guys obviously do not. That's fine, but be honest about it at least.

btalbert25's picture

I don't see where I've defended anything that happened.  I'm just smart enough to realize that all schools bend the rules.  Those are 2 separate but true statements.  Ohio State cheated and got caught.  All major programs cheat to varying degrees, since any bending of the rules is cheating(In the NCAA's eyes).  I don't condone any of it, so I haven't defended Ohio State by saying well everyone does it.  I'm just acknowledging that everyone does at some level.  Wait til Joe Pa is gone, your record won't be so pristine. 

Over and Over I've been trying to tell you, but you refuse to listen, that the NCAA doesn't care what your infractions are, and there are absolutely no methods behind their madness here.  One day they'll nail y ou over something minor, but Auburn will get off from something major.  Look at all the BS Michigan went through over nothing.  The NCAA didn't nail them, but they had to go through all kinds of crap for what equated to guys maybe practicing a couple hours too long.

I've never used everyone does it as an excuse for our indisgressions.  I'm simply pointing out the obvious, that apparently you don't believe your school is partaking in.  So, keep thinking that your infractions aren't that big of a deal, at one point we all thought selling a trophy or trading for a tatoo wasn't a big deal.  Boy were we wrong.

m1ek's picture

Your last paragraph explains the difference. I *do* think selling those things is a big deal, and so does Penn State. On the homerhole I alluded to once or twice, people are joking about an edict Paterno supposedly made a while back that prevented football players from getting free Frostys at Wendys (a coupon available to anyone) because it would look bad.

When one of our players did a stupid thing (let an agent buy him a suit before a bowl game after which he was going to turn pro anyways), Paterno didn't hide it and play him anyways; he kicked him off the team. Curtis Enis. Bang.

Same bowl game - another player slacking off on grades - also headed out; NCAA didn't even require him to be suspended (yet). Joe Jurevisius. bang.

Lost to Florida in that bowl game. Compare and contrast.

GoBucks713's picture

Kate Moss

-The Aristocrats!

Irricoir's picture

It's not small, it's thin! It's a thin comment! -Deuce Bigalow {revamped}

I don't always take names when I kick ass but when I do, they most often belong to a Wolverine.

William's picture

So a program that has had 46 players face 163 criminal charges since 2002 (PSU) is cleaner than a program that has reported its multitude of secondary violations, as well as its coaches major violations (OSU)? Even if Ohio State does commit a large amount of minor NCAA violations they at the very least are able to report them. The everbody does it claim may be lame and annoying, but there is a reason that people constantly state it, and that's because its true...

m1ek's picture

Compared to poop jokes, the "everybody does it" defense suddenly looks a little less lame. Good job!

JakeBuckeye's picture

While I agree with you to some extent that the "everybody does it" defense is pretty lame, it takes a very naive college football fan to think that their program and their players are all clean under the NCAA rulebook.

Let me elaborate. My uncle played football at FCS Sacramento State from 2000-2004. He played defensive end and really didn't get much playing time until his final year or so. Needless to say, we discuss college football a lot, ESPECIALLY what is going on right now at Ohio State. He talks his fair share of smack with me about it, but it is all light-hearted as he knows first hand what goes on in college football. He's told me about him and a large group of his teammates going down to a booster's business and doing an hour's work for a day's pay. And these are just the "crappy" players so-to-say. The players that actually contributed to the team on the field during games got a few hundred or more for virtually nothing other than playing well. Remember that this is a very lowly Sacramento State football program. During my uncle's time there they won no more than five games in one season.

So yes, I do believe things like this go on everywhere, including Stanford and Penn State. You're not an idiot if you disagree, because they do have zero violations technically. But, don't call me an idiot for what I perceive.

Just to note: I have perceived this long before anything came out about the five players, Tressel, or these new car allegations.

Pam's picture

And not everybody has 46 arrests in 5 years and has a special OTL report about the high # of arrests.

William's picture

I'd take NCAA violations which don't break any laws, over 46 players facing 163 criminal charges since 2002. So at Ohio State we may break ridiculous NCAA laws but we don't break the law with nearly the severity as the Penn State Kitty Cats. Also last time I checked Tressel covered up for his players to protect them. Joe Pa covered up for a dirty old man so he could molest boys. Hmm which is the lesser of two evils? Here's the link troll.. http://mikegh.wordpress.com/2008/07/27/penn-state-is-outscoring-iowa-in-...

