Just how much did Jim Tressel know about the reported NCAA violations involving the sale of Ohio State memorabilia in exchange for tattoos that led to the suspension of five prominent football players? On Tuesday, following the announcement Ohio State would self-impose sanctions upon Tressel, emails were released revealing the correspondence between the Buckeyes' head coach and an attorney who originally raised a red flag about athletes selling memorabilia in April of 2010.
The emails detail a federal drug trafficking investigation that centered on a local tattoo parlor owner, Edward Rife, who possessed signed memorabilia from current Ohio State players. The first email, dated April 2, 2010, raised the alarm while notifying Tressel of the history of Rife and providing basic information about the signed memorabilia he was in possession of. Tressel responded on the same day, saying he will "get on it ASAP."
Two weeks later, the same attorney sent Tressel another email providing more details about the memorabilia and advising Tressel to keep his players away from Rife. The attorney adds the email was confidential, a defense Tressel used in his press conference.
Here's the emails, listed in chronological order (H/T Sports By Brooks).
Tressel was suspended for the first two games of the 2010 season and fined $250,000 as part of sanctions imposed by Ohio State on Tuesday.
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