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Saturday, May 7, 2011
Players' car deals new layer to OSU saga

By Adam Rittenberg

Although the NCAA's Notice of Allegations to Ohio State last month brought more bad publicity for coach Jim Tressel and the program, it didn't contain much that the school didn't already know.

Terrelle Pryor
Terrelle Pryor is among the dozens of Ohio State players who have purchased used cars at two Columbus-area dealerships.
Ohio State's big fear throughout this process is that something else would come to light, another layer that could bring more trouble.

It might have just arrived.

The Columbus Dispatch reports Saturday that Ohio State will investigate used-car purchases made by dozens of Buckeyes players at two Columbus-area dealerships. According to the newspaper, the school investigation will examine at least 50 sales to both Ohio State players and their relatives to see if any improper benefits were provided.

Ohio State compliance director Doug Archie told The Dispatch, "I have nothing to believe a violation has occurred." Archie also said that he was aware of all the players' car purchases but not those made by their relatives.
NCAA rules don't prohibit athletes from shopping at the same stores, eating at the same restaurants or buying cars at the same dealerships. The rules prohibit athletes and their relatives from receiving discounts that are not offered to the general public.

Some nuggets from the story:
There's a lot of smoke here for Ohio State at a very bad time. Archie plans to look at the transactions and work with the Big Ten during the investigation. But this could once again open things up to the NCAA, which recently has spent a lot of time in Columbus.

Some folks close to the Buckeyes program told me in March that players' cars could be the next issue, especially if the NCAA began digging. The Dispatch report has to be on the radar in Indianapolis, and it'll be interesting to see how this process unfolds.

Tressel isn't mentioned in The Dispatch report, but there will be questions asked about what he or other Buckeyes coaches knew of these transactions.

Sept. 3 feels like a long way off for the Scarlet and Gray.