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Published: Tue, May 31, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m.

Staff report


It is improbable that Jim Tressel was not aware of football program violations that occurred during his tenure as Youngstown State University’s head coach, according to a Sports Illustrated investigation.

Tressel on Monday resigned as head coach at Ohio State just hours before the magazine released new allegations associated with the tattoo-for-memorabilia scandal. The magazine alleges as many as 28 players sold memorabilia for tattoos.

The SI article that appeared online Monday night and will be available in print today also retraces the YSU scandal. In February 2000, 11 months before OSU hired Tressel, YSU acknowledged football violations and announced self-imposed sanctions.

“What bothered me was that the family knows,” retired YSU President Leslie Cochran reportedly told SI. “Inside the family, everyone knows what’s going on.”

YSU hired Tressel in December 1985.

“In 1990, with hometown hero Ray Isaac under center, the Penguins went undefeated in the regular season. In ‘91, they won the Division I-AA national title,” journalist George Dorhmann wrote in the SI piece.

In 1988, according to court documents from a jury-tampering trial involving Mickey Monus, a YSU trustee and the founder of the Phar-Mor drugstore chain, Tressel called Monus about arranging a job for Isaac. By the time he left Youngstown State, in 1992, Isaac had collected more than $10,000 in cash and checks from Monus and Monus’ associates and employees, the article states.

In January 1994, the NCAA’s director of enforcement sent Cochran a letter about Isaac driving a car provided by a local business, which would turn out to be Phar-Mor; 13 Penguins had jobs with Phar-Mor during the season, in violation of NCAA rules; and nonscholarship student athletes were being illegally paid by the university’s director of athletic development, the article continues.

YSU announced self-imposed sanctions in 2000, and the NCAA allowed YSU to keep its 1991 national title.

“I’m sad because he’s such a good guy and he’d do anything for you,” said Dan Wathen, the strength and conditioning coach at YSU during Tressel’s tenure.

The article skewered the credibility of Ohio State’s program by alleging that from the fall of 2002 through 2010, as many as 28 Ohio State players may have have traded or sold memorabilia, a violation of NCAA rules.

“It is a staggering number, a level of wrongdoing that would seem hard to miss for a coach and an entire athletic department, one that includes an NCAA compliance staff of at least six people,” Dorhmann wrote.

“Yet the university trusted the coach, and the coach says he knew nothing before April 2010, when the Columbus lawyer tipped him off in an e-mail.”


1seminole(476 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

Sorry, yall, but The Vest is dirty. He had to know about the YSU violations, the school is way too small not to, and he knew about the OSU violations, obviously. Unfortunately it's status quo for this corrupt town, just another stellar moment to point out the arrogance and corruption in Youngstown/Mahoning Valley.

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2mishmash(306 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

"Rarely Scrutinized" are the key words.

Hush Hush....... when similar allegations arose about Ray Isaac involving Mickey Monus............Hush Hush by Malsmissur, The YSU president, The Mayor & everybody including Strollo, Ungaro, McKelvey, the list is endless.... all ENABLERS.

THE TRUTH is Tressel was doing it continuessly at YSU & carried over the tradition to The Ohio State University.

Players loved playing under Tressel.....YEA....... truth is they all got "duked" with things ($$, cars, etc) under his leadership.

Tressel got second chances & third chances..... in his personal life (when he screwed over his first wife in Boardman & everyone looked the other way).....

It will be interesting what they do at YSU with his name to go on that workout facility.


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3endthismess(414 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

Yes, best dressed in a vest needs to finally be placed under his own microscope. He was dirty while he was in Youngstown and was so smug, arrogant and secure with his "rat pack" connections that he decided to take his crafty little slick tricks on to Columbus for an oncore performance. Many more eyes and toes in the big city. Sorry, the vest is way past sanctions now. The law is still applicable to all offenders and here...we do have a really serious offender.

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4getitright13(12 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

First and foremost, even those this story is making national news and there have been several reports, no one commenting here or even the reporters know the entire story. Secondly, if you feel the need to actually leave a comment could you please be grammatically correct and spell words with the letters that they are actually spelled with.

"oncore" Honestly, I pray that you are an eight year-old because anyone that has passed that age would know that it is spelled encore and would have the ability to structure their sentences just a little bit better.

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5seminole(476 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

@ getitright...Woops! Need to check yourself real quick on the "even those this" error...

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6Silence_Dogood(1527 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

Way to go getitright. On your very first post you killed two birds with one stone. Proved that you are a smug fool, and self righteous.

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