OSU: That's Not the Letter You're Looking For

By Jason Priestas on August 10, 2011 at 9:33p

Earlier today, ESPN's Pat Forde published a report stating the NCAA had sent Ohio State a "second letter". The report, originally published under the title "Sources: Ohio St. Gets Second Notice", has been cleaned up a bit to clarify that it wasn't a second Notice of Allegations, but still lays out additional trouble for the Buckeyes:

The NCAA notified Ohio State by letter last week that it is still investigating other issues involving the program. The result could be a second notice of allegations and a second trip through the NCAA justice system.


If any of those reports are verified by NCAA investigators, they could result in additional major allegations against the school.

Forde is currently in Indianapolis for NCAA president Mark Emmert's retreat and received quite the tip, it seemed.

Reached this evening, OSU spokesman Jim Lynch disputed Forde's report. The Dispatch:

The university has received no indications from the NCAA that it could face additional allegations or findings, Lynch said.

Lynch said that OSU President E. Gordon Gee received a letter from the NCAA on Aug. 3, but it concerned only procedural matters about the appearance of OSU officials before the Infractions Committee on Friday.

The letter did not make any references to an ongoing investigation of the football program, Lynch said. Ohio State cannot immediately release the letter because if must undergo legal review prior to its release, he said.

So, who to believe, the institution already in hot water or the connected reporter in Indy?

I'm going to go with the guys that eventually will have to release this document as part of a public records request. Why would they lie about something that's eventually going to become public?

That's not to say there won't be additional allegations downstream, but if -- big if -- those do surface, they weren't spelled out in a letter sent to Gordon Gee last week.


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Bucks's picture

(Copied from sidebar)


Lynch & his comments on the matter are reassuring but noticed tonight that the lingo changed from "letter" to "contacted/informed" in regards to investigation. Informed is subjective enough to include many forms of notice including just direct contact.

Agree with someone who mentioned it, that I would love for it to be squashed completely but just b/c he says no letter, no new investigation ... that does not mean anyone will lay off. Anyways, hope egg is on the face of espn. Even if it ends up being the case, they won't own up to it.

As a sidenote, are there no practice notes from today?

Baroclinicity's picture

It said in the Dispatch article that the letter can't be released until it undergoes a legal review.  Any timeline for that?  They've had it a week already...

When you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

O-H Kee Pa's picture

Jason: considering we don't know any hard facts, I'm going to ask you this questions anyways. In your estimation, what are we really looking at here? Is this a "where there's smoke, there's fire" kind of thing? Or will the process run its course without any further hiccups? Dammit, my mood started to brighten on all things OSU on Monday.

Jason Priestas's picture

I think there's a chance we receive additional allegations, but I'm not sure how big of a chance that is or how insane the additional allegations would be. I don't think anyone can say for sure.

I have a hard time thinking Forde would put himself out there like this and he is surrounded by sources in Indy right now, but it could just be routine coursework from the NCAA, following up on leads. Whether the leads ever amount to anything close to another Notice of Allegations, we'll have to see.

Regardless, OSU will still travel to Indy on Friday and move forward with what has already been alleged. It's anyone's guess as to whether there will be a round two.

Bucks's picture

The more I think on this, the more is just seems unlikely. OSU is still fresh from a summary report that specifically dismissed certain additional media allegations. While I agree that dismissing based off lack of any evidence, does not mean that there is none ... the NCAA chose to include those items in the summary. Unless there is an investigation-to-begin on something completely away (and basically unknown to the media) from any of those items, I just don't see it.

Johnnycake's picture

Dude your site is killing it. Love it. Need more.



O-H Kee Pa's picture

Per Lori Schmidt's Twitter, she got an email from OSU saying letter contains no mention of new allegations (which we know) or a prolonged investigation.

Poe McKnoe's picture

Somebody needs to steal Dennis Dodd's cell phone so he can't be Pat Forde's "anonymous sources".

Kalamazoo Steve's picture

My question is just because Forde is in Indy, who would talk about this to him that is really 'in the know'? The NCAA wouldn't talk about things not yet released, doesn't seem to be their M.O.. And sure as the skid marks on JoePa's pants, TOSU wouldn't leak any more bad news. So who is his source? Just doesn't add up to me. A couple weeks ago we are told no LOIC, now an ESPN reporter has more inside inside info? Horse hockey.

O-H Kee Pa's picture

Well said, and I hope you speak the troof.

Bucks's picture

For me, this is a hard thing to put to toss up. There are always leaks, regardless of entity. Motives vary, but they are always around. As much as I dislike and have disliked ESPN for a long while now, as Jason said, putting your name on a piece is signing that piece in blood (not your words Jason).

I find it hard to believe that this story would be run without some kernel of truth to it. I don't intend to say that in a way that puts ESPN on some believable scale, but Forde is not a dummy or slouch (regardless of disagreements, etc). To go with this today implies a pretty certain belief in the information you have.

