- Adam Rittenberg, ESPN Staff Writer
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Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany says there's no discrepancy in the timeline of when Ohio State discovered emails that showed former coach Jim Tressel knew of potential violations involving football players.
CBSsports.com reported Thursday that Ohio State's timeline of when and how the violations surfaced differs from Delany's. Both CBSsports.com and The Columbus Dispatch reported Delany learned of the information at the same time as both Ohio State and the NCAA because of an open records request. Delany, speaking in a conference call with reporters Sunday, said he became aware of Tressel's violations in mid-January.
But the commissioner told ESPN.com on Thursday that Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith informed him of the violations after the school had discovered them following an open records request. Delany can't recall the exact date Smith called to inform him.
"I'm positive that [Ohio State] learned about it in the middle of January," Delany told ESPN.com. "I don't know if they reported it [to the NCAA] on Jan. 28 or Feb. 3. I know they reported it to me before they reported it to the NCAA, but I couldn't tell you if that was Jan. 22, [Jan.] 28 or Feb. 2."
Smith said at a March 8 news conference that he informed Delany on Feb. 2 before informing the NCAA the next day. Ohio State said it discovered the Tressel emails Jan. 13 and interviewed the coach Jan. 16.
"I sort of adopted their discovery date as my date of notification, but it could have been 10 days later, it could have been two weeks later," Delany said. "I know the sequence was they found out about it after the [Sugar Bowl], I think it was mid-January. They found out about it through a [Freedom of Information Act] request. ... They turned it in within two or three business weeks of their discovery, and they reported it to me closer to the time they turned it in [to the NCAA].
"I'm sure that their chronology is more accurate than mine."
CBSsports.com reported that the earliest open records request Ohio State received this year came from Bloomberg News, which requested the school's NCAA Revenue and Expenses Report on Jan. 24. According to a source, Ohio State's discovery of Tressel's emails came after a records request related to sports but unrelated to the players' violations or the school's internal investigation into the situation.
4dDan Murphy and Austin Ward