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NCAA won't hit Ohio State with most severe charges

The NCAA told Ohio State it won't face the most severe charges possible in the scandal that cost coach Jim Tressel his job.

NCAA investigators said they found no evidence that Ohio State failed to properly monitor its football program or any evidence of a lack of institutional control, according to a letter sent to the university and released Friday.

Investigators also said they have not found new violations.

The notice clearing Ohio State of the most serious of institutional breaches is a big break for the university, which will meet with the NCAA's committee on infractions Aug. 12. That committee could accept penalties Ohio State placed on itself or could pile on recruiting restrictions, bowl bans and other, stiffer sanctions.

Ohio State spokesman Jim Lynch said the NCAA's findings were consistent with the university's investigation into what happened.

Tressel stepped down under pressure in May, months after the university discovered e-mails showing he had been warned by an attorney in April 2010 about his players' involvement with a Columbus tattoo parlor owner. The coach knew players received cash and tattoos for autographs, championship rings and equipment but did not tell anyone at Ohio State or the NCAA for about nine months.

The university said this month that it would vacate the 2010 season, including its Sugar Bowl victory over Arkansas and its share of the Big Ten champion­ship. It self-imposed a two-year probation, in addition to suspending six players for the first five games and forcing Tressel out.

Miles responds: LSU coach Les Miles defended his program's purchase of videos from a scouting service run by Willie Lyles, saying the Tigers needed the package to see game action of recruits. LSU is under investigation by the NCAA for its dealings with Lyles, who was already being looked into for the $25,000 fee he charged Oregon. LSU paid $6,000 for Lyles' junior college package, which Miles said was helpful in scouting junior college quarterback Zach Mettenberger.

More football: Kansas freshman quarterback Brock Berglund faces a misdemeanor assault charge after being accused of hitting a man April 9 during a party in Sedalia, Colo. … Texas A&M bumped coach Mike Sherman's salary up to $2.2 million annually ($400,000 raise a year) and added a year to the four remaining on his contract.

Tennessee punishes itself: Tennessee self-imposed a two-year probation on its athletics department as part of its response to alleged NCAA violations, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported. The 12 charges against the school, including recruiting violations, were made by the NCAA in February after nearly two years of investigating basketball coach Bruce Pearl, football coach Lane Kiffin and their coaching staffs. Kiffin had already left for USC, and Pearl was fired in March. The school is awaiting the NCAA's final ruling and any additional penalties.

NCAA won't hit Ohio State with most severe charges 07/22/11 [Last modified: Friday, July 22, 2011 11:21pm]

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