Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Joey Rosen
Bryan Lutz
English 151
15, Nov. 2011


-From classy to inferior-

From December 23, 2010 to June 14, 2011, The Ohio State University, and its football program took a turn for the worst. The once classy, respected, and high profile football dynasty, was now being regarded as a program with many scandals, and is on high watch alert by the NCAA. This program, that I have grown up to watch, and have been a die-hard fan of since I was in diapers, is now seen by the public as a program that is tumbling downward, and filled with scandals. The coach, known as "the vest", instilled values on me since I have been able to comprehend words, is now seen as a decieving cheater, and a classless individual. I can tell you that this is not true, and even through all these scandals, and his reassignment as the head coach of The Ohio State University's football program, I will stand by Jim Tressel for the rest of my life.  

Bill Bender displays a timeline from December 23, 2010-June 14, 2011.
How it all went down...

December 23, 2010- The Ohio State University suspends five players for the first five games of the 2011 season after they were found guilty of NCAA violations for selling memorabilia and awards for improper benefits, including tattoos. The players included starting quarterback Terrelle Pryor, starting running back Daniel "Boom" Herron, starting wide receiver Devier Posey, and defensive end Solomon Thomas. The University, and the NCAA however, will allow the five players to participate in the 2011 Allstate Sugar Bowl against star quarterback Ryan Mallet and eight ranked Arkansas.

This was the cover for ESPN the magazine for one of their subscriptions.
It displays the vest that Jim Tressel is known for wearing on Saturdays with the word busted on it, instead of the Ohio State logo.  

January 4, 2011- Ohio State defeats Arkansas 31-26 in the BCS Allstate Sugar Bowl. The Buckeyes got major contributions from the suspended players. Starting quarterback Terrelle Pryor lead the buckeyes with 221 yards passing, 115 yards rushing, and two touchdowns. Starting tailback Daniel "Boom" Herron contributes with 87 yards rushing and a touchdown. Devier Posey, the buckeyes number one reciever, had three receptions for 70 yards including a 43 yard touchdown reception from Pryor to give Ohio State a 28-7 lead with 1:59 seconds left in the first half. Defensive end Solomon Thomas intercepted Ryan Mallet late in the fourth quarter to help Ohio State seal the victory. This win gives head coach Jim Tressel his fifth BCS victory, and the Buckeyes first bowl victory against an SEC team in school history.

March 8, 2011- A yahoo sports story alleges Tressel knew of his players selling the items more than 8 months before school officials said they were made aware of the transactions. Former walk-on, and local attorney Christopher Cicero emailed Tressel and made him aware of the situation. Even though Cicero did this, Tressel said in a press conference that he kept this information to himself to protect the confidentiality of a federal investigation and the safety of his players. Ohio State suspends Tressel for the first two games of the 2011 season, and fines him $250, 000. The president of Ohio State, E. Gordon Gee was asked whether or not Tressel might be fired, he commented, "I'm just hoping that  the coach doesn't dismiss me."

March 17, 2011- The NCAA upholds the five-game suspensions for the five Ohio state players. Head coach Jim Tressel vows that athletic director Gene Smith increase his suspension from two to five games to match the players punishment. 

March 25- The Columbus Dispatch reports that Tressel forwarded the emails he received concerning the players to Ted Sarniak, a businessman from Jeannette, P.A., who is a mentor to Terrelle Pryor. 

April 12- Ohio State receives a notice of allegations from the NCAA, mostly concerning Tressel's actions. 

May 7- The Columbus Dispatch reports that, "Ohio State's director of compliance is reviewing at least 50 car sales to Buckeyes athletes and relatives to see if they met NCAA rules.

May 26, 2011- Former Ohio State receiver Ray Small tells Ohio State's school newspaper, "The Lantern", that during his time at Ohio State from 2006-2010 he sold his Big Ten Championship rings and other memorabilia. He also said that he received deals on cars. Jim Tressel suspended Small multiple times, including his senior year before the 2010 Rose Bowl against the Oregon Ducks.

