New Filing Cites Evidence OSU AD Smith, Pres. Gee and Tressell Concealed Violations From NCAA

I made report today to OSU of violations of NCAA Bylaws by OSU. The filing was made on OSU’s independent “Ethics Point” website, which seeks report concerning any possible or probable NCAA violations at OSU.  Based solely on evidence already made public to date, it’s clear that, more probably than not, all four violations occurred. At the core are three facts: a) Tressel’s fraud probably completely undermined the NCAA’s Sept. ’08 finding that Ted Sarniak was not an OSU “Booster;” and b) Tressel’s actions show that he — for nine months – “purposely hid” from OSU and the NCAA the Cicero emails revealing memorabilia sales. In contrast, he revealed to Ted Sarniak —within 24 hours — the same information concerning those memorabilia sales.  Sarniak got in 24 hours the same information Tressel otherwise concealed for nine months. This proves Sarniak’s status as a Booster having been extremely important to Tressel’s assessment of  the “interests” of OSU football; and c) Gee and Smith wrongfully and intentionally concealed the Sarniak emails by omitting them from their March ’11 Self Report to the NCAA.

These are the four violations described:

VIOLATION #1: Ted Sarniak acted as an OSU Booster [“representative” of OSU’s athletic interests”] before September 2008.

VIOLATION #2: Ted Sarniak acted as an OSU Booster [“representative” of OSU’s athletic interests”] after September 2008.

VIOLATION #3: Tressel “purposely hid” all communications (email strings and other contacts)  between Tressel and putative Booster Sarniak,  from OSU, and the NCAA, when he signed the NCAA September 2010 NCAA affirmation that he was then unaware of any NCAA violations.

VIOLATION #4:  President Gee and AD Smith, in violation of NCAA Ethics Bylaw 10.1 and/or Bylaw 2.1.1,  in their March 8, 2011 Self Report to the NCAA “purposely hid”, or negligently hid, from the NCAA the “email strings” between Tressel and putative Booster Sarniak.

The filing requests that an independent investigator, who does not work under AD Smith, or President Gee, be appointed to investigate and report on  the violations.  Below is the text of the report to OSU :

PERTINENT FACTS

1. Tressel “Purposely hid” and is “not credible”: In its’ December 20, 2011 decision (“Public Infractions Report”), the NCAA assessed penalties against OSU and made explicit factual findings that former Coach Tressel “purposely hid” information and is “not credible.”

2. Unappealed Findings are Final: Because that December 20, 2011 NCAA decision has not been appealed by OSU or Mr. Tressel, the findings are final.

3. OSU learned from the Dec. 2011 NCAA decision that Tressel’s Actions Were Not from “Indecision:” OSU and its’ Compliance Department had assumed, as set forth in detail in its’ July 8, 2011 Brief to the NCAA, that Mr. Tressel’s actions (and inactions) were the result of mere “indecision.”(“His lack of action in this matter appears to have been the result of indecisiveness regarding the appropriate actions to take in this specific situation in which he was placed, as opposed to a blatant disregard of NCAA legislation.”)

VIOLATION #1: Ted Sarniak acted as an OSU Booster [“representative” of OSU’s athletic interests”] before September 2008.

A. There is new, prima facie evidence, since the 9/08 NCAA Finding that Ted Sarniak was not a “Booster”, that Sarniak was, in fact, a “Booster”: In September 2008, after investigation by the NCAA, NCAA staffer Jackie Thurnes decreed that Mr. Ted Sarniak, an acquaintance of former OSU star Terrelle Pryor, was not an OSU “booster” under NCAA Bylaws.

B. Tressel Gave an 8/08 Statement to the NCAA re: Sarniak Booster Question: As a part of the NCAA investigation prior to the 9/08 NCAA finding, NCAA Staffer Thurnes interviewed then-Coach Tressel in August 2008 regarding those Sarniak-Booster issues, and accumulated other pertinent information from Coach Tressel.

C. Tressel’s Post-April 2010 Intentional Deceit and long-running Fraud is Evidence He May Have Similarly Lied to the NCAA in August 2008: The NCAA’s Dec. 20, 2011 final factual finding that Tressel “purposely hid” information, and was “not credible” is prima facie evidence that Tressel may have similarly “purposely hid” information and was “not credible” as regards the statements or other information he gave to the NCAA prior to the NCAA Sept. 2008 finding that Sarniak was not a Booster.

Summary: If Tressel “purposely hid” the Cicero emails of April 2010, it’s likely he also “purposely hid” pertinent emails or other information before September 2008. The established and unappealed fact that Tressel fraudulently concealed after September 2008, suggests that it is likely that Tressel similarly fraudulently concealed before September 2008.  The Sept. 2008 decision is supported by potentially fraudulent testimony.

VIOLATION #2: Ted Sarniak acted as an OSU Booster [“representative” of OSU’s athletic interests”] after September 2008.

