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“Ohio State is investigating more than 50 transactions between Ohio State athletes and their families and two Columbus auto dealerships. "They have a lot (of dirt) on everybody," Small said, "cause everybody was doing it." Small had 61 catches for 659 yards and three touchdowns during his Ohio State career, which was marked by frequent suspensions and discipline. He spent time on the practice squads of the Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Vikings and Washington Redskins and now has returned to Ohio State to get his degree in sociology. Small said players went to see Edward Rife at Fine Line Ink tattoo parlor because Rife was an Ohio State fan and gave big discounts. It was the U.S. Attorney's investigation of Rife on federal drug-trafficking charges that led to Ohio State officials finding out about the improper benefits. Small said the players would have been foolish to turn down the discounted tattoos. "If you go in and try to get a tattoo, and somebody is like, 'Do you want 50 percent off this tattoo?' You're going to say, 'Heck yeah,' " Small said. Tressel continually suspended or benched Small during his playing days at Ohio State. One of the team's fastest players, he was seen as the heir apparent to Ted Ginn Jr. after the wide receiver and kick returner went to the NFL. But Small's career was marked by his stay in Tressel's doghouse. "They explain the rules to you, but as a kid you're not really listening to all of them rules," Small said. "You go out and you just, people show you so much love, you don't even think about the rules. You're just like, 'Ah man, it's cool.' You take it, and next thing you know the NCAA is down your back." Another former Ohio State player interviewed by The Lantern, defensive back Malcolm Jenkins, said Ohio State told players about NCAA rules, and if the rules were broken, it was the players' fault. Ohio State spokesman Dan Wallenberg responded: "We educate as best we can and expect student-athletes and staff to follow our messaging and policies." Former Buckeyes basketball player Mark Titus wrote Tuesday on his blog that the perks within the football program are far from a secret. "Any OSU student in the past five years could tell you that a lot of the football players drive nice cars," Titus wrote. "You'd have to be blind to not notice it." Small said there was no shortage of people trying to help Ohio State athletes. "Everywhere you go, while you're in the process of playing at Ohio State," Small said, "you're going to get a deal every which way."
They explain the rules to you, but as a kid you're not really listening ... people show you so much love, you don't even think about the rules. You're just like 'Ah man, it's cool.' You take it, and next thing you know the NCAA is down your back.” -- Ex-Ohio State WR Ray Small