After my previous report that there would be further violations surfacing regarding investigation into the Ohio State Football Program, several other sources have confirmed that
to be the case.
More Car Scandal Info
WBNS-10TV in Ohio is reporting that the BMV (The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles) has nearly concluded its investigation into the Thaddeus Gibson car deal and while it does appear he got a very nice deal on the car, it looks like it's legit. The only thing left to explain is the sales tax issue it would seem (and the unreal amount of cars that one guy sold to OSU football players).
Also, former OSU wide receiver Ray Small goes with the "everybody was doing it" defense in his interview with OSU Student Paper, The Lantern. He openly discusses selling championship rings and how great the deals on cars were. I don't know if Small still lives in Columbus these days, but he may want to review his living arrangements after dropping this bomb on the OSU program.
Maybe Herbie has a guest house.
On the Upcoming National Story
It is pretty well accepted by now that Sports Illustrated will produce the national story I was referring to in my original report. On top of that, the author will be George Dohrmann who was the last sports reporter to win the Pulitzer Prize. Sports by Brooks and Yahoo's Associated Content have confirmed that to be the case, along with Columbus radio hosts "Common Man and the Torg" from 97.1 The Fan.
Where things get confusing is in both the content of the article and it's release date. Scott Torgenson of 97.1 The Fan is insisting that the article is finished and will be out on May 31st. Here are some highlights from his show on May 24th courtesy of Sports by Brooks who also has the audio if you'd like to listen for yourself:
"George Dohrmann, the guy's who is writing the article, and it’ll be out Tuesday, has spent about six weeks writing this article. About three weeks ago he was in Columbus for a week. A Monday through Thursday type thing. Last week he was in Columbus. I can tell you I know he went to the state pen and visited this tattoo artist from a place called 'Dudley’s.' I don’t know what that has to do with this story.
"One of my sources talked to Dohrmann yesterday, I actually had this guy talk to Dohrmann to fish about what the article is going to be about for me. So this is from Dohrmann, not from me, this is what I heard. Dohrmann told this guy that SI executive editors are salivating over the article. The quote was [from the source] ‘it’s going to be bad for Tress…it’s something new and it’s big-time, it goes back to when Tress was at Youngstown.’ I was told that it’s all new stuff."
On the other side of things, Sports by Brooks says he knows someone with "intimate knowledge" of the editorial system at SI and there are "no immediate plans" by Dohrmann or Sports Illustrated to publish such an article.
All I can say on this is that the sources that prompted me to post the original article are lining up with "Team Torg" on this one. There are so many rumors swirling around Columbus these days, it is hard to figure out how far down the rabbit hole this investigation will go.
As it stands now, the investigation falls short of blatant pay-for-play, but hinges more on the Tressel cover-up and a bunch of guys that want to be connected to the program giving handouts to any player who can get them a pair of gold pants or some bowl-game tickets.
If even some of the rest of what I am hearing regarding housing and vacations comes to light, terms like "pay-for-play" and "failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance" will make the "Tat Five" a minor detail.
Whether the NCAA investigation or Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter George Dohrmann take it that far, we don't yet know, but this is all bad timing for OSU. The USC investigation and appeal are over and new NCAA CEO Mark Emmert has a chance to be viewed as the guy who cleans up college sports (or the guy who turns it loose) based on how this and the Auburn investigation turn out, so OSU could easily become the poster boy for cheating whether anything else is proven or not.
I should clarify that the NCAA has not found any new violations, nor have I heard that they will. If these types of things were up to the NCAA to uncover, nothing would ever be found. Leaving investigations entirely in the hands of the NCAA is like building your case on Stevie Wonder identifying a criminal in a police lineup. It just doesn't work for reasons that go far beyond the NCAA not having the ability to subpoena those involved or suspected to be involved in rule violations.
The NCAA wants to make money and teams like Ohio St., Alabama and Auburn are great for business. Were it not for Yahoo! Sports, the USC/Reggie Bush scandal probably never breaks.
The larger issue in all of this, whether it is your school or your rivals, is that a new age is upon us in NCAA rule enforcement; one that holds the NCAA responsible for doing the right thing and enforcing the absurdly large rule book.
Whether you are stretching too much or selling your gold pants, the media will likely find a way to expose it if you anger the right (or wrong) people. As a fan, you have to decide whether winning or winning the right way is most important to you because it is going to get harder and harder to hide it.