COLUMBUS, Ohio (CBS) – An investigation by Sports Illustrated delves into the decline and fall of Ohio Buckeyes coach Jim Tressel, who resigned Monday amid NCAA violations from a tattoo parlor scandal.
Tressel resigned Monday with four years left on his estimated $3.5 million contract, Sports Illustrated reported. The resignation came nearly three months after Ohio State called a news conference to announce it has suspended Tressel for two games – later increasing the ban to five games to coincide with the players’ punishment – and fined him $250,000 for knowing his players had received improper benefits from a local tattoo parlor owner.
The scandal involves at least 28 players and goes back to 2002, the magazine reported. The Ohio State Buckeyes allegedly traded memorabilia for tattoos and cash, as well as marijuana, SI reported.
Sports Illustrated reported that questionable ethical decisions by Tressel go back well before the tattoo parlor scandal. As far back as 1988, when Tressel was at the helm of the Youngstown State Penguins, he allegedly asked school trustee and Phar-Mor drugstore chain owner Mickey Monus about getting a job for star quarterback Ray Isaac, SI reported.
Isaac ended up receiving over $10,000 in cash and checks, and a car, from Monus, SI reported. It turned out that 13 members of the team had been given jobs with Phar-Mor during the football season, which violates NCAA rules, the magazine reported.
In 1995, Monus was convicted of 109 federal felony counts for looting the corporate coffers at Phar-Mor, and Isaac later pleaded guilty to bribing a juror, SI reported. Tressel was not implicated, but SI reported he was aware of the car that Phar-Mor gave Isaac, and did might have helped him get out of traffic tickets.
The 58-year-old Tressel had a record of 106-22-0 at Ohio State. He led the Buckeyes to eight Bowl Championship Series games in his 10 years. Combined with a 135-57-2 record in 15 years at Youngstown State, where he won four Division I-AA national championships, Tressel’s career mark was 241-79-2.
He is the author of two books about faith and integrity.
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