A. Within one day of receipt of the first April 2, 2010 email from Attorney Cicero, Tressel forwarded it to putative Booster Ted Sarniak, and Sarniak responded by email. This is one email “string.” (Many other such email “strings” between Tressel and Sarniak followed.)
B. The NCAA has already specifically found that Coach Tressel “purposely hid” the April 2, 2010 (and subsequent) email “strings” to and from Attorney Cicero, for a period of nine months thereafter. OSU must assume the truth of this finding.
C. There is prima facie evidence that Tressel decided, on April 2, 2010, upon a plan to avoid OSU and NCAA investigation and sanction, and that he took two affirmative steps, within 24 hours of receipt of the Cicero emails, in an effort to deceive and/or defraud OSU and the NCAA:
i) purposely hiding the Cicero emails from OSU Compliance, OSU’s AD or in-house counsel, and the NCAA, and  
ii) emailing to Sarniak the information he’d already decided to  “purposely hide” from OSU and the NCAA, at a time when he knew he had an obligation to report to OSU and the NCAA.
D. The fact that Coach Tressel “purposely hid” the Cicero emails is prima facie evidence that Tressel also may have “purposely hid” the post-April 2, 2010 email “strings” between Tressel and Sarniak.
E. The post-4/2/10 Tressel-Sarniak emails are circumstantial but also empirical evidence that, as of that time, Tressel viewed Sarniak as having been the most important “representative of OSU’s athletics interests” – more important than OSU’s AD, Compliance, President, or in-house counsel. That this apparent Tressel resolve violated numerous NCAA bylaws does not make it any less true.  And Tressel acted as the most prominent representative of OSU athletics at the time he created this affirmative scheme, including Sarniak, to defraud.

VIOLATION #3: Tressel “purposely hid” all communications (email strings and other contacts)  between Tressel and putative Booster Sarniak,  from OSU, and the NCAA, when he signed the NCAA September 2010 NCAA affirmation that he was then unaware of any NCAA violations.

VIOLATION #4:  President Gee and AD Smith, in violation of NCAA Ethics Bylaw 10.1 and/or Bylaw 2.1.1,  in their March 8, 2011 Self Report to the NCAA “purposely hid”, or negligently hid, from the NCAA the “email strings” between Tressel and putative Booster Sarniak.
A. In the March 8, 2011 “Self-Report”filed by AD Smith and President Gee with the NCAA, this statement was made: “Coach Tressel received emails from an attorney that provided specific information about two student-athletes selling memorabilia to a local tattoo parlor.”

B. That 3/8/11 Self Report to the NCAA by Gee and Smith also included this admission:
“However, on January 13, 2011, while reviewing information on an unrelated legal matter, the institution’s Office of Legal Affairs discovered an email from Coach Tressel that was the subject matter of some of the activities pertaining to the University’s December 2010 Self-Report….an additional inquiry began. One of the first actions was to conduct a search of Coach Tressel’s email account.” 
C. The 3/8/11 Self Report to the NCAA by Gee and Smith also included this admission: “Email searches were then conducted by the University of all the football coaching staff members and other football administrative staff members. After these searches, it was concluded that no other email correspondence to Coach Tressel or any other football coaching or other football administrative staff member existed that related to the football student-athlete’s activities set out in the University’s December 19, 2010 Self Report.”
D. There is prima facie evidence that, at the time the above statements were made in March 2011, AD Smith and Pres. Gee had to have known, based on their admission that they had “conduct[ed] a search of Coach Tressel’s email account” that Tressel had – within less than 24 hours after receipt of the first Cicero email –  engaged in an email “string” (‘to’ Sarniak, with a ‘responsive’ email from Sarniak) with putative Booster Sarniak.  No reasonably competent person could have failed to find the numerous Sarniak/Tressel email “strings” as a result of such a “search of Coach Tressel’s email account.”   
E. There is prima facie evidence that the above statements are either:
i) Evidence of Errors of Commission by AD Smith and Pres. Gee:  prima facie evidence that AD Smith and President Gee “purposely hid” information from the NCAA about the email “string” between Tressel and putative Booster Sarniak which took place almost simultaneous with the Tressel/Cicero email “strings,” or 
ii) Evidence of Materially Relevant Errors of Omission by AD Smith and Pres. Gee:  prima facie evidence that OSU was “lacking in institutional control” because the President and AD incompetently committed serious errors of omission, allowing them to overlook what was plainly before them. 
F. Because a question was propounded to Coach Tressel at the March 8, 2011 OSU press conference, OSU AD Smith, and President Gee, had to have realized that the above-described “purposeful hiding” of Sarniak emails from the NCAA, contained in their March 8 Self Report to the NCAA, might be subject to question.
G. Over the ensuing weeks, efforts were made to schedule an in-person meeting between: AD Smith, Ted Sarniak, OSU Compliance Director Doug Archie, and Coach Tressel. This meeting, after being rescheduled several times to accommodate the schedule of Coach Tressel, took place in mid-April
H. This meeting of the highest officials in OSU Athletics Administration, including Coach Tressel, is prima facie evidence that AD Smith, Compliance Director Doug Archie, and Coach Tressel all worked together to “purposely hide” the Sarniak emails, or their impact.
I. Based upon the above, there exists prima facie evidence that AD Smith and President Gee are “not credible.”
J. Based on the above, AD Smith and President Gee are important fact witnesses in any investigation of this report of possible NCAA violation. As a result, any investigation conducted by OSU must be undertaken and completed by a third party, appointed by persons other than OSU President Gee, who do not report to President Gee or AD Smith.  This procedure is consistent with the recent announcement that OSU will have a “Compliance Czar” who operates independent of the Athletic Department. But beyond that, the fact that President Gee’s state of knowledge on March 8, 2011 is critical in assessing whether any NCAA violation occurred, President Gee must immediately refer this complaint to the Board to appoint an independent third-party.

Advertisements

About brewonsouthu

Michigan and Big Ten fan, former lawyer, with interest in college sports and NCAA oversight and decisions, and sports generally.
This entry was posted in Gene Smith, Gordon Gee, Jim Tressel, NCAA Investigation, NCAA Violations, OSU Football, President Gee, Sarniak, Tressel coverup, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s