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Report: NCAA contacts OSU

INDIANAPOLIS — The NCAA notified Ohio State by letter last week that it is still investigating issues involving the program, ESPN reported.

Ohio State already has a Friday meeting with the NCAA Committee on Infractions. But the letter could result in a second notice of allegations and a second trip through the NCAA justice system.

Ohio State spokesman Jim Lynch said president Gordon Gee got a letter from the NCAA on Aug. 3 but it said "absolutely nothing about additional allegations."

"The university has not received any additional allegations from the NCAA," he said. "We do not anticipate discussing any additional allegations with the Committee on Infractions on Friday other than those self reported in March 2011."

The infractions to be discussed Friday, which led to the departure of coach Jim Tressel, relate to memorabilia sold to a local tattoo parlor owner.

The NCAA is not charging the school with "failure to monitor" the program. It concluded the charge, which can bring heavy penalties, was "unwarranted" due to the athletic department's efforts in educating players and coaches about NCAA rules about extra benefits.

The NCAA can either accept Ohio State's self-imposed penalties, which include two years of probation and vacating last year's 12-win season and share of the Big Ten championship, or it can add to them. Also, star quarterback Terrelle Pryor left the school, and four others were suspended for this season's first five games. There is no timetable for a decision.

Meanwhile, Gee said the investigation has cost the school about $800,000 so far.

Presidents discuss simplifying rule book

INDIANAPOLIS — NCAA presidents want to take a leaner, meaner approach to rule breakers.

On the final day of the governing body's presidential retreat, 56 presidents and a handful of other university leaders spent nearly four hours discussing ways to simplify the 439-page Division I rule book and punish those schools with the most serious violations.

"I think there is a very strong sense among presidents and chancellors that we need to be very clear and very severe where infractions do exist and that we want to send a message about certain behaviors," said Oregon State president Ed Ray, chairman of the NCAA's executive committee. "There needs to be very serious penalties for very serious violations."

Ray said the group did not discuss any potential sanctions, deferring instead to a working group that is expected to make recommendations to the full membership. But there is a general consensus, he said, that the rules need simplification.

"For example, instead of 1,000 or 10,000 rules, we need to determine what are the 100 most important things," he said.

A&M TO SEC? Texas Gov. Rick Perry said his alma mater, Texas A&M, and the SEC are discussing membership. "As far as I know, conversations are being had," he said. "That's frankly all I know. I just refer you to the university and the decision makers over there." Several reports have cited tension among Big 12 schools over Texas' ESPN-affiliated Longhorn Network. A&M president R. Bowen Loftin, recently said there was "uncertainty" regarding the university's future membership in the Big 12. A&M released a statement Wednesday, saying: "President Loftin is committed to doing what is best for Texas A&M not only now, but also into the future. We continue to have wide-ranging conversations regarding all aspects of the university, including both academics and athletics."

Paterno back: Penn State coach Joe Paterno returned to practice two days after being blindsided. No media was allowed in, but a picture on the team's website showed a smiling Paterno on a golf cart, his right arm in a sling. Paterno, 84, injured his shoulder and pelvis after a receiver hit him. He spent almost two days at a hospital before being released, saying in a statement he wanted to shift the attention back to his team.

Alleged ponzi scheme: Former Georgia coach Jim Donnan and his wife have settled a legal dispute with a bankrupt liquidation company that accused him of recruiting coaches — including Texas State's Dennis Franchione, Virginia Tech's Frank Beamer and Texas Tech's Tommy Tuberville — to invest in a Ponzi scheme, according to federal court documents The two will transfer about $5.5 million in cash, stocks and other assets to West Virginia-based GLC to settle claims he profited by convincing investors to pump money into the company. Donnan has not been charged with any criminal wrongdoing, and attorney Ed Tolley said his client was "absolutely not involved in a Ponzi scheme."

Tulane: The school said defensive back Renaldo Thomas is "doing well" and was expected to be hospitalized overnight after passing out during practice. The school did not speculate if weather, which was in the mid 90s with a heat index surpassing 100 degrees, was a factor.

Report: NCAA contacts OSU 08/11/11 [Last modified: Thursday, August 11, 2011 12:09am]
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