May 30, 2011- This is a sad day. According to,  "Jim Tressel, who brought Ohio State its first national title in 34 years, resigned today amid NCAA violations from a tattoo-parlor scandal that sulled the image of the country's top football programs."

June 7, 2011- Ohio State starting quarterback Terrelle Pryor announces his intention to forgo his senior season in favor of the NFL supplemental draft. 

June 8, 2011- Ohio State responds to NCAA allegations, and vacates all 12 wins from the 2010-2011 season, including the Allstate Sugar Bowl win against Arkansas. Ohio State self-imposes a two year probation on its football program, but no scholarship losses or bowl ban. 

June 14, 2011- Terelle Pryor holds a press conference with agent Drew Rosenhaus in Miami, Fla, and Pryor says, "Coach Jim Tressel, I love you just like a father. You taught me a lot, and I apologize for putting you in a situation of taking you out of a job, a place that you love to be."

*Five original suspended Ohio State football players*

This photo displays the five original Buckeyes who were initially suspended on December 23, 2010. (from left to right) Mike Adams, senior offensive tackle, Dan "Boom" Herron, senior running back, Devier Posey, senior wide receiver, Terelle Pryor, (former Ohio State quarterback, now in the NFL with the raiders), and Solomon Thomas, a red shirt senior defensive end. According to an abc news article, a sixth player, linebacker Jordan Whiting must sit out the first game of the 2011 season and pay $150 to a charity for the value of services that were discounted because he was a Buckeye player.

I believe that these players should all be suspended, because they broke NCAA rules, and violations. Even though I am a huge Buckeye fan, these players deserved what they got. Even though these players were suspended, they were elected to be able to play in the Allstate Sugar Bowl, which in my opinion shouldn't have been allowed. If the NCAA found out about these allegations before the Sugar Bowl, then why would they allow these Buckeyes to participate? Like I talked about earlier in this blog, all five players made a significant difference in this game, which eventually led to an Ohio State victory. Unfortunately, none of this mattered, because the great NCAA had Ohio State vacate all of their wins from the 2010-2011 season, including the 31-26 BCS Sugar Bowl win over Arkansas. WIthout these players playing, Arkansas could have solidified a foundation win for their program, and it wouldn't have gotten erased from the record books.

Video Clips displayed from Youtube

In this video link, an ESPN analyst talks about the five Ohio State football that were suspended for accepting improper benefits. This was a segment that was aired before The BCS Allstate Sugar bowl against Ryan Mallet, and Arkansas. All five of these players were able to participate in this game, and that was a huge controversy because it was a huge game, and many believed that these five players which include starting quarterback Terrelle Pryor, starting running back Daniel "Boom" Herron, starting OT Mike Adams, starting wide receiver Devier Posey, and DE Solomon Thomas. Many fans of Buckeye nation didn't , and still don't accept the players apologies for what they did. 

In this video clip, they interview Terrelle Pryor and ask him about his block 'O' tattoo. That tattoo is one of the tattoos that Terrelle traded memorabilia for, and when asked about where he got it, he told the interviewer that he got it "back home". Obviously, this is one of many lies that Terrelle Pryor told during his time at The Ohio State University.

In this video, Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith talks about the players that got suspended, and tries to vogue for them by saying things such as, "it was for their family". Terrelle Pryor was quoted on November 20, 2010 that, "I'm not worried about money. My mom works a little bit and I can get some of her money and use the money I get here". So, do I think that Terrelle Pryor traded memorabilia for money to help his family? No, I believe he did it for himself. 

In this video, a man whose face isn't available to see, talks to an interviewer on Outside the Lines. The interview talks about Terrelle Pryor receiving 500-1000$ three to four times a week, for signing memerobilia for Dennis Talbot who is not an Ohio State booster. The interview was asked why Terrelle did this, and he simply replied "he wanted the money". 

Ray Small, a former Ohio State wide receiver talks about how he sold his rings for his own purposes. He implied he would do it to get his rent paid, and he ball parked his estimations for 800-1000$ in cash. He knew he was breaking these rules, but didn't care about doing so.