Hoody Wayes's picture

Alex,

There is a possibility we are all hyper-focusing on Ohio State's troubles. I suggest this, in light of a much bigger story, that has some precedence and could, in fact, render all of this a non-issue: namely, the DOJ letter sent to the NCAA, regarding why there is no play-off system, in college football.

Whatever punishment is meted out to the Buckeyes, it may not hold. For, if the NCAA ends up in court against "a handful of conference commissioners and university presidents" as Dan Wetzel notes in "Justice letter could signal big trouble for BCS"(1), the NCAA - which, exists at the pleasure of the universities - could find its power usurped, as it was in 1984, when Oklahoma led the charge over expanding television revenue and the CFA was founded.

I'm surprised 11W doesn't have somebody on this story. Whatever Ohio State's punishment, it may, ultimately, be moot. What college football fans end up with - may - be much more appealing.

1.http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/football/newsslug=dwwetzel_justice_letter_c...

2.http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/story/15037623/feds-barking-up-...

Maestro's picture

Well, as we are seeing at USC you can just appeal and postpone the punishment (scholly reductions).

vacuuming sucks

GunnersApe's picture

Sorry, OSU will not have the luxury of over signing(30) like USC did.   

SouthPlainfieldNut's picture

I am absolutely fed up with people blaming the the Columbus Dispatch for reporting this. And, even if this were a report of public records without the component of the school commencing an investigation, I still wouldn't care. It is not the job of the Dispatch to protect the Ohio State University, nor is it the job of of The Detroit Free Press to protect the University of Michigan. People have been criticizing the Dispatch for not protecting "its school," but Ohio State is not the Dispatch's "school." The Dispatch is a journalism entity and its job is to dig and report news without a trace of bias. The day they fail to do this is the day journalism is meaningless and void. These are reporters and investigative journalists who are getting paid to do this particular job. You can't be mad at them for simply exposing the truth. If you want to be mad at someone, be mad at those responsible for being ignorant of rules that they already knew. Don't be mad at those who simply call them out on it. Good journalism isn't about "protection." It's about the truth.

Pam's picture

Ken Gordon told me that one of the reporters on the car story did an investigation that resulted in a prisoner on death row being exonerated.

NW Buckeye's picture

You are absolutely correct.  The job of the Dispatch is to dig up and report news.  They have an obligation to journalism and to run objective and detailed accounts of whatever is news worthy.  My only problem with this story is there are a lot of allegations and innuendo without any real depth.  OK, so a lot of athletes bought cars from these two dealers, and the Dispatch is alleging in their article that there may have been preferential treatment.  Where are the facts to support those charges?  Just saying that so many athletes purchased autos from these dealers is only scratching the surface.  I took journalism classes, and the premise that was pounded into my head was to make sure an investigative story told the whole truth.  One can not single out these car deals to athletes and not look at similar sales to other people. There are no apples to apples comparisons in the Dispatch story.  The most glaring thing that one can draw from their story is that the companies involved in these transactions may be fudging figures on their sales reports to the state.  The story leaves a lot more to be told.  Shoddy journalism is shoddy journalism.  I am not disputing anything in the story, it is just that if falls far short of a complete story.  And, don't claim that this is an expose with more to come.  Generally, stories of that nature are followed up quite quickly with the gory details and comparisons. 

And, for what it is worth, I have on two occasions in my life time taken a 3 day test drive (over the weekend) of a used car, and I am just an ordinary consumer (I also did not buy either car).  And, I know other people who have done the same.  So. Alex's ascertain in the story that nobody takes a 3 day test drive is simply untrue. 

SouthPlainfieldNut's picture

It doesn't seem to me that the Dispatch itself is alleging anything in the article. It merely states Ohio State's enforcer of NCAA rules is investigating the purchases to see if any violations took place. It then goes on to share information about some of the purchases (some of which Doug Archie was unaware of), and also the fact that Thaddeus Gibson purchased a car for $0, which the salesman could not explain when he was confronted with that information. They also have quotes from the dealer, who disputed the records of the sales and claimed the Dispatch was off from what the figures actually were. But above all, the crux of the story is that an investigation is being launched, and provides reasons as to why that might be. I'm failing to see where it actually alleges wrong doing. And why can't this be a story that just might have an eventual follow up on the results of this investigation? Isn't the same thing happening right now with the NCAA investigation into the dealings of Jim Tressel? I mean, were reporters supposed to wait until that investigation was complete before they reported that an investigation even took place? That doesn't seem to make sense to me. The story isn't complete because there is nothing more to report until this investigation is finished, it is merely alerting people to the fact that the investigation is happening. I see nothing wrong with that.

btalbert25's picture

Personally, I haven't read anything where people are mad at the Dispatch.  Now, maybe in other posts that I just haven't had the chance to review they are.  However, this isn't hard hitting journalism.  It would've been much more impressive if they justs sat on the info they had and did a little research to connect the dots or prove that there was not any wrong doing.  I'm not so sure that saying, Ohio State  compliance is reviewing sales of cars is really that much news. 

