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Ohio State March 2011 NCAA Self Report Pt. 2

Ohio State March 2011 NCAA Self Report Pt. 2

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03/11/2011

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OfficeofLegalAffairs
1590N.HighStreet,Suite500Columbus,
OH
43201-2178Phone(614)292-0611Fax(614)292-8699
March8,2011Ms.JulieRoeLachDirectorofEnforcementServicesNationalCollegiateAthleticAssociationP.O.Box622Indianapolis,Indiana46202-6222DearMs.RoeLach:ThisisinreferencetotherecentconversationbetweenrepresentativesofTheOhioStateUniversity("University"
01'
"institution")andtheNCAAEnforcementStaffandconstitutesaself-reportofaviolationofNCAAlegislationinvolvingtheinstitution'sheadfootballcoach.Morespecifically,theUniversityreportsthat:
BetweentheperiodofApril
2,
2010,and
January
15,
2011,HeadFootballCoachJimTresselviolatedtheprovisionsofNCAABylaw10.1whenhefailedtonotifyinstitutionalofficialsofinformationhereceivedbeginninginApril2010thatconcernedpotentialviolationsofNCAApreferentialtreatmentlegislationwithstudent-athletesonthefootballteam.CoachTresselreceivede-mailsfromanattorneythatprovidedspecificinformationabouttwostudent-athletessellingmemorabiliatoalocaltattooparlorowner.Thesee-mailsalsoindicatedthatonestudent-athletemayhavereceivedfreeand/ordiscountedservicesatatattooparlor.AlthoughCoachTresselhadtheinformation,hedidnotinforminstitutionalofficials..
UponreceivinginformationaboutthismatterinJanuary2011,Universityofficialsactedimmediately.TheFacultyAthleticsRepresentative,keyadministratorsfromtheOfficeofLegalAffairs,andthePresident'sOfficebecameengagedintheinquiry.Afterconductingseveralinterviews,theUniversityhasdeterminedtheaboveNCAAviolationoccurredandisimposingsignificantcorrectiveandpunitivemeasuresuponCoachTresselandthefootballprogram.Thisletter
will
reviewtheinstitution'sinquiryandalsodetailthesecorrectiveandpunitiveactions,whichincludesuspendinghimfromcoachingtwogamesduringthe2011footballseasonandreducinghissalary.OverviewofInquiryOnDecember19,2010,theinstitutionsubmittedaself-reportofaviolationofBylaw12.1.2.1.6andaneligibilityreinstatementrequesttoNCAAVicePresidentofAcademicandMembershipAffairsKevinLennonandNCAADirectorofSecondaryEnforcementChrisStrobel.Thisreportinvolvedsixcurrentfootballstudent-athleteswhosoldinstitutionally-issuedmemorabiliaorreceiveddiscountedservices.Atthetimethisreportwassubmitted
.to
theNCAA,theUniversitybelievedthatthefirstnoticereceivedbyinstitutionalofficialswascontainedinaDecember7,2010,letterfromtheU.S.DepartmentofJusticetotheUniversity'SOfficeofLegalAffairs.Inessence,theletterindicatedthatcertainOhioStateUniversitySPOltSmemorabiliahadbeenseizedinacriminalinvestigationandquestionedwhethertheUniversityor
{00108356-1}
 
certainstudent-athleteshadownershipinterestintheseitems.Utilizingthelettertobeginitsinvestigation,theUniversityconductedaninquiryandsubmittedtheDecember19,2010,self-report.However,onJanuary
13,2011,
whilereviewinginformationonanunrelatedlegalissue,theinstitution'sOfficeofLegalAffairsdiscoveredane-mailfromCoachTresselthatwasthesubjectmatterofsomeoftheactivitiespertainingtotheUniversity'SDecember2010NCAAself-report.TheOfficeofLegalAffairsnotifiedappropriateinstitutionalofficialsandanadditionalinquirybegan.Oneofthefirstactionswastoconduct
fI
searchofCoachTressel'se-mailaccount.Thissearchuncoveredthreee-mailstringsbetweenCoachTresselandanattorneyrelatingtothismatterandtocertainstudent-athletes.TwostringsoccurredinApril20I0,andoneinJune2010.
Evmails
searcheswerethenconducted
by
theUniversityofallfootballcoachingstaffmembersandotherfootballadministrativestaffmembers,Afterthesesearches,itwasconcludedthatnoothere-mailcorrespondencetoCoachTresselor
any
otherfootballcoachingorotherfootballadministrativestaffmemberexistedthatrelatedtothefootballstudent-athletes'activitiessetoutintheUniversity'sDecember19NCAAself-report.Asaresult,theinstitutionbelievesthatnootherfootballcoachingorotheradministrativestaffmemberwasknowledgeablepriortoDecember2010oftheseactivitiesandneededtobeinterviewed.OnJanuary16,
2011.
threedaysaftertheinitiale-mailwasdiscovered,CoachTresselwasquestionedbyinstitutionalofficialsabouthiscorrespondencewiththeattorneyandheacknowledgedreceivingthesee-mails.OnJanuary21,2011,theinstitutionretainedTheComplianceGroup(TeO)toserveasanoutsideconsultantonthismatter,Asyouknow,shortlythereafter,youwereinformedofthisinformationandinvitedtoparticipateintheinstitution'songoinginvestigation.OnFebruary
8.
theNCAAandinstitutionalrepresentativesconductedaninterviewofCoachTressel.AdditionaljointinterviewswiththeUniversityandtheNCAAwereconductedwithvariousindividualsoverthefollowingtwoweeksresultinginthisself-report.Theinstitution
will
continueitsinquiryinconjunctionwiththeNCAAEnforcementStuffbutbelievesthatatthispoint,itisappropriatetoreportthisinformation.OverviewofE-mailThee-mailsdiscoveredbytheUniversityindicatedthattheattorneyinitiallye-mailedCoachTresselonApril2,
20
I0,withinformationpertainingtofootballstudent-athletes'allegedvisitstoalocaltattooparlor.Thee-mailalsoindicatedthattheowneroftheparlorpossessedOhioStatefootballmemorabilia,thatonespecificstudent-athletemayhavebeengivenfreeorreducedtattooservices,andthattheowneroftheparlorhadacriminalbackgroundandwasthesubjectofacriminalinvestigation.CoachTresselreplied
"I
willgetonitASAP"inane-mailresponseonthesameday.Theattorneye-mailedCoachTresselagainonApril16,2010withadditionalinformation,includingthattwostudent-athletesweresellingtheirChampionshiprings.CoachTressele-mailedareplyof"keepmepostedastowhat
I
needtodo,ifanything."Finally,onJuneI,CoachTresselinitiatedane-mailtotheattorneyaskingiftheattorneyhadaddilion~1namesoffootballstudent-athletesinvolvedintheseactivities.Theattorneyrepliedthesamedaythathe
did
nothaveadditionalnames.OnJune6,CoachTresselthankedtheattorneyforhisresponse.Noothere-mailcorrespondencebetweentheattorneyandCoachTressel(ortheattorneyandanyotherfootballcoachingstaffmemberandotherfootballadministrativestaffmembers)wasdiscoveredbytheinstitution.
{00108356-1)2
 
