Interesting piece a few days ago about tOSU and their "handling" of its investigation of the memorabilia side of things...
Ohio State University officials remained in contact with a memorabilia dealer they were investigating for wrongdoing and used him as a mole to rat out others, according to records released this month in response to a public records request submitted by ESPN.
First, a little helpful context: Sales of licensed collegiate merchandise is a multimillion-dollar revenue stream for the university. And, as we've seen time and time again, the memorabilia and autographs area can be an NCAA violation concern, too.
As far back as 2009, Ohio State officials had concerns about local photographer Dennis Talbott selling autographed photographs and items from players, including quarterback Terrelle Pryor. But rather than cut off Talbott entirely, the university maintained communication with him in order to root out unlicensed memorabilia dealers who were selling OSU items -- including those with the signatures of players. Players are not allowed to make money from their autographs, and it is up to the school to police such matters.
So, if tOSU was onto Talbott and then used him as a "mole" why didn't the NCAA interview, or attempt to interview, Talbott?
How does the school not report this if it went all the way back to 2009?
I haven't read the OSU investigation documents in a while now, so I don't recall where Talbott fit into this until later. Maybe the guys at the BBC can clear it up. But this stinks.
So, if Tressel knew about the swag for tats thing in 2010 how does the school not take a hit for knowing about Talbott since 2009?
I personally find it disgusting.
It is clear that things were way out of control under Gene Smith's watch and yet the school gets hit with a slap on the wrist?
I have said it before and this proves it. Smith, Gee and Emmert were all in cahoots. Buddies looking out for one another. USC on the other hand, being an outsider, was hammered for far less. There is no way the things that USC was hit for comes even close to the level of things we have read about in the tOSU case.
You can't put this one on Tressel.
Tressel may have lied about the tattooed five but it is clear that things were way out of control before this. Throw in the cars that were barely investigated and this is a full blown mess that drives a stake into the very heart of the sham that the NCAA continues to defend.
This is why the the enforcement and investigated arms of the NCAA MUST be impartial...and now the NCAA wants to use private investigators.
The slope gets more slippery as another layer gets peeled off the onion.
I wonder how the NCAA's mouth piece Ronnie Ramos will explain this...