December 26, 2010 by staff
Pryor and four teammates were suspended Thursday by the NCAA for the first five games of next season for the sale of championship rings, jerseys and awards. They also received benefits from a bad – up two years ago – from the tattoo parlor and its owner.
“I learned more about tattoos than I can really want to know,” athletic director Gene Smith said. “As a student-athlete, you’re not allowed to use your character to obtain promotion services.”
The NCAA said everyone can still play in the Sugar Bowl against Arkansas on Jan. 4. Ohio State first five games of next season are against Akron, Toledo, Miami, Colorado and Michigan. Ohio State plans to appeal, hoping that the number of games could be reduced.
Tattoos can run anywhere from 50 to hundreds and even thousands of dollars. Many college athletes have more than one. Pryor certainly is. A single arm is covered with his biceps to his wrist.
“I paid for my tattoos. Go Bucks” Pryor posted on his Twitter account on Wednesday night.
He even sold a sports prize of 2008 with its Fiesta Bowl 2008 Big Ten championship rings. More serious fans at Ohio State, he sold a “gold pants” jewel – an iconic charm given to players who are part of a victory over rival Michigan. It can not be easily forgiven by Buckeye fans who revere these traditions.
His teammates also sold Big Ten championship rings – the Buckeyes have won six conference titles – more football jerseys, pants and shoes.
With Pryor, leading running back Daniel “Boom” Herron, No. 2 catcher Posey Divert, All-Big Ten offensive tackle Mike Adams and backup defensive end Solomon Thomas should be based on the five games and make a donation of 1,000 to 2.500 and – the value of things they have sold or discounts they received – charity.
A sixth player, freshman linebacker Jordan Whiting, must rest on the first game of the 2011 season and pay and 150 to a charity.
Smith said the punishment should be mitigated because of the way the players have used the money they received.
“The time has happened with these young men was a very difficult period in our society. This is one of the toughest environments in our economic history,” he said. “The decisions they fact they have done to help their families.”
Smith asked how the money for their families jibed with tattoos free or reduced rate.
“The discount on tattoos is not as big as the other pieces,” he said. “I’m not trying to do both the same. But the money was for the needs of the family. ”
The Associated Press left telephone messages at that number is considered the tattoo parlor in question. Smith, Coach Jim Tressel and the NCAA did not provide his name because he is part of an ongoing investigation by the federal government.
“We all have a little sensor in us:” Well, I’m not sure if I should do that, “said Tressel.”And sometimes it overrided by what you think your need is. … I would have thought that there was no way that they thought that (sale items) would be common practice.”
After bowling, the five may have to make decisions about whether they will return for a shortened season or enter the top NFL draft. Tressel acknowledged their decisions may be influenced by the situation of the NFL labor uncertain.
“I’m not sure this would be the most advantageous time to have a job interview (with the NFL), he said.
The NCAA does not suspend players for January 4 Sugar Bowl against the Razorbacks eighth because they “do not enjoy teaching the rules during the period of the violations occurred.”
“These are significant penalties for results and information provided by the university,” Kevin Lennon, vice president for academic affairs and the NCAA membership, said in a statement.
Lennon said a game was added to the usual penalty of four games because players did not “immediately disclose violations when presented with an appropriate education rules.”
There are seven full-time staff and two interns in compliance department Ohio State. Smith said they were complicit in the abuses because they do not make it “explicit” to players that they were not authorized to receive such benefits.
Smith and Tressel said they were relieved the players can play in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans. The NCAA said its policy allows players to participate in a league match or cup if they were “not aware that they were committing violations.”
“We respect the decision by the NCAA and Big Ten Conference and we appreciate the efforts of Ohio State and Big Ten to allow the student-athletes to participate in our game,” Sugar Bowl Chief Executive Officer Paul Hoolahan said.
As Smith and Tressel left news conference Thursday, Smith tried to lighten the mood.
“We could,” he said with a smile, “hiring a tattoo and put it in the Woody Hayes (Athletic Center).”
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