The Ohio State University is investigating at least 50 car deals that involved Ohio State athletes or their families. The University’s director of compliance is investigating to determine if the automobile purchases met NCAA standards. The Columbus Dispatch reported that a car salesman who received game passes from Ohio State athletes handled many of the deals at two different dealerships. Ohio State has since taken the salesman, Aaron Kniffin, off the pass list. Athletes are prevented from receiving special deals not available to other students. They are not permitted to trade autographs for discounts. Both dealerships display signed Ohio State memorabilia in their showrooms.
One car, a 2-year-old Chrysler 300 with fewer than 20,000 miles, was titled to then-sophomore defensive player Thaddeus Gibson in 2009. Documents show the purchase price as $0. Gibson said he did not know why the title showed a zero for the purchase price and said he was still paying for the car.