Back in the 1980's SI and the Lexington Herald Leader did great investigative journalism when they exposed the scandals around UK.  They did some leg work.  In today's journalism, most guys don't seem to do that much research and work.  They spit out stuff we know, or old news that someone else did the work for and share their opinion.  Why not invest some more time into and actually break a story, not wait for compliance and the NCAA to find wrong doing then right a piece on it.  I can write summaries and reviews.   Come up with something of substance. 

Certainly nothing the Dispatch has come out with has drawn eyes toward Ohio State.  All it did was get a bottom line on ESPN.  If they would've come up with information that proved wrongdoing, that there was a cover up , and compliance was  in the know and ignored it, that would've been a story.  Instead we got, 50 sales, compliance knew about it and said they didn't believe any violations occurred.  Hard hitting stuff right there.

 

scrappled's picture

You haven't read anything where people are mad at the Dispatch?

Have you checked the internet yet?

NW Buckeye's picture

Running a story that causes this much stir could be construed as alleging improprieties.  Obviously many here and elsewhere are assuming the worst case scenario because of this story.  Damage done regardless of the outcome.  Does that make it wrong to run with the story?  I don't think so, but it would have been a better story, whether good or bad for OSU, if they had offered up similar auto deals involving other customers.  It is this age of "trying to be first" to scoop a story at internet speed that causes most of this.  And, yes, I concur with BTAlbert, my take from ESPN on this was "meh".  Yet, blogs everywhere are exploding with condemnation. 

Denny's picture

*props*

Taquitos.

Sgt. Elias's picture

Were any of the basketball players mentioned in this cars-4-zero BS? We can haz 1 sport unmolested please?  If this allegation proves 100% stink than I may just have to force myself to develop a love of the NFL (ugh..cannot happen: Bungles? Clowns? Seppuku?). This must be what it feels like when you get cheated on, but the other dude is 63 years old with gout and Hep-C...and they did it in your bed thrice while you were volunteering at the cancer ward.  Honestly, if we're this dirty, we need to tear it down and start anew. It's pathetic (if true). Man, this just needs to come to a conclusion so I can stop F5'ing to see what new turd has been laid.

"Okay -- I've got an El Camino full of rampage here." 

Alex's picture

Unfortunately William Buford and Jon Diebler's parents were mentioned...derp

Sgt. Elias's picture

Ach! Scheiße!! Nein..nein...nein.

"Okay -- I've got an El Camino full of rampage here." 

GunnersApe's picture

Joe Schad (ESPN CFL) just said Football and Basketball. Not that ESPN is the end all of sports reporting.

btalbert25's picture

Do players get special benefits at all major programs?  Absolutely, so the "it happens everywhere" statement is mostly true.  It's also totally irrelevant as it applies to Ohio State in this situation.  Alex you, addressed this point in the post and I have to agree.  This contradiction, though, is why a despise the NCAA.  They pick and choose which program to nail at what time.  The bigger scrutiny they face, the bigger the program they'll go after.  The same guys behind the Tat 5, were deemed elligible for a bowl, now they are going to come down hard on the program.  A non AQ school was probably going to get in the BCS title game, so you make sure to over rule Auburn's suspension of Cam Newton. 

I'm going to avoid pointing at other schools.  Ohio State probably should've fallen into some trouble in the past as well.  Other schools probably would've hit some trouble for the Troy Smith Fiasco, and possibly Maurice Clarrett.  Other schools may end up getting nailed for the landslide of secondary or minor infractions that Ohio State reports annually.  It's our turn, and this kind of crap is going to keep coming out.  We'll hear about other improper benefits, handshakes, hookers/strippers/sluts set up for guys on recruiting trips.  Stuff that isn't all that secret, like the cars are going to come out when the program is under a microscope and it's going to look bad, and it may factor in when the hammer falls. 