I obviously hope it is flat out wrong. I'm annoyed daily by the rerun pieces by most media in regards to tOSU. This is a specific story though, on something different. I still find it incredibly unlikely that this would entail what the NCAA has already basically said "no-go-for-launch" to in the summary report, but that does not mean there isn't anything else.

Jason Priestas's picture

I was just getting ready to say something similar. Presidential administrations have (unwanted) leaks for goodness sake. They are everywhere.

Bucks's picture

Glad the thinking is a bit similar but I'm going to defer to you a bit on the following:

What do you think the chances are a new investigation has begun in regards to anything we already know has been alleged? Is a few weeks enough time for the NCAA to change course and notify on what they just said was a no-go? That, to me, just seems wayyyyyy too quick with the NCAA ... which is why I tend to lean towards something new if true.

Jason Priestas's picture

I honestly don't know and believe a lot of us are in the dark here. I'll let you guys know as soon as we hear something.

Kalamazoo Steve's picture

So in your opinion, who is his source? What would the source have to gain? Seems logical to me that the only two entities that know the truth are the NCAA and TOSU. I just don't see either one of them dropping a dime to a cable network. Maybe a disgruntled OSU staffer? Again, with the timing this just doesn't add up. Leaks come from folks that have something to gain, no?

Jason Priestas's picture

People love to talk. Could be some mid-level staffer at the NCAA.

Kalamazoo Steve's picture

What would the staffer have to gain besides getting fired for talking about things they shouldn't?

Kalamazoo Steve's picture

I guess it could be SI's convicted felon source that leaked all kinds of concrete truthiness.

biggy84's picture

A reporter putting his name on a piece without credible proof? Ever hear of a Pulitzer Prize winner doing the same thing? To think that these "journalists" wouldn't just throw some trash out for public consumption without proof is naive. The ole anonymous- can't divulge my source- crap is far too easy for these clowns. As long as people believe them, they will continue.

Bucks's picture

Good Sir...

I would hope you know what I meant. I would also hope that you don't attempt to paint it with a broad brush. As I said, this is specific & needs to be looked at in that manner.


Edit: I'd also hope that since you don't agree, you look at the entire posting before using myself as your fodder. Thanks.

biggy84's picture

No fodder. My point is that Forde putting his name on it, regardless if it's factual, is not a big deal. These clowns have shown little regard for facts when writing their articles.

tampa buckeye's picture

espn being espn again

iball's picture

+1, Got everyone talking at a time when there isn't much to talk about. Mission accomplished. Does anyone else think all this publicity could actually help OSU in the long run?

“There’s one thing I have learned through all my adventures and conquests - it’s that some people are just wired for success. I had no choice when it came to being great - I just am great.” – Kenny Powers

Bucks's picture

If untrue, absolutely. If true, not a chance.

Jdadams01's picture

My two cents: Forde got a tip that OSU received some kind of letter about investigations from the NCAA and instead of check secondary sources he ran with it hoping to be the first to break "the next big OSU story".

AeroBuckeye2001's picture

Fact of the matter is that Forde is reporting on the contents of a letter that he has not read. OSU is commenting on a letter that they have read and will likely have to release to the public.

The Ohio State University Class of 2001

BS Aero & Astronautical Engineering

Bucks's picture

That is not fact? You're assuming that this letter on procedure is what was reported. That is not the stance of the person.

AeroBuckeye2001's picture

What? I'm not following...are you implying two different letters? Or that OSU is being purposefully deceptive by not acknowledging any other form of notice from NCAA? I can't imagine that the NCAA would use any other form of notification. Everything they do seems to be done by letter. Regardless, that still seems to contradict Jim Lynch's comments in my opinion.

The Ohio State University Class of 2001

BS Aero & Astronautical Engineering

Blake's picture

Ready for this offseason to to go away forever.

Hoff_TBDBITL's picture

Here's the part that doesn't add up for me.

Why would the NCAA bother to issue a statement saying that they aren't going to impose a LOIC or FTM charge against the university if not even two weeks later they issue another Notice of Allegations or imply that they will be doing further investigation to dig up new info for more alllegations?


T-Row, The Row, The Quality Row!

O-H Kee Pa's picture

+1. These things generally don't happen that quickly.

AeroBuckeye2001's picture

Or why wouldn't they just have postponed the upcoming hearing pending their "new" investigation?

The Ohio State University Class of 2001

BS Aero & Astronautical Engineering

AeroBuckeye2001's picture

Have we not learned anything from reporters and their sources this offseason? 

The Ohio State University Class of 2001

BS Aero & Astronautical Engineering

btalbert25's picture

I'd love to discount it as nothing, but I discounted this little story about guys getting free tatoos.  Then I discounted the warning we got from Brutus that Tress was in some trouble and it was not going to to be good.  I thought Pryor would be the QB and Tressel would be the coach.   I would love to have the confidence to say nothing to see here please move on, but nothing the last 8 months allows me to feel that confident.