InfonnationRelatingtotheViolationsTheUniversitycontendsthaiCoachTresselviolatedNCAABylaw10.1andalsofailed
10
followtheinstitution'sprotocolforreportingofviolationsbynotinformingcomplianceorotherinstitutionaladministratorsoftheinformationhereceivedbeginninginApril20I0Thispolicyiscommunicatedtoallcoachesandstaffanaregularbasis.Thepolicy,inpart,isdetailedbelow:
";1
ny
employee,student-athlete,orotherindividualassociatedwithTheOhioSlateUniversityAthleticsDepartmentmustnotify(heComplianceOfficeimmediatelyofanypossible
01'
potentialviolationsof
University,
Big
Ten.
orNCAArules."
CoachTressel'semploymentagreementalsoobligateshimtoinformcomplianceandtheDirectorofAthleticsofanyviolationsorlikelyviolationsofNCAArules,BesidesnotcomingforthunsolicitedtotheDirectorofAthleticsoramemberoftheUniversity'scompliancestaff,belowaretheoccasionswhen(heinstitutionbelievesCoachTresselhadaspecificopportunitytoprovideinformationrelativetotheNCAAviolationreportedinDecemberbutfailedtodoso.CoachTressel:
i.
SignedtheNCAACertificateofComplianceFormonSeptember13,
20
I0,indicatinghehasreportedanyknowledgeofpossibleviolationstotheinstitution;
11.
Didnotreporttheinformationinthee-mailsorhisknowledgeofpotentialviolations
(0
theinstitutioninearlyDecember
2010
whenheinitiallylearnedfromUniversityofficialsonoraroundDecember9thatinformationhadbeenreceivedfromtheDepartmentofJusticeregardingthestudent-athletespotentiallyviolatingNCAAlegislationforsellingmemorabiliaandreceivingdiscountedservices;andiii.Didnotreporttheinformationinthee-mailsorhisknowledgeofpotentialviolationsonDecember16,20I0,whenaskedbyinstitutionalofficialsabouthisknowledgeofthestudent-athletes'involvementintheseactivities,Morespecifically,whileconductingitsinquiry,institutionalofficialsinterviewedthesixinvolvedstudent-athletes,Followingtheinterviews,UniversityofficialsinformallyquestionedCoachTresselabouthisknowledgeofthisinformation,WhenCoachTresselwasasked
if
hehadbeencontactedaboutthematterorknewanythingaboutit,herepliedthatwhilehehadreceivedatipaboutgeneralrumorspertainingtocertainofhisplayers,thatinformationhadnotbeenspecific,and
it
pertainedtotheiroff-fieldchoices.Heimpliedthattheliprelatedtothesocialdecisions/choicesbeingmadebycertainstudent-athletes.Headdedhedidnotrecallfromwhomhereceivedthetip.Healsostatedthathedidnotknowthatanyitemshadbeenseized,DuringtheJanuary16,20I
J
meetingwithinstitutionalofficialsandduringhisFebruary8,20II,interviewwiththeNCAAandtheUniversity,CoachTresselexplainedthatbasedonafewofhispastexperienceswithstudent-athletes,hisprimaryconcernafterreceivingtheattorney'se-rnailswaswhetheranyofhisplayerswereassociatingwithindividualsinvolvedincriminalactivities.HeaddedthathedidnotreporttheinformationtotheinstitutionbecausehebelievedthattherewereunusualextenuatingcircumstancesthatoutweighedhiminformingtheUniversityoftheinformationhehadlearned.Inparticular,hewasprotectingtheconfidentialityoftheattorney(whichtheattorneyrequested)andofthefederalcriminalinvestigation,HeprioritizedpotentialcriminalactivityandthepossibilityofinterferingwithanongoingcriminalinvestigationoverpotentialNCAAviolations.CoachTresselstatedthatafterreceivingtheinformation,hisconcernsabouthisplayersassociatingwithindividualsinvolvedwithpotentialcriminalactivitycausedhim
{00108356-1)3

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