Gee says Ohio State must ‘scrub everything’ for NCAA
COLUMBUS (AP) — Ohio State University must “scrub everything” as it works to restore order after the resignation of Jim Tressel, OSU president Gordon Gee said Monday, one week after the football coach’s departure.
Gee told The Associated Press in a phone interview that university trustees are looking at compliance issues across the university, not just in the athletic department.
“Any time that there is a mistake, or any time that there is an issue that flares up, and we go back through and scrub everything very, very carefully,” he said. “We want to make certain that we’re asking all the right questions.”
Tressel resigned on Memorial Day following revelations that he failed to report allegations that several players had sold or traded memorabilia for cash and tattoos. The NCAA continues to investigate Ohio State’s football program, particularly in regard to improper benefits and cars.
Gee said his biggest concern a week after Tressel’s resignation is making sure the university looks at mistakes it made and corrects them.
“Make certain the procedures we have are best in class, and we are monitoring every one of those issues very, very carefully,” Gee said. “We’re going to make certain that we set a very high standard for ourselves.”
And Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith will be a part of that. Gee again insisted that Smith’s job is safe.
“In tumultuous times it’s important to have a very mature leader,” Gee said. “He is that.”
Smith and members of Ohio State’s six-member compliance department have been working closely with NCAA investigators.
The compliance department went through an audit in November 2010. At that time it was recommended that the department do a better job of monitoring athletes who had not registered their cars with the athletic department and improve how it keeps track of equipment.
When a follow-up audit was done in April, those suggested changes had been made to the satisfaction of the auditors.
The university’s compliance department, however, did warn another university about a former Buckeyes player who has been linked to the NCAA scandal.
In January, former Ohio State running back Jermil Martin enrolled at Ashland University, an NCAA Division II school midway between Columbus and Cleveland.
As required by NCAA rules, Ohio State notified Ashland of problems with Martin’s eligibility, Ashland athletic director Bill Goldring said.
“And at that point, we decided we didn’t want to continue our relationship with Jermil,” Goldring told the AP.
He would not discuss the specifics of Martin’s eligibility issues, and Martin could not be reached for comment.
In an investigative report last week, Sports Illustrated cited an anonymous source who said Martin had given Rose Bowl tickets to Columbus tattoo-parlor owner Edward Rife. The story also said Rife allegedly gave Martin at least one car. It was the U.S. Attorney’s investigation of Rife last year that led to revelations that he offered cash and tattoos to Ohio State players. He has pleaded guilty to federal charges of drug trafficking and money laundering and is awaiting sentencing.
Martin was a product of Cleveland’s powerhouse Glenville High School, which sent star players such as Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Troy Smith and wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. to Ohio State. Martin redshirted at Ohio State in 2008 and played sparingly in 2009.