clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Ohio State Investigation: Ted Sarniak Drew Suspicion As Far Back As 2008

Ted Sarniak, one of the people in the middle of Jim Tressel's departure from Ohio State, was investigated as far back as 2008 because of his relationship with Terrelle Pryor. NCAA records show that Sarniak was under some suspicion of improperly helping Pryor choose his college, but was cleared of any wrong doing. He was told that he needed to change his relationship, though.

"Mr. Sarniak may continue his relationship with Pryor and his family," Ohio State NCAA compliance director Doug Archie wrote to Sarniak on Sept. 5, 2008. "However, since the relationship does not meet the NCAA's definition of a 'pre-existing relationship,' NCAA rules require that the relationship must change."

The NCAA investigation did find that Sarniak was improperly given free lodging during Pryor's recruiting visit, but that he was later billed for the hotel stay. It was also found that Sarniak paid for some meals of two assistant coaches who were visiting Pryor. The violations were reported as secondary violations, meaning they were considered common and usually unintended.

In April 2010, Tressel's relationship with Sarniak was deemed to have crossed that line. After receiving an email from an anonymous tipster warning Tressel of some possible violations, the coach forwarded the email to Sarniak rather than notify his superiors. Tressel eventually told NCAA investigators that he thought of notifying Sarniak because of his relationship with Pryor and "I felt from a safety standpoint that I needed to alert Ted to the gravity of that." Tressel was forced to resign in May largely because of that decision.