Ohio State University head football coach Jim Tressel is facing a two game suspension and a quarter million dollar fine for failing to tell university officials about possible NCAA rules violations.
Tressel admitted that he didn’t tell university officials that some of his players were part of a federal criminal investigation. None of the players were the subject of the investigation. Tressel knew about the investigation last April. But, he didn’t say anything until the university was contacted by the U.S. Justice Department in December.
The Justice Department was trying to confirm whether Buckeye memorabilia in the possession of a Columbus tattoo shop owner was obtained legally. Several players, including star quarterback Terrelle Pryor, admitted exchanging the memorabilia for tattoos. The players were given 5 game suspensions next season. Though, they were allowed to play in the 2011 Sugar Bowl.
OSU Athletic Director Gene Smith says it was only after that that university officials learned of emails that coach Tressel received in April informing him of the federal probe. Smith says the university was about to complete its internal investigation and send the results to the NCAA, when word of Tressel’s actions were reported by Yahoo Sports.
Tressel says his decision not to take action back in April was with the players’ interest in mind, not the OSU football program. SBNATION produced a transcript of last night's news conference.
The NCAA is reviewing Ohio State’s self-imposed penalties. The college sports governing body may accept OSU’s self-punishment or impose penalties of its own.