COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State athletic officials announced Tuesday night that the university violated an NCAA bylaw when football coach Jim Tressel failed to notify the school that he knew some players were selling memorabilia.
The university has self-imposed a two-game suspension for Tressel, a public reprimand and apology, attendance at a compliance seminar and a $250,000 fine, according to a statement issued Tuesday night.
“There was no intent about what (Tressel) did,” said Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith. “At the end of the day, Jim Tressel is our football coach.”
WEB EXTRAS: Read Tressel E-Mails
Smith said that the university became aware of the situation on Jan. 13, while reviewing on an unrelated legal issue. The university’s Office of Legal Affairs notified the appropriate institutional officials and an investigation began immediately.
After conducting additional fact finding, including questioning Tressel, the university notified the NCAA on Feb. 3.
Tressel said that he received e-mails last spring about two of his players who were involved in a drug investigation.
“Admittedly, I probably did not give as much thought to the NCAA,” Tressel said. “I definitely didn’t move forward with this information to anyone simply because in my mind I didn’t know who best it would be. I learned that I probably should have gone to the top legal counsel at the university and perhaps gain the protection you might need in the process.”
Tressel said that he spoke with his team on Tuesday morning before an off-season workout.
The NCAA will make the final decision on any punishment Tressel will receive.
In December, Tressel said the responsibility for educating players about NCAA rules rests with the coaching staff.
“As coaches, it’s our job to make sure the policies are crystal clear,” Tressel said at that time.
On Dec. 23, the university announced it was suspending quarterback Terrelle Pryor, running back Daniel “Boom” Herron, wide receiver DeVier Posey, defensive end Solomon Thomas and offensive lineman Mike Adams for the first five games of the 2011 season.
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