Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel has a bunch of nicknames, and all of them are terrible. Whether it’s “The Senator” or “The Sweatervest” or “Client No. 14″, Tressel always comes off as a guy that operates above-board. But now Yahoo! Sports is citing an anonymous source–one anonymous source–that the curator of Tresselball knew about the actions of five of his players that are set to serve suspensions in 2011.
Tressel received information that players were selling items to Edward Rife – the owner of Fine Line Ink Tattoos in Columbus – as early as April 2010, according to a source. However, neither Ohio State nor the NCAA investigated the transactions or the players’ relationship with Rife until December 2010, when the school claims it was informed of the situation by the local United States Attorney’s office.
The source said that Tressel looked troubled and would follow up; whether he actually did remains unclear. If there was no investigation into the initial report, Tressel could be hit with multiple NCAA violations, and even be fired. Five of Ohio State’s players already will be sitting out the first five games of 2011. These seem like pretty severe penalties for guys that were just selling their own stuff.
UPDATE: Uh oh.