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Tressel slammed by NCAA in report

COLUMBUS, Ohio — In a sharply worded rebuke of Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel, the NCAA on Monday accused him of withholding information and lying to keep players on the field who had accepted improper benefits from the owner of a tattoo parlor.

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In a "notice of allegations" sent to the school, the NCAA said the violations relating to Tressel, 58, are considered potentially major. Ohio State was not cited for the most serious institutional breach because Tressel hid information from his superiors for more than nine months.

In a 13-page indictment of Tressel's behavior, the NCAA said Tressel, Ohio State's coach for 11 seasons, permitted players to compete while ineligible; "failed to deport himself … (with) honesty and integrity," and lied when he filled out a compliance form in September that said he had no knowledge of any violations by any player.

Athletic director Gene Smith said he would not comment until the case is resolved. The university said in a statement the allegations were consistent with what it self-reported to the NCAA on March 8.

Tressel appeared at an awards banquet outside Cleveland on Monday night to accept a coaching award named for his late father, Lee. He ignored reporters' questions.

The university has 90 days to respond to the NCAA's request for information before a scheduled date before the infractions committee Aug. 12.

Ohio State reported the violations last year, then fined itself $250,000 and suspended Tressel for five games next season when it learned Tressel had withheld information.

The allegations revolve around five players found in December to have sold the merchandise to Columbus tattoo parlor owner Edward Rife and were suspended for five games next season, although they were allowed to play in the Sugar Bowl. Tressel said later he was alerted to what his players were doing in April 2010 but did not tell school officials until they asked him about it in January, prompting his suspension.

The NCAA said the players — Terrelle Pryor, Dan Herron, DeVier Posey, Mike Adams, Solomon Thomas and Jordan Whiting — would not face further penalties.

fiesta bowl: Nine of the 11 members of an NCAA panel that will help decide the scandal-plagued bowl's fate attended a bowl-sponsored retreat in 2008 that included free meals, resort rooms and golf outings, according to an attendee list obtained in a public records request by Playoff PAC, a group that advocates a playoff system. The Postseason Bowl Licensing Subcommittee is scheduled to meet with Fiesta Bowl officials this week to decide whether to revoke the bowl's license. Subcommittee chairman Nick Carparelli, Big East senior associate commissioner and whose name was on the list, said he didn't see any conflict of interest.

Nebraska: Coach Bo Pelini is getting a new five-year contract to ward off teams that might want to hire him, athletic director Tom Osborne said. Pelini gets an immediate $425,000 raise, to $2.775 million, and will earn more than $3 million a year starting in 2014.

Basketball: UF fills last assistant spot

Florida Atlantic assistant Matt McCall will fill the third and final vacancy on Gators coach Billy Donovan's staff.

McCall has spent the past three seasons as an assistant at FAU under Mike Jarvis. He previously spent several years at Florida with its program while earning his undergraduate and graduate degrees.

"Matt … knows the University of Florida and he knows me," Donovan said. "I felt, in losing three assistant coaches, that it was really important to have a level of familiarity on my staff.''

Times staff writer Antonya English contributed to this report.

Tressel slammed by NCAA in report 04/25/11 [Last modified: Monday, April 25, 2011 11:28pm]

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