Yahoo Sports: Ohio State Coach Jim Tressel Knew About Players Selling Gear Last April

Remember that whole hubbub at the end of the last college football season about Ohio State Football players selling memorabilia given to them by the university to collectors to make a little cash on the side? And rather than keep the Buckeyes out of their big bucks bowl game, the NCAA decided to suspend the players–including starting quarterback Terrelle Pryor–at the beginning of NEXT season as punishment? And everyone went “WTF?” but the school and the NCAA said it was no big deal? According to Yahoo! Sports, advice OSU coach Jim Tressel allegedly knew about these infractions almost a year ago.

Yeah, search the NCAA is not going to be happy if that turns out to be true.

Ironically, Tressel was just featured in the Sports Illustrated article about College Football and Crime, and how well he handled a recruit who was accused just days before signing his letter of intent of fondling high school girls by pretending to get them fitted for an ROTC uniform. Shockingly, after the charges were swept under the rug, Tressel welcomed this kid into the Buckeye program without batting an eye. Sounds like he will fit right in.

Ohio State coach Jim Tressel was informed that several Buckeyes players were selling memorabilia more than eight months before the school claims it was made aware of the scheme, a two-month Yahoo! Sports investigation has found.

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.

Ohio State director of compliance Doug Archie declined immediate comment when reached Monday by Yahoo! Sports. Tressel and athletic director Gene Smith were unavailable for comment. The NCAA declined comment.