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No wrongdoing found with OSU car deals

6/21/2011

There's good news for the embattled Ohio State football program Tuesday as the state's Bureau of Motor Vehicles has found no evidence Buckeyes football players or their families received improper deals on cars.

The car issue surfaced after allegations that two Columbus-area car dealerships had sold cars to Ohio State players and their families at special rates. The NCAA recently launched a separate investigation into former Buckeyes quarterback Terrelle Pryor and his car usage while at Ohio State.

The BMV's 65-page report issued Tuesday said the certificates of titles for cars sold by Jack Maxton Chevrolet and Auto Direct to players and families accurately reflected the vehicles' sales prices.

This takes some of the heat off of Ohio State's compliance department, which had been questioned in how closely it monitored car deals.

As I've written for weeks, the car sales issue isn't Ohio State's biggest problem. Given the gray area around used cars and sales prices, it's difficult to prove NCAA violations occurred. Still, the BMV's report bodes well for Ohio State at its upcoming hearing before the NCAA's Committee on Infractions.

The allegations of memorabilia sales among players are potentially much more damaging for Ohio State. Individuals such as Edward Rife and Dennis Talbott are likely more significant than Aaron Kniffin in the NCAA's investigation of the program.

The school must prove memorabilia sales are not a systematic problem; that the seemingly hurried December investigation into sales involving Rife and players was sufficient; and that enough was done to educate and monitor the players in this area.