Collegiate Corruption: Sports Illustrated Investigates Ohio State’s Jim Tressel

  • Share
  • Read Later
Sports Illustrated

The June 6, 2011 Sports Illustrated cover

Monday night, Sports Illustrated ran a story on its website detailing its own investigation of Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel and adding scope to the Ohio State football scandal.

The investigation indicates that Tressel, who resigned Monday amid an NCAA-violation scandal involving several of his players trading memorabilia for money or discounted tattoos, was suspended earlier this season after failing to disclose his alleged knowledge about players’ behavior to the University. The investigation by Sports Illustrated (which, like TIME, is owned by Time Inc) indicates his involvement may be greater than originally reported.

(LIST: Top 10 Heisman Trophy Winners)

The report, which will run in the June 6 print magazine, is worth reading in its entirety. If you don’t have time, NewsFeed has highlighted the key points below.

More Players Involved: Sports Illustrated reports that the violations involved 22 more players than originally reported numbers, nine of whom still play for Ohio State. 

“SI learned that the memorabilia-for-tattoos violations…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.”

Memorabilia For Marijuana: Though it was previously reported that Ohio State players traded memorabilia for cash and tattoos, the investigation uncovered allegations that they traded for marijuana as well.

“Ellis [a pseudonym for a former tattoo parlor employee] says that…he did witness four other Buckeyes trade memorabilia for weed. Three of those transactions involved a small amount of the drug, he says, but in one instance a player departed with what Ellis was told was a pound.”

Decade of Corruption: Tressel, who is now in his tenth year of coaching at Ohio State, may have been involved in such violations since his early years as head coach.

“In 2003, during Tressel’s third season in Columbus, Buckeyes running back Maurice Clarett was found to have received money and other benefits. Even though Tressel said he spent more time with Clarett than with any other player, he also said he did not know that Clarett had been violating the rules.”

(LIST: Top 10 Sports Superstitions)

Skeletons in His Closet: SI traces Tressel’s involvement in NCAA violation scandals back to his time at other programs and indicate he may have “a conduit for improper benefits” during his time as an assistant coach at OSU in the mid-1980s.

“As coach at Youngstown (Ohio) State in the mid-1990s, he claimed not to know that his star quarterback had received a car and more than $10,000 from a school trustee and his associates — even though it was later established in court documents that Tressel had told the player to go see the trustee.”

“One of Tressel’s duties [in the 1980s] was to organize and run the Buckeyes’ summer camp…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.”—Confirmed to SI by a former colleague of Tressel’s at Ohio State in the mid-1980s

(via Sports Illustrated)