March 25, 2011 · 1 Comments
Jim Tressel did not forward warnings about his players’ off-the-field behavior to his bosses at Ohio State or the NCAA, but he did share them with a confidant of one of the players.
The Columbus Dispatch is reporting that after receiving an email warning him that some of his players were associating with a man who was the target of a federal drug investigation, head coach Jim Tressel forwarded the messages to a hometown “mentor” of quarterback Terrell Pryor.
However, Tressel didn’t inform the school or the NCAA about the warnings, and as a result the school suspended him for one game next season. (The suspension was later upgraded to five games, to match the suspension eventually given to the players. The NCAA has yet to rule on that self-punishment and could still increase it more.)
At his press conference explaining the violations, Tressel said that he didn’t forward the emails to compliance officials because he was concerned about the confidentiality of both his players and the federal investigation.
But the fact that Tressel shared the information with someone outside the program suggests that excuse is bogus and that he hoped to clear up the matter without involving the school or the NCAA watchdogs. But in this day and age, nothing stays secret forever.