NCF Nation: Aaron Kniffin

Ohio State players, coaches and administrators remained silent a day after Jim Tressel announced his resignation as head coach.

No formal news conferences have been scheduled, and interim head coach Luke Fickell might only speak publicly next week. The day was not without an update on the Terrelle Pryor/car situation, including the release of a sworn affidavit by car salesman Aaron Kniffin.
"The deals that I did for Ohio State student-athletes were no different than any of the other 10,000-plus deals that I've done for all my other customers," Aaron Kniffin said in the statement. "... OSU student-athletes weren't given any enticements to buy the car at my dealership. At no time did memorabilia come into play when it came time to negotiate a deal or buy a car. I was never given any memorabilia from a student-athlete in exchange for a car deal."

Colleague Pat Forde was in Columbus on Tuesday, and captures the mood on and around campus the day after Tressel's resignation.

Some tidbits from Forde's column:
  • Often using the past tense, Ohio State fans celebrated the good civic deeds and great football accomplishments of Jim Tressel, while lamenting a resignation they saw as inevitable.
  • Although some students question some of the rules, they don't blame the NCAA for enforcing them. Although they question some of the coverage, they don't blame the media for investigating. They do, however, energetically blame quarterback Terrelle Pryor. One item not selling this week at College Traditions: authentic No. 2 jerseys ($150) in both red and white. That's the number Pryor wears. On previous fall Saturdays, there were thousands of fans wearing them in the stands at Ohio Stadium. Don't expect that to be the case this fall.
  • Several [students] said they'd heard about the tattoo scam, and several mentioned the late-model cars they've seen football players drive. "I'm driving a 2000 Isuzu Rodeo," laughed senior Jeff Whaley. "And I work. You see the nice watch, nice earrings. You see the cars and wonder." In reality, the students do more than just wonder. They know. So do the older fans who pay the big money for tickets and buy those jerseys. They know, but they don't want to know. This is the same everywhere. They want to believe there is a perfectly good reason the star player is driving an expensive car, or why his family has moved to town, or why he has $250 earphones around his neck.

Colleague Gene Wojciechowski also writes about Ohio State student reporter Zack Meisel and the backlash he has received since The Lantern reported its illuminating interview with former Ohio State receiver Ray Small.

Colleague Bruce Feldman also weighs in with a look at what Ohio State can learn from the USC situation (Insider).
I had a conversation this morning with a buddy who said he thinks the heavy sanctions would scare a lot of these candidates away from pursuing the OSU job. I disagree. Even if the sanctions are along the lines of what USC got -- loss of several scholarships and a multiyear postseason ban -- I still believe a lot of big names will be attracted to the position.

I agree. Ohio State football remains an elite brand in college football with the resources to compete for national championships. There will be enough interest from top candidates.

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