18:00 PM

Ohio State provides update on developments regarding football program

The Ohio State University has submitted its formal response to the NCAA’s Notice of Allegations received by the university on April 21 related to specific questions involving Ohio State’s football program and the actions of its former head football coach, Jim Tressel. Tressel also has submitted his own formal response as requested by the NCAA.

Additionally, Tressel and the university today announced an agreement under which Tressel will change his previously announced resignation to a retirement. The agreement also ends and resolves any issues arising out of Tressel’s employment with Ohio State. Tressel and the university believe this agreement is reasonable and in the parties’ best interests.

Regarding today’s announcement, Tressel said, “I take full responsibility for my mistakes that have led to the ongoing NCAA inquiry and to scrutiny and criticism of the football program. I am grateful for this opportunity to retire from the university that I so deeply respect and that I will continue to support.”

In its response to the NCAA, the university addresses the NCAA’s specific allegations and also highlights steps the university has already taken, including:
•Suspending five players for the first five games of next season;
•Accepting Tressel’s resignation;
•Vacating the football program’s wins in the 2010 season, including its Sugar Bowl victory in January 2011;
•Self-imposing a two-year NCAA probation; and
•Implementing additional measures to enhance the university’s already extensive monitoring, educational and compliance programs.

Commenting on today’s filing, Athletics Director Gene Smith said, “We are fully cooperating with the NCAA, and we look forward to working together to bring a resolution to these current matters. Throughout the entire process since we discovered possible infractions, Ohio State has consistently acted to investigate any allegation, self-report its findings to the NCAA, communicate transparently about its findings, and take necessary remediation steps. Now, consistent with the direction set by our Board of Trustees, we are taking a very hard look on our own at all aspects of our athletic programs to identify and implement improvements designed to ensure that we uphold the highest ideals of honor and integrity.

“Throughout this time, we are also refocusing the entire athletics program on doing what we do best – representing our great university and its values well. We are proud that among our many positive accomplishments this year, our athletics program as a whole involved a record 523 scholar-athletes; 201 student-athletes earned degrees; and Ohio State finished second in the Division I Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup, the highest finish in our history,” concluded Smith.

Smith said that Ohio State continues to work closely with the NCAA to review information concerning potential violations, including issues publicly raised subsequent to the university’s self-reporting on December 19, 2010, that resulted in the NCAA’s Notice of Allegation.

Additionally, the university will have no further comment on specific allegations.

A copy of Ohio State’s response to the NCAA Notice of Allegations and other related documents are available at http://www.osu.edu/news/ncaadocs