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P. 1
OSU March 2011 Self Report Pt. 1

OSU March 2011 Self Report Pt. 1

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03/11/2011

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i
v!s.
JulieRocLach Director
of
EnforcementServicesNation
al
CollegiateAthletic Association P.O.B
x
622lndianapolis, Indiana 46202-6222
Dem-
Iv[s
.RocLach:
Office
of
Legal Affairs
1590 N. Hi&hStr
ee
t, Suite500
C
olumbu
s, OH 4320
1-2
178
Phon
e (6
14
) 292-06J I Fax(614)292-8699
March
8._0
II
Thisi
in
reference
to
the
recent conversati
on
betweenrepresentatives
of
TheOhio
Sta
leUnivers
it
y
("'U
niversity"or "institution") and
th
e NCAA Enforceme
nt
St
afT
and constitutes
a
self-repo
rL
of
aviolation
of
NCAAlegislationinvolvingthe
in
stitution'sheadfootballcoach.Morespecificall
y,
th
e University reportsthat:
/Jelweell
tI
l'
period
of
April
2,
201
0,
Clnd
JanuCilY 15
,
_011
,
Heod FootballCoach
Jim
Tresselviolale
c!
th
e
pro
vi
-ions
of
1\
CAA
Bylaw
10
.1
whenhefailed
to
nott!
)'
ill
stitlllionaloI/lcials
of
inf
ormcllio
/l
he
receivedbeginning
in
April2010
thaIcOl1ccrnedpotenlial
vio
lations
of
NCAA
prelerenrialIreatmentlegislalion with s
lUd
e
nt
-alhleles
on
the
fo
olball
realll.
CoachTrussel receivede-mails.li.o
lll
all
a
ttom
eythat
provided
spec{jic
ir?fOI'II1Qfiol1
abo
ut
two sllldc
lIl
-athletes
sell
ill
g
llI
e
mombiliu
10
a
local taltooparlor
o\p
l/
cr.Thesee
lIIa
ilsalsoindicated
lh
atone s
lII
den
t-
arhlele
lIIay
1J(I\'e
received
ji'el.!
(lnd/ordiscounted sel'"i 'es
at
(./
taflu()par/
oJ'
.;
lIrlJou
gh CoachTressel/wi! the information,he didnut
iI?
/orlll
inSlifllrioJ1C1I
offiC
ia
ls
.
Upon rcccivinginformation about
thi
smatter
in
Jan
ua
ry
2011
U
ni
ver
si
ty
of
fi
c
ial
sacted
imm
ediatel
y.
TileFaculty Athletics Rep
re
sentative,key administrators from
th
e Office
of
LegalAffairsand
the
President'sOfficebecameengaged
in
the inquir
y.
After
condUCting
severalinterviews,theUnivers
it
y
ha
cletenn
incd
the
above
NCAA
violationoccurredand
is
imp
osing significantcorrectivea
nd
punitivemeasures uponCoachTressel
ancl
thefootball program.Thisletter
wi
ll
reviewthe
in
stitution
's
inquio
and also detail thcsecorrective
and
punitiveactions,whichinclude s
Ll
spending him fromcoachingseve
ral
ga
me
sduring
the
20
11
footballseason,reducing
hi
s
sa
lar
y,
and
pr
ecluding CoachTresselfrom
havi
ngany involvement
with
springpractices orsummercamps
in
20
11
.Overviewoflnquirv
On
December1
9,2010,
th
e
in
stitutionsubmitt
ed
a
se
lf-reportofaviolation
of
Bylav'!
1
2.
1.
2
.1.
6
and
an
eligibilityre
in
statement request to
CA.A
Vice
Pres
i
de
nt
of
Academicand
Me
mb
ers
hi
p Affairs
Kevin
Lennona
nd
NCAADirector
of
Seco
nd
ary Enforcement C
hri
s Strobel.Thisreport involvedsixcurrent
Cootba
ll
student-athleteswho sold
in
stitut
io
nally-iss
ued
memorabiliaorreceiveddiscountedservices.
At
the
timc
thi
sreport wassubmittedtotheNCAA,
th
e U
ni
ve
rs
it
ybeliev
ed
that
th
efirst notice recei
ved
by
in
stitutionalofficials was contained
in
a
Dece
mb
er
7,20
10,
le
tt
er
from
th
eU.S. Department
of
Justice
to
the
Univer
si
t
y's
Office
of
LegalAffairs,
In
essence,
the
le
tte
r indicated thatcertainOhioState Univers
ity
sports
memorabilia
had
been
seized
in
a
criminal
investigation
anc!
qu
es
tion
ed
whethert
he
Univer:ity or
{00108356-1 }
 
