More Talbott allegations sting Ohio State


Maybe somewhere, Jim Tressel is spending some time alone with the NCAA rules manual.

But the disgraced former Ohio State coach opted not to attend a rules-compliance seminar in Tampa, Fla., last week that was supposed to be a part of his school-imposed punishment for lying about his knowledge of NCAA violations, the Columbus Dispatch reported.

Of course, now that he has resigned from his position as Buckeyes coach, Tressel didn't need to be at the seminar. While it may have helped his cause to show up at the seminar if he wants to land another college job in the future, the attention and potential media frenzy that would have followed him there probably didn't make it worthwhile for anyone. Interestingly enough, former Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez did attend the seminar.

Perhaps someone from Ohio State should have forced Dennis Talbott to attend a rules seminar. Colleague Mike Fish has an investigative piece on ESPN.com looking at the Columbus businessman/photographer and his relationship with Buckeyes players, including Terrelle Pryor. Among the story's more interesting findings:

  • Talbott brought Pryor and another Buckeyes player to his son's birthday party two years in a row. (Linebacker Thaddeus Gibson was there the first year, while receiver DeVier Posey came the other time.) "We all thought it was crazy," one partygoer told Fish. "It was a Saturday night, and I remember sitting there watching them watch the SEC championship game [on TV]."

  • Talbott drove around town in a Buckeyes-themed van with the vanity license plate "TPRYOR."

  • Talbott's relatives told Fish that he wore the national championship ring of a Buckeyes running back and openly bragged about paying rent for a wide receiver on the 2003 championship team.

  • Talbott owes more than $278,000 to the IRS and nearly $75,000 in unpaid Ohio taxes.

ESPN has reported that the owner of a private golf club warned Ohio State that Talbott was bringing Buckeyes including Pryor to play expensive rounds at the club. The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that Tressel was sent an email in 2007 warning of memorabilia sales by Talbott. The fact that Talbott was still given a media credential and access to the field during Buckeyes games is something that may very well come back to haunt the program when the NCAA sinks its teeth into this whole mess.

If nothing else, the Talbott situation might make an illustrative example at the next NCAA rules seminar.