In December, 5 Buckeye players were suspended 5 games apiece for receiving improper benefits. The players admitted they sold rings, trophies, and other memorabilia in exchange for money, and some free ink from a local tattoo shop. At the time Coach Tressel stood by his players, but insisted that he had no knowledge of the situation. However when OSU was planning its appeal of the suspensions in March it discovered evidence that Tressel was indeed made aware of the issue as far back as April via an email he received informing him of the players activities. Of course Tressel failed to inform anybody at OSU of the situation, which causes him to come off looking a little smarmy. He gave some cockamamie excuse and OSU gave him a 2 game suspension. Tressel then played the high and mighty card and self-increased the penalty to 5 games in order to match his players. End of story right?
Not according to the Columbus Post-Dispatch, who is now reporting that Tressel actually forwarded the email he received back in April to a close associate of QB Terrelle Pryor. This means that instead of informing his bosses at OSU, or anybody in the OSU compliance department, or even the NCAA, Tressel decided to tell Pryor’s people. Oops. Looks like Tressel not only failed to release the information to the right people, but he perhaps even tried to cover it up, or at the very least give his players a free pass?
So what happens next? Our guess is that OSU does nothing and upholds the 5 game penalty currently imposed against Tressel. They’ll claim that forwarding the email doesn’t have any impact on the situation, and therefore the current punishment is sufficient.
What should they do? Probably fire Tressel, which they won’t do. Instead they will probably wait out the year and kick the tires on Urban Meyer. If Urban is interested, Tressel and OSU could “mutually” decide to part ways.
What should the NCAA do? We say ban OSU from postseason play for a season. Tressel clearly promoted an atmosphere of tolerance and failed to hold his players accountable. For that, he, and the University that employs him, needs to be held accountable.