Pam's picture

Other schools may have hit some trouble for the Troy Smith "fiasco" if they hadn't reported the violation, made him pay the money back, aplogize and sit out 2 games (21/2 if you count 1st half of TX game) one being a bowl. Because tOSU did those things the NCAA took no further action. 

anchorman's picture

Michigan State in 1996 and Auburn and a few other schools had this problem and had violations from NCAA. Does anybody remember what they were?

Honestly, I am choosing to believe our compliance dept. They knew about the sales, monitored them, and found nothing then. I will stick by them. Its their necks out on the line. However, if they did miss something about this, then watch heads roll. Starting with Gene Smith.

But from what I see, other then the Zero Gibson paid-he says he can prove he is still paying for the car-nothing overly concerns me that this will be major.

I could see the NCAA backing off on this a bit, believe it or not.

And for those of you morons who think we will get the Death Penalty! PLEASE SHUT THE **** UP!

M Man's picture

Re:  "The newspapers..."

I've been struck, through the past five months, at the general fairness of the Dispatch, and I've been especially impressed, in the internet age, that the Dispatch has been slow to jump to unwarranted conclusions.  I think that the Dispatch has mostly asked the hard questions in an intelligent way.  And when there has been a fair point of view to be offered in defense of Coach Tressel and the University, they've done so courageously.  (Yes, you read me right; I think it takes a certain dash of courage, in this media environment, to not pile onto Coach Tressel...)

One thing I'd like to point out, as a difference between Michigan in 2009 and OSU in 2011, with regard to the local newspapers.  The Michigan investigation arose solely as a result of a newspaper story.  There would have been no investigation, but for the newspaper's (basically one columnist, we think, who corralled the regular Michigan beat-writer to help him) self-created story.  The Free Press did a story that was not based on any legal investigation, nor any player complaints; the two writers later admitted that they personally sought out every single one of their interview subjects.  A couple of them, the only known "current players" who were quoted in the story were notoriously and unethically misled about their interviews.  It was a hit-job.  A remarkably vicious hit-job.  Later in the official investigation, the newspaper story was shown to have been substantially false and misleading.  By itself, the newspaper story would have been blown up if it were "the investigation."  However, an excrutiatingly careful investigation did show that a few things like not counting warm-up stretching time as part of Countable in-season hours, players required to push a weighted plate for summer school missed classes (allowable in-season but not out of season; and what a quaint notion, punishment for missing college classes) and a mixup in the official job description of a couple of graduate assistants who should not have observed some off-season drills.  We had one guy, a graduate assistant who lied in his statement to NCAA compliance staff.  And he was summarily fired.  (It's still unclear to me what he lied about and why.  But even he came to the hearing when Michigan got one; presumably at the University's expense, to explain himself and why his action should not reflect poorly on  the school or the Rodriguez staff.  He had already been terminated at that point; he'd have little other interest in attending.)

So if all this were transposed to a "Columbus" setting, you guys would have to imagine this outrageous scenario:  that somebody like a Ken Gordon, after writing some very critical columns on Tressel's coaching performance last year, does his own investigative story, and he alleges that Pryor and company were invovled in a dope ring.  And he gets anonymous sources, whom he never names, to say that, yeah they think they had information that Pryor was involved in a dope ring and that Tressel had known all about it.  And it had been that newspaper story, not a US Marshalls investigation, that got all of Tatgate started, notwithstanding the fact that Pryor was never involved in a dope ring, and Tressel knew nothing about Pryor until somebody told him about it after the fact.  Just try to imagine what your attitude would be toward Ken Gordon and the Dispatch if that had been the scenario that got all of this started.

The truth is that you've got a very good newspaper in the Dispatch, and Ken Gordon is a very fair and very fine reporter and writer; he and the Dispatch have done nothing whatsoever like my Free Press simulation-hypothetical.  But just imagine if he had; if you can put yourself in that hypothetical frame of mind, you might be able to appreaciate the widely-held attitude toward the Detroit Free Press, in many circles north of your border. 

original buckeye's picture

What a surprise--a Michigan fan comes on here and thinks the Dispatch is treating OSU fairly, while the Free Press treated Michigan unfairly.  What a shock.

JakeBuckeye's picture

M Man is very respected by people around here, including me. His opinion is very fair and I even tend to agree with it to be honest. His opinions are never just to troll or be blindly in favor of Michigan or blindly against Ohio State.

