OSU Leaders Speak About Football Investigation

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Former Coach Jim Tressel paces the sidelines during an Ohio State football game. Recent controversy with the NCAA cost Tressel his job.(Photo: WDPG share (Flickr))
Former Coach Jim Tressel paces the sidelines during an Ohio State football game. Recent controversy with the NCAA cost Tressel his job.(Photo: WDPG share (Flickr))

Ohio State University leadership today broke its silence on allegations of wrongdoing in the school’s football program. The NCAA is investigating whether former coach Jim Tressel and a handful of players violated rules and possibly put the university at risk of sanctions. The top leaders spoke to the issue during a Board of Trustees meeting.

OSU President E. Gordon Gee says the university has been as transparent as it possibly can during the investigation of its football program.

“We have a very strong compliance project,” Gee said. “And we’re going forward with that compliance effort in ways that make absolute sense to us.”

The NCAA investigation prompted the trustees to review what it calls “all compliance measures,” not only for athletics but university-wide.

The controversy has already cost former head coach Jim Tressel his job and has led to the departure of star quarterback Terrelle Pryor. Board chairman Les Wexner says board members decided to keep mum to this point in a bid to counteract negative publicity.

“This particular issue surfaces around integrity, is urgent and it’s important,” Wexner said.

Trustee Jerry Jurgensen suggests the allegations of wrongdoing should prompt a look at university and individual values.

“The cracks here weren’t really cracks of rules and procedures, they were cracks in a value system,” Jurgensen said.

OSU faces an early August hearing in front of the NCAA. Also, chief financial officer Geoff Chatas was asked about a possible financial settlement with former coach Tressel:

Q) Can you shed any light on possible progress on Mr. Tressel’s severance or contract changes at this time?

“No comment at this time,” Chatas said.

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