This video displays the apologies of all five Ohio State suspended players including (in order first speaker, to last) Devier Posey, Mike Adams,  Daniel "Boom" Herron, Terelle Pryor, and Solomon Thomas.


According to the article, Ohio State football scandal: Is coach or 'hypocritical' NCAA to blame? written by Daniel B. Wood, "In the grand scheme of things, there have probably been coaches and players who did much worse, without penalty. And some sports ethicists are as likely to point the finger at the National Collegiate Athletic Association as at Tressel and the OSU players.

"There is so much hypocrisy and duplicity in the rules of the NCAA that determining a right path might be very challenging for anyone," says Ellen Staurowsky, professor and graduate chair in the Department of Sport Management & Media at Ithaca College, in New York. Wood displays the words of Ellen Staurowsky, and she exclaims, "There is such a disconnect between what their rules say versus the practical realities of the system that it's no wonder those rules are subverted on a regular basis."

"Tressel had won big since becoming head coach at Ohio State in 2001, including eight BCS bowls in 10 years, a 106-22 overall record, a national championship in 2002. Off the field, Tressel had an upright reputation. He had written a book on religious faith and high achievement."

"The school is now in search of a permanent coach and an instructor for a new course called, 'Crisis Bungling,' wrote Chris Dufresne in Tuesday's Los Angeles Times."


"In 1934 after a game against the University of Michigan, in which Ohio State defeated them 34-0 (the largest margin of victory at this point) Coach Schmidt changed Buckeye lore forever when, before the season, he was asked about beating Michigan. Schmidt said, "The University of Michigan football players put their pants on one leg at a time same as everybody else." This comment created the "Gold Pants Club," a group of businessmen who award a miniature gold football pants charm to all players who participate in a win over the Wolverines. The charms are engraved with each player's initials, the date of the game, and the final score." 

Credit: History Channel

"I don't think we put two and two together," Montgomery said. "We might have thought a little bit more about it. ... I feel badly about it. We probably would have pulled it had we known it would cause a big stir." On the show, a man identified only as "Bob" sold two pairs of Gold Pants, one from 2008 and one from 2002, for $1,000 each to Pawn Stars cast member Rick Harrison, who runs a Las Vegas pawn shop. Montgomery said the show doesn't know Bob beyond his first name. Bob said he bought the pants from a private collector. 
Out of everything that has happened since the beginning of these scandals, this is what bothers me the most as a true Buckeye fan. It's not the discounted tattoos, or the selling of player's equipment (shoes, pants, jerseys), it's the fact that these players sold big ten championship rings, and their gold pants. As I showed you earlier in this blog, the pants have a rich history that was dated all the way back to 1934. Being a true buckeye fan, you really appreciate the traditions of Buckeye Nation, and would hope that the players that you cheer for week in and week out, would appreciate, and really care for those traditions. In my opinion, that is what being a Buckeye is truly about. 


Edward Rife

This is a mug shot of Edward Rife. Rife ran and owned a tattoo parlor in Columbus, Ohio, and it was this tattoo parlor that Ohio State players traded memorabilia, autographs, and Ohio State equipment for tattoos, and money benefits. Rife, who has pleaded guilty to federal charges of money laundering and drug trafficking, is awaiting a sentence.  

In June, Rife pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering and one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than 200 pounds of marijuana.
Rife has forfeited $50,000 in drug proceeds, but was allowed to keep the memorabilia found in his suburban Columbus home. Those include Big Ten championship rings, gold pants pendants, autographed items, and parts of football uniforms. IRS criminal investigators have said they couldn't determine whether Rife had used drug profits to buy the memorabilia.The IRS said investigators learned of Rife's drug dealing while probing a major marijuana and cocaine operation in central Ohio.Kelley said there was no evidence Ohio State players were involved in the marijuana operation.

