TattooGate!! Five Ohio State Players Suspended For 2011 Season -Five Games
Story By Michael Goins -TattooGate Updated!! 5 Athletes! 5 Games! That is is the ruling from the NCAA regarding violations of rules involving Ohio State football players. Mike Adams, Daniel Herron, Devier Posey, Terrelle Pryor and Solomon Thomas must repay money and benefits ranging in value from $1,000 to $2,500. The repayments must be made to a charity. Student-athlete Jordan Whiting must sit out the first game next year and pay $150 to a charity for the value of services that were discounted because of his status as a student-athlete.
All players involved in this penalty will be eligible to play in the Sugar Bowl against Arkansas but will miss next years games against Akron, Toledo, Miami Of Florida, Colorado, and Michigan State. The first game these players will be able to play in for next year will be at Nebraska.
I asked coach Jim Tressel if the suspensions would have any impact on the Ohio State Spring Game. His response, was he hasn’t looked that far ahead, but you can’t help but think that the players ability to play in the spring game could be affected. “Mitigating circumstances“, said Athletics Director Gene Smith. “We’re in tough economic times and people have to deal with that the best way they know how“. Gene Smith was trying to make the case for the Ohio State athletes and set the table for an Ohio State appeal. I asked Gene how the players came to know about the person that ran First Line Ink. “They were introduced to him by an outside source“, said Smith. “This is not a criminal case” said Smith. “The US Attorney’s office has assured us, that this is not a criminal case“.
Posey must repay $1,250 for selling his 2008 Big Ten championship ring for $1,200 and receiving discounted services worth $50, while Pryor must repay $2,500 for selling his 2008 Big Ten championship ring, a 2009 Fiesta Bowl sportsmanship award and his 2008 Gold Pants, a gift from the university.
Solomon must repay $1,505 for selling his 2008 Big Ten championship ring for $1,000, his 2008 Gold Pants for $350 and receiving discounted services worth $155.
As I suspected and mentioned in my earlier post, Ohio State self reported the violations to the NCAA after receiving a phone call from investigators. The owner of Fine Line Ink was under investigation for other violations, and during a search and seizure, the Ohio State memorabilia was found. At that time, Ohio State received a phone call asking if the merchandise was stolen. That is what started the whole ball rolling. “We pulled all the players into a room“, said Smith. “There were tears“. Ohio State will appeal the suspensions. Gene Smith, on behalf of the University, took the blame for the violations. “We didn’t educate the players as well as we could have on this particular topic”, said Smith. “This was not an Ohio State booster or Alumni“, said Smith. A solemn occasion for Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith and Coach Jim Tressel as you could see the disappointment on both their faces. Gene Smith spoke first and apologized for not responding to media request for information. “Sorry guys“, said Smith. “But we where in the middle of an investigation and couldn’t make any comments“. The incidents occured in 2009 and just recently came to light.
TattooGate!! Terelle Pryor, Davier Posey and other big name Ohio State football players on suspension for the Sugar Bowl? That is the big question being asked by key sports writers around Columbus today. This story started spreading yesterday evening and centers around Ohio State football players receiving tattoos in exchange for mixed OSU memoriabilia involving the players signatures. Could be in the form of helmets or jerseys. The name of the tattoo parlor is Fine Line Ink, located on Sullivant Ave in Columbus, Ohio.
If “Tattoogate” is at all true, and we don’t know if it is, will this turn out to be a “Whitsleblower” scenario or is Ohio State self-reporting the incident. From Yardbarker.com: I was told those current Ohio State players include Terrelle Pryor, Dan Herron, DeVier Posey, Chris Fields, Nate Oliver, Travis Howard, Mike Adams, Jonathan Newsome, Michael Brewster and Jordan Hall. Prices at a high quality tattoo establishment range anywhere from the low hundreds well into the thousands – obviously depending on how extensive the work is.
If these suspensions turn out to be true, it totally changes my “Tale Of The Tape”, prediction of an Ohio State victory. In The “Tale Of The Tape” article, I compared year to date statistics of Ohio State and Arkansas in a side by side view and came up with the prediction. To read that article, click here.
At this point in the storyline, Ohio State is denying that “Tattoogate” exist. Meanwhile, reports in Columbus are circulating that secret meetings are taking place between the school and the NCAA over possible punishment, with Sugar Bowl suspensions being placed squarely on the table. From reports, a statement from Ohio State will be forthcoming on the issue, possibly, in a news conference format.
When this kind of story breaks, it has been my experience that one of three things usually happens, and they are the template for reacting to gossip and allegations of wrongdoing. How big the story is will have an impact on the template, and this is a huge story, if true.
First, the story is immediately shot down and denied at face value, and that has not happened. Considering what’s at stake, Ohio State has had 24 hours to dismiss this story and lay it to rest. Since that has not occurred, there is a high probability this means the story is true in some form.
Second, there is complete silence from the accused until the formal announcement is made, that the accusations are indeed true. The prediction on this one is the longer Ohio State allows the story to circulate without a statement setting the record straight, the more likely it is, that in some form, the story is true.
Third, the accused will not respond at all allowing the story to die. Unfortunately for Ohio State fans, this story is not going to die until a statement is made one way or another. The story is now being reported on ESPN and all the major newswires and a no-response scenario is now not an option. There will be a response, and I refer you back to step 2 above, as to the longer it takes for the response to come, the more likely it is the accusations are true in some form.
An athletic program that prides itself on playing by the rules like Ohio State does, cannot allow these kind of allegations to go without a response, so a response has to come.
What to watch for over the next 24 to 48 hours. If Ohio State calls a news conference, the story is true in some form. If the story is not true, then Ohio State will issue an email acknowledging the accusations and clearly state that their internal investigations reveal the story is not true, or, the accusations are part of a continuing investigation and they cannot comment until the investigation is finished.
If the story is true, then major ramifications could occur, the biggest being pushback from fans demanding ticket refunds. If the story is true in some form, look for no suspensions of major players, like Terelle Pryor. This is one of those scenarios where there is just too much money at stake and the loss of key players could be disasterous for the Sugarbowl and ESPN.
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