Ohio State University president Gordon Gee, athletic director Gene Smith, and head Buckeyes football coach Jim Tressel will address the media tonight in a 7 p.m. conference concerning allegations that Tressel had eight months of prior knowledge of players selling off team memorabilia before the matter became public last December. Based on statements gathered from involved parties thus far, we have a few questions of our own we'd like to see addressed tonight.
• First, read Gee's statement to the Associated Press (emphasis added):
"We have reported a violation, a perceived violation, that we were having discussions with them (the NCAA) about the best way to handle it," Gee told The Associated Press while at the statehouse for the governor's State of the State speech. "We reported that immediately when we found it."
The way NCAA investigations are kept under tight wraps, the case against Tressel might have been brewing for months already, and it's impossible to tell right now when, exactly, this all came to light, but Gee's phrasing opens up a new possibility: Could Jim Tressel have been lying to the school and the NCAA? That he's even in this situation at all is almost unbelievable, but if one's possible, so's the other. (Also: "perceived violation"? Is that the equivalent of letting "I'm sorry you were offended" stand in for an apology?)
• What, exactly, went on in December between the NCAA, Jim Delany, and the University to make the five suspended players' participation in the Sugar Bowl possible, and how will this news affect the as-yet unserved sentences?
• In light of recent events, will the university continue to appeal for reduced suspensions for those players?
• How mad is A.J. Green right now?
• And how interesting is this December quote from Tressel now (from the initial Yahoo! Sports report):
"I think ultimately we as coaches feel as if the buck stops here – that we’re the ones that need to make things even more crystal clear than when a compliance officer might spend time with our team or an outside speaker or whatever it happens to be," he said. "The bottom line is that we feel as if that’s our responsibility, so obviously we don’t feel good about the fact that we fell short."
This being a closemouthed (well, mostly) university under fire, it's unlikely we'll receive any answers to any of this, but it's worth pondering.