*The penalties*

PryorIn addition to sitting out the first five games of the 2011 season, five Ohio State football players, including Terrelle Pryor (pictured) must repay the following to charity:
• Repay $2,500 for selling 2008 Big Ten championship ring, 2009 Fiesta Bowl sportsmanship award, 2008 Gold Pants
Daniel Herron
• Repay $1,150 for selling jersey, pants and shoes for $1,000 and receiving discounted services worth $150
Devier Posey
• Repay $1,250 for selling 2008 Big Ten championship ring for $1,200 and receiving discounted services worth $50.
Mike Adams
• Repay $1,000 for selling 2008 Big Ten championship ring.
Solomon Thomas
• Repay $1,505 for selling 2008 Big Ten championship ring for $1,000, 2008 Gold Pants for $350 and receiving discounted services worth $155.

*Further Suspensions*

According to an ESPN article, Cleveland-area businessman, Bobby DiGeronimo is the same booster involved with paying three other Ohio State players which included running back Jordan Hall, and 
defensive backs Corey Brown and Travis Howard to appear at a charity event earlier this year. That resulted in the three serving a two-game suspension to start the current season. According to an ESPN article, this booster was "dissociated from the program 
after years of being a friend of Buckeye football players and a major fan." When Gene Smith was asked on why Ohio State had not looked closer at Digeronimo and his relationships with the players, he declined to answer. 

Many Ohio State fans have become loyal to Jim Tressel. I am DEFINITELY included in the loyal fan category, and in these images below it shows desperate Ohio State fans in desperate
times. In the photo below the crying fans, it captures the true essence of Buckeye Nation showing support to the past coach, and in my opinion one of the two greatest coaches to ever wear the true colors of scarlet and grey, Jim Tressel. In the photo below, it captures some of Buckeye Nation crying on each other, and trying to help support each other during these difficult times in Columbus.From a young age, I would get very upset, sometimes even losing sleep, and cry over the Ohio State Buckeyes. Whether it was a difficult loss, or even tears of joy after capturing the 2002 National Chanpionship trophy from the Miami Hurricanes, the Buckeyes were always there for me. Now, it is my turn to be there for them in this strenuous, tough, and painful time for Buckeye Nation.

In this photo, it shows Buckeye fans crying on each other.
As a huge buckeye fan, and a part of Buckeye Nation, this
season has been very difficult, and I have leaned on my
friends who are a part of Buckeye Nation for support.
This photo displays a sign about Jim Tressel. It really
displays the loyalty that fans have for him even till this day.


Bender, Bill.  "Ohio State's Scandal:  A Timeline."  8 July 2011.  Web.  2 November 2011.  

Chute, Tamar. "Gold Pants Club." OSU vs UM. The Ohio State University Archives, 14 Oct 2009. Web. 15 Nov 2011. <>.

Lesmerises, Doug. "Behind the Ohio State Gold Pants on 'Pawn Stars': Interview with sho's producer." The Plain Dealer, 08 Apr 2011. Web. 15 Nov 2011. <>.

Libit, Daniel. "The Scandal Beat." Columbia Journalism Review 50.3 (2011): 29-33. Academic Search Complete. Web. 14 Nov. 2011.  

Rittenburg, Adam. " Three Ohio State players suspended " 5 Oct. 2011. 

Rittenburg, Adam. "Ohio State suspends three more for opener." Big Ten Blog. 2011 ESPN Internet Ventures, 01 Sep 2011. Web. 15 Nov 2011. <>.

Welsh-Huggins, Andrew. "Tattoo parlour owner linked to Ohio State football scandal gets time in prison." . The Globe and Mail Inc., 26 Oct 2011. Web. 15 Nov 2011. <>.

Watson, Graham. "Jaamal Berry charged, suspended as Ohio State future hangs in the balance." yahoo sports, 02 Nov 2011. Web. 15 Nov 2011. <>.

Wood, Daniel B. "Ohio State football scandal: Is coach or 'hypocritical' NCAA to blame?." Christian Science Monitor 31 May 2011: N.PAG.Academic Search Complete. Web. 14 Nov. 2011.  

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