Denny's picture

/wank wank wank

Jake's right - M Man (though he's got an axe to grind with the FreeP, understandably though I'm not familiar enough with the situation to know how accurately) is also quite level-headed when it comes to most things. 

If you're mad at the Dispatch, you're misplacing your anger. If you're mad at M Man for making a useful comment, you're just infantile.

Taquitos.

M Man's picture

Let me lay it on the line for you, OriginalBuckeye:  I like Jim Tressel.  I respect him.  I hope he survives this episode.  I agree with Michigan's outside counsel for its own NCAA investigation, Gene Marsh (B.S., M.S., OSU), who said about Tressel; "I think if you have a lifelong good record, that should weigh into how things turn out... If it doesn't, then what is the use of living life right?"

I have three main images of Tressel.  One (my favorite) is Coach Tressel, chest-bumping some soldiers after one of them made a diving catch on a dusty makeshift football field in Afghanistan.  Number Two came from Rich Rodriguez, who said he heard about some significant negative recruiting in the Big Ten Conference, NONE of it coming from Jim Tressel and Ohio State.  Lastly, it is the image that I can only imagine, of Tressel recruiting a genuinely good Michigan kid and a truly first class student-athlete like Reid Fragel.

Oh, by the way; if you boys want a reason to really hate Michael Rosenberg of the Detroit Free Press as I do, check this out, from the guy who broke his own paper's ethical guidelines in fabricating his Michigan story in August of 2009:

http://www.freep.com/article/20110425/COL22/110425059/Michael-Rosenberg-OSU-s-Jim-Tressel-should-fired?odyssey=nav%7Chead

 

Go Buckeyes14's picture

I think this whole situation is giving me an ulcer. Sweet.

Leanenaud's picture

I recommend scotch, videos of crazy hair weaves on YouTube (specifically Haiti of Arcadia and Dot... They a mess), Internet porns and baking. They've all brought me through hard times and this definitely falls in that category.

Go Buckeyes14's picture

My stomach thanks you.

nickma71's picture

And Devier Posey isn't even the sure thing when it comes to a big catch...

m1ek's picture

Good point jakebuckeye; this comment was way too thin. Here it is again.

Your last paragraph explains the difference. I *do* think selling those things is a big deal, and so does Penn State. On the homerhole I alluded to once or twice, people are joking about an edict Paterno supposedly made a while back that prevented football players from getting free Frostys at Wendys (a coupon available to anyone) because it would look bad.

When one of our players did a stupid thing (let an agent buy him a suit before a bowl game after which he was going to turn pro anyways), Paterno didn't hide it and play him anyways; he kicked him off the team. Curtis Enis. Bang.

Same bowl game - another player slacking off on grades - also headed out; NCAA didn't even require him to be suspended (yet). Joe Jurevicius. bang.

Lost to Florida in that bowl game. Without our two best players. Compare and contrast to the TatGate Five.

btalbert25's picture

You are right,  JoePa is God, Penn State never cheats Ohio State is evil and Jim Tressel always does.  Ohio State fans are idiots because they are smart enough to realize their school cheats, despite condeming the situation and the infractions.  JoePa is clearly the only coach who has ever suspended players for games to the detriment of the team.  Tressel never did that with Troy Smith, Ray Small, Steve Bellasari, Dough Worthington, or any other player for various significant games. 

We're also idiots for thinking that other programs cheat.  Obviously, only a couple cheat and they get caught and brought to swift justice all the time.  The NCAA definitely judges all infractions by their severity, they are never inconsistent, and if a school has never been sanctioned it's quite clear they have never cheated. Forgive me for my ignorance.  Penn State, the program, and it's fans have always been class and have never done anything wrong.  Joe Pa had a lot of success in his career and clearly he was the reason all huge recruits he has had came to play at Penn State.  He's been able to keep street agents and boosters out of his program, and he has self reported anything that may have happened all the time.  He is certainly the only coach in America who had the level  of success and has been the honest the whole time.  Hell I dont' know why I don't cheer for Penn State. 

GoBucks713's picture

Because you can't handle the 'Moxie'

-The Aristocrats!

btalbert25's picture

That and I don't like throwing bags of urine at opposing fans, harrassing women, making kids cry and flying the confederate flag at tailgates.

GoBucks713's picture

isn't that what Moxie is?

-The Aristocrats!