O-H Kee Pa's picture

Unfortunately, I also remember myself thinking, "It's an isolated incident. Not a big deal!" Let's just friggin hope the people we trust to run the school we love actually have their shit together this time and isn't lying by omission. I understand that they can only say so much because of Friday, but if there's new shit coming down the pipeline, just friggin tell us. We deserve that much.

btalbert25's picture

I wouldn't be shocked if something else comes out.  There were too many other stories out there for there not to be something else going on.  I'm concerned about this.  If they do happen to get another letter of allegation it's going to be bad news.  2 times in one year would definitely fall under repeat offender status. 

I'm still inclined to think if there were a new allegation out there that was pretty damning, the NCAA would postpone the meeting til a later date.  Hard to say what's going on, I just can't say eh, no big deal, there's no story here.  ESPN hates us it's just another part of the witch hunt.  I'm pretty concerned by this.

NW Buckeye's picture

I'm not going to jump to conclusions one way or the other until we hear from Brutus.  He seemed to be right on with the last bunch of bull puckie.  Probably knows about this as well.  What say you, Brutus? 

Brutus's picture

Sorry folks, this is the first I'm hearing about any of this. Like everyone else, I was under the impression that the worst was behind us.  So did my source and that person was definitely in a position to know.  If OSU was expecting another letter of allegation anytime in the near future, this person would have known and I probably would have eventually as well.  So at best, I guess that means that another LOA is not imminent.  But that doesn't mean that there still isn't an investigation going on, which is the extent of what Forde is saying.

If I hear anything, it will be a mad dash to the computer to post it here.  Until then, here's a little something to get us ready for the season.  I was completely jacked watching this.  I'm guessing this was already posted somewhere on this site, but I saw it today for the first time so I thought I'd share.  If you've seen it, watch it again and forget about this other bullshit for a while.




NW Buckeye's picture

Thanks for your reply.  As you pointed out, no reason to be reactionary on this either way until we hear more.  And, thanks for the link. 

acBuckeye's picture

That video was unreal!! They should come onto the field to that for EVERY home game this year! I seriously got chill bumps. GOD I LOVE OHIO STATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OHIO STATE TILL I DIE!!!!!

ih8rolltyde's picture

So I'm tryin to peacefully watch our national team play a soccer match against mexico on dvr, I know a lot of you think soccer sucks, never played past 7 yrs old, but I dig it. I'm rooting for my country when I'm unwittingly blasted by more half journalism from the world wide leader on nameless sources. Frunk them and Frunk that. Can't wait to see the silver bullets taking out the pent up aggravation of all of us.



****igan smells like old water that hot dogs were boiled in.  FACT

O-H Kee Pa's picture

Woke up this morning feeling like I wanted to throw up. F this offseason.

Denny's picture

Morning sickness, hangover, or both?


Baroclinicity's picture

I'm with ya.  I really thought we were at the point we could move on.

When you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

BuckeyeSaab's picture

Maybe it's just a bunker mentality on my part of at this point I think OSU has more to lose than Pat Forde.  a) If Ohio State is lying about the content of the letter then Pat Forde will, when it comes out (and it will) never let them live it down.  b) If Pat Forde is incorrect it can be swept under the rug with a comment about his source and never be mentioned again by him or anyone else in the media.

The onus is on Ohio State and I beleive - perhaps incorrectly - that the lesson has been learned and they aren't creating another PR nightmare by lying about the letter.


I'm sorry for not being sorry.

Bucksfan's picture

With the exception of the first tat-5 story (which ESPN did not break), and the subsequent fact that Tressel had an email proving he knew about it all (again, not ESPN's work), ESPN-related investigations have yielded nothing, NOTHING, of substance.  USA Today also said that there is a source that leaked the contents of the letter.  But, again, this brings into question as to why Ohio State would deny that part of the letter knowing it will become public at some point?

This letter didn't say sh*t about any ongoing investigations into matters not previously disclosed.  This is the last straw for me.  I was holding out on damning the messenger because my trust in OSU and in Tressel was gravely shaken.  But, the NCAA hasn't uncovered ANYTHING since!  So, when you take the whole body of headlines into account, ESPN has been falsely fueling national perception about Ohio State and its violation of NCAA rules.

It's got to stop!

NeARBuckeye's picture

If the people leaking information were my employees, I'd fire the lot of them. This makes the NCAA look like a bunch of gossiping school girls.

GoBucks713's picture

US vs. Mexico was much better on Univision last night. The wife STILL hates my Disney ban at home. I tried to tell her that we are broadening ourselves by learning a new language. A friend told me that the feed on ESPN2, after the little league world series qualifier between two teams from SEC country was over, was choppy and had signal problems the entire time.

On a second note, I think my hatred for DSPN is making me ready to watch our Buckeyes on BTN. Is that humanly possible, or should I contact Guinness to see if this is a world record of sorts?


-The Aristocrats!

AcrossTheField11's picture

I hope Mickey Mouse burns in a firey plane crash.

Time and change will surely show how firm they friendship... O-HI-O.