Ohio State Car Investigation: University Ends Inquiry Into Buckeye Auto Deals

The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles' investigation into Buckeye football players' car purchases uncovered no wrongdoing, but the Ohio State football program isn't quite in the clear just yet.

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Ohio State Ends Investigation Into Buckeye Players' Car Deals

In the wake of this week's announcement that the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles found no improprieties in 25 car purchases made by Terrelle Pryor and other Buckeye football players, Ohio State has announced it's punting on the university's own inquiry. The Associated Press has more details, including a statement from OSU that had better not come back to haunt them:

"We have seen no evidence that would lead us to believe that Ohio State student athletes violated any policies when purchasing used cars," said university spokesman Jim Lynch.

And that's great, unless they missed something, which would only hurt the university's standing with the Committee on Infractions. In addition to the test drives mentioned in yesterday's update, there are still a couple more ways this thing could go sideways for the Buckeyes; namely, that the BMV's investigation didn't give the Bureau access to players' financial records. Our Ohio State blog, however, is just happy for the moment to have at least part of this whole mess over and done with.


Terrelle Pryor, Ohio State Players' Car Purchases Not Illegal, According To Ohio BMV

There's a strongly-worded report out from the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles which states clearly that an internal investigation into car purchases made by Ohio State football players has uncovered no evidence of illicit dealings on the part of the players. The Associated Press has more:

The BMV's 65-page report issued Tuesday said the certificates of titles for cars sold by Jack Maxton Chevrolet and Auto Direct to players and families accurately reflected the vehicles' sales prices. The investigation also rejected allegations that the sales prices did not reflect the true cost of the vehicles because players provided dealers with tickets, jerseys and other memorabilia in place of cash.

"We found no evidence in the dealers' business records that tickets and/or sports memorabilia were included in the sales," the report said.

Are the Buckeyes out of the woods on this particular investigation? Maybe, but pitfalls still lie ahead before OSU administrators can kick back and focus on the first, larger memorabilia investigation instead. The BMV investigation's conclusion doesn't mean the NCAA won't be looking into all the details of the situation it can dig up, and if they find discrepancies in this reportedly perfect paperwork, there'll be more trouble in Columbus. And given the Committee on Infractions' capricious behavior of late when it comes to rulings, it's still possible other elements of the players' relationship with the auto dealers (like those perhaps too-frequent Terrelle Pryor test drives) could be tagged as illegal benefits. I hate to wrap up another update with, "This is the NCAA we're dealing with, so all we can do is wait and wonder and, if we're wearing scarlet and gray, cross our fingers," but here we are again.


Ohio State Car Investigation Trots Terrelle Pryor & Friends Back Out For More Scrutiny

As noted earlier in this StoryStream, Ohio State's investigation of dozens of car purchases made by Buckeye athletes and family members is a separate issue from the NCAA's scrutiny of Jim Tressel over football players selling memorabilia in violation of illegal benefit regulations. And with the possibly-shady dealerships story spanning two sports (OSU basketball is also involved), as Eleven Warriors notes, it's going to be nigh-impossible to pin this newest wrinkle on a single coach gone wrong.

There are, however, four common threads between the two cases, in the form of players named in the auto purchase investigation who'll already be serving multi-game suspensions at the outset of the 2011 football season for their roles in the existent NCAA violations hunt:

Terrelle Pryor: Borrowed cars from investigative target Aaron Kniffin, including one for that infamous three-day test drive. His mother and brother bought from Kniffin at Jack Maxton Chevrolet.
DeVier Posey: Bought from Kniffin at Auto Direct.
Solomon Thomas: Bought from Kniffin at Maxton; father bought from Maxton at Auto Direct.
Daniel Herron: Father bought from Kniffin at Auto Direct.

Where will the next domino fall in Columbus? Ohio State fans, want to talk out your heartaches and headaches? Join our Buckeyes community at Along the Olentangy for sympathetic ears and good old-fashioned vitriol.

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