certain student-athletes had ownership interest in these items. Utilizing the letter to begin its investigation,the University conducted an inquiry and submitted the December 19, 2010, self-report.However, on January 13, 2011, while reviewing information on
an
unrelated legal issue, the institution'sOffice
of
Legal Affairs discovered an e-mail from Coach Tressel that was the subject matter
of
some
of
theactivities pertaining to the University's December 2010NCAA self-report. The Office
of
Legal Affairsnotified appropriate institutional officials and an additional inquiry began. One
of
the first actions was toconduct a search
of
Coach Tressel's e-mail account. This search uncovered three e-mail strings betweenCoach Tressel and an attorney relating
to
this matter and
to
certain student-athletes. Two strings occurred
in
April 2010, and one in June 2010.E-mails searches were then conducted by the University
of
all football coaching staff members and otherfootball administrative staff members. After these searches, it was concluded that no other e-mailcorrespondence toCoach Tressel or any other football coaching
or
other football administrative staffmember existed that related to the football student-athletes' activities set out in the University's December
19
NCAA self-report. As a result, the institution believes that no other football coaching or otheradministrative staff member was knowledgeable prior to December 20 I 0
of
these activities and needed
to
be
interviewed.On January 16, 20
II,
three days after the initial e-mail was discovered, Coach Tressel was questioned
by
institutional officials about his correspondence with the attorney and he acknowledged receiving these emails. On January 21, 2011, the institution retained The Compliance Group (TCG) to serve as an outsideconsultant on this matter. As you know, shortly thereafter, you were informed
of
this information andinvited to participate in the institution's ongoing investigation.
On
February 8, the NCAA and institutionalrepresentativesconducted an interview
of
Coach Tressel. Additional joint interviews with the Universityand the NCAA were conducted with various individ1lals over the following two weeks resulting in this selfreport.The institution will continue its inquiry in conjunction with the NCAA Enforcement Staff but believes thatat this point,
it
is appropriate
to
report this information.Overview
of
E-mailThe e-mails discovered by the University indicated that the attorney initially e-mailed Coach Tressel onApril 2, 2010, with information pertaining
to
football student-athletes' alleged visits to a local tattoo parlor.The e-mail also indicated that the owner
of
the parlor possessed Ohio State football memorabilia, that onespecific student-athlete may have been given free or reduced tattoo services, and that the owner
of
the parlorhad a criminal background and was the subject
of
a criminal investigation. Coach Tressel replied "I will geton it ASAP"
in
an e-mail response on the same day.The attorney e-mailed Coach Tressel again on April 16, 2010 with additional information, including thattwo student-athletes were selling their Championship rings. Coach Tressel e-mailed a reply
of
"keep
me
posted as to what I need to do,
if
anything."Finally,on June I, Coach Tressel initiated an e-mail
to
the attorney asking
if
the attorney had
a d d i t i o n ~ 1 
names
of
football student-athletes involved in these activities. The attorney replied the same day that
he
didnot have additional names. On June
6,
Coach Tressel thanked the attorney for his response.
No
other email correspondence between the attorney and Coach Tressel (or the
a t t ~ r n e y 
and any
~ t h e ~ 
f ~ o t b a l l 
coaching
staff
member and other football administrative staff members) was discovered by the mstltutlon.
{OOl08356-1}
2
------
--
 
Information Relating to the ViolationsThe University contends that Coach Tressel violated NCAA Bylaw
10.1
and also failed
to
follow theinstitution's protocol for reporting
of
violations by not informing compliance or other institutionaladministrators
of
the information he received beginning
in
April 20 I 0 This policy is communicated to allcoaches and
staff
on a regular basis. The policy,
in
part,
is
detailed below:
"Any employee, student·athlete, or other individual associated with
The
Ohio
SialeUniversity Athletics Department must notifY
the
Compliance Office immediately
of
anypossible or potential violalions
of
University, Big
Ten,
or NCAA rules. "
Coach Tressel's employment agreement also obligates him to inform compliance and the Director
of
Athletics
of
any violations
or
likely violations
of
NCAA rules.Besides not coming forth unsolicited to the Director
of
Athletics or a member
of
the University'scompliance staff, below are the occasions whentheinstitution believes Coach Tressel had a specificopportunity to provide information relative
to
the NCAA violation reported
in
December but failed
to
do so.Coach Tressel:
\.
Signed the NCAA Certificate
of
Compliance Form on September 13, 2010, indicating he has reportedany knowledge
of
possible violations
to
the institution;
11.
Did not report the information in the e·mails or his knowledge
of
potential violations
to
the institutionin early December 2010 when he initially learned from University officials
on
or around December 9that information had been received from the Department
of
Justice regarding the student·athletespotentially violating NCAA legislation for selling memorabilia and receiving discounted services; andiii. Did not report the information in the e·mails orhisknowledge
of
potential violations on December
16,
2010, when asked by institutional officials about his knowledge
of
the student·athletes' involvement
in
these activities. More specifically, while conducting its inquiry, institutional officials interviewed thesix involved student·athletes. Following theinterviews, University officials informally questionedCoach Tressel about his knowledge
of
this information. When Coach Tressel was asked
if
he hadbeen contacted about the matter or knew anything about it, he replied that while
he
had received a tipabout general rumors pertaining
to
certain
of
his players, that information had not been specific, and
it
pertained to their off· field choices. He implied that the tip related to the social decisions/choices beingmade by certain student·athletes. He added
he
did not recall from whom he received the tip.
He
alsostated that he did not know that any items had been seized.During the January 16,2011 meeting with institutional officials and during his February
8,
2011, interviewwith the NCAA and the University, Coach Tressel explained that based on a few
of
his past experienceswith student·athletes, his primary concern after receiving the attorney's e-mails was whether any
of
hisplayers were associating with individuals involved in criminal activities. He added that he did not report theinformation
to
the institution because he believed that there were unusual extenuating circumstances thatoutweighed him informing the University
of
the information
he
had learned. In particular,
he
was protectingthe confidentiality
of
the attorney (which the attorney requested) and
of
the federal criminal investigation.
He
prioritized potential criminal activity and the possibility
of
interfering with an ongoing criminalinvestigation over potential
NCAA
violations. Coach Tressel stated that after receiving the information, hisconcerns about his players associating with individuals involved with potential criminal activity caused
him
{OOl08356-1}
3

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