Ohio State’s Case Chronology Goes back to 1980s
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The NCAA Committee on Infractions looked at a lot of details when determining that Ohio State deserved a one-year bowl ban, but maybe the most damning of all was the ‘Failure to Monitor’ charge that stemmed form the University’s involvement with Bobby DiGeronimo.
According to the NCAA release on Tuesday, Ohio State’s involvement with DiGeronimo, a now-dissociated booster, dated back to the 1980s and was in full effect during the John Cooper era (1988-2000).
Obviously, Jim Tressel made his own mistakes, including a 10.1 NCAA violation that landed Ohio State’s former head coach a 5-year “show-cause” penalty on Tuesday.
Here is a look at the entire Case Chronology that led to NCAA sanctions, including a 1-year post-season ban, the loss of nine scholarships over three years and three years of probation.
Where it Began
1980s - A representative of the institution's athletics interests developed a relationship with the football staff at Ohio State and made financial contributions.
1988-2000 – The then head football coach, allowed the representative access to the locker room and sidelines on occasion.
Mid-2000s – The representative delivered food to the football staff on a weekly basis in the fall and sometimes brought food to the men's basketball staff.
Fall 2001 – Prior to a game during the 2001 football season, the former head football coach noticed the representative hiding in a locker dressed as an assistant coach. The former head coach subsequently barred the representative from the locker room.
2004-2006 – The representative employed at least three football student-athletes at his Cleveland-area business and indicated on an employment questionnaire provided by the institution that he previously employed five other football student-athletes who were each on the roster during the 2005 and/or 2006 football seasons.
May 25 – The former head football coach wrote a letter to the representative asking him to deliver food to areas where student-athletes did not have access to it. In the same letter, the former head football coach addressed the representative's presence at a Columbus restaurant with two football student-athletes and the then head football coach.
May 26 -- The institution's Executive Compliance Subcommittee discussed the representative's presence at lunch with two football student-athletes and indicated that, although no violations were reported, the representative and the owner of the restaurant would receive letters of education.
June 28 – The then associate athletics director for compliance provided NCAA rules education regarding representatives of the institution's athletics interests to the athletics department and displayed on a projection screen a list of 15 "boosters" of concern to the institution, including the representative.
February 25 -- Seven football student-athletes attended an annual charity event for a nonprofit organization of which the representative was a board member. The representative contacted the then starting quarterback and invited him and his teammates to the event. The student-athletes attended the event without the institution's knowledge or approval, which resulted in a secondary violation that was self-reported to the NCAA.
March 8 – The then associate director of athletics for compliance sent the former head football coach and the director of athletics an email regarding suggestions for dealing with the representative.
March 16 and 30 - The institution's Executive Compliance Subcommittee discussed the secondary violation regarding student-athletes' attendance at the charity event and "corrective action" regarding the representative.
April 20 – The then associate director of athletics for compliance sent the director of athletics an email with five compliance topics to address with the representative.
April/May – The then associate director of athletics for compliance and the director of athletics called the representative and left him a voice message.
June 15 – The then associate director of athletics for compliance sent the director of athletics and the former head football coach an email indicating that the director of athletics meeting with the representative was rescheduled. The email also contained a reminder of the five compliance topics to address with the representative.
July 1 – The then associate director of athletics for compliance transitioned to a different position in athletics and relinquished her compliance responsibilities.
July 24 – A new associate athletics director for compliance was hired to assume the position.
Summer – The director of athletics spoke with the representative on the phone and asked him to stop bringing lunch to the football and men's basketball staff, and to stay away from student- athletes and the athletics staff.
February - The institution approved nine football student-athletes to attend the annual charity event.
February - At least five football student-athletes attended the annual charity event without the institution's knowledge or approval.
Fall - The owner of a local tattoo parlor introduced himself to then football student-athletes 5 and 8. Shortly thereafter, student-athlete 8 received a discounted tattoo from the tattoo parlor, the first of several known benefits the owner of the tattoo parlor provided to football student- athletes.
2009-11 – The representative employed at least five football student-athletes without the institution's knowledge or approval. The student-athletes were compensated a total of $1,605 for work they did not perform, as set forth in Finding B-3.
February - Student-athlete 6 received a discounted tattoo from the tattoo parlor.
Spring and Summer - Student-athletes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 received free or discounted tattoos and/or sold institutionally issued athletics awards, apparel and/or equipment to the owner of the tattoo parlor.
Fall – Student-athletes 2, 6 and 8 continued receiving preferential treatment from the owner of the tattoo parlor in the form of free or discounted tattoos and/or cash in exchange for institutionally issued athletics awards, apparel and/or equipment. Student-athlete 8 also received from the owner of the tattoo parlor a discount on the purchase of a vehicle and a loan for automobile repairs.
January 1 - Ohio State defeated the University of Oregon 26-17 in the 2010 BCS Rose Bowl. Student-athlete 5 was named most valuable player.
February 2010 - The institution gave last minute approval for three football student-athletes to attend the annual charity event after receiving information that student-athletes were in the Cleveland area and planned to attend the event.
Winter and Spring – Student-athletes 2 and 8 continued receipt of preferential treatment from the owner of the tattoo parlor in the form of free or discounted tattoos and/or cash in exchange for institutionally issued athletics awards, apparel and/or equipment.
April 2 – The former head football coach received an email from a former football student- athlete who is a local attorney, indicating that football student-athletes, including student-athlete 5, received free tattoos from the owner of the tattoo parlor, whose house was raided by federal authorities.
April 3 – The former head football coach forwarded the email to student-athlete 5's advisor, who resides in student-athlete 5's hometown.
April 16 – The former head football coach received an email from the local attorney indicating that football student-athletes, including 4 and 5, sold athletics awards, apparel and/or equipment to the owner of the tattoo parlor.
April 19 – The former head football coach sent the local attorney an email indicating that the then head football coach told student-athletes 4 and 5 to "steer clear" of the owner of the tattoo parlor as the local attorney had suggested in a previous email.
June 1 – The former head football coach sent the local attorney an email asking if he obtained the names of other football student-athletes who may have dealt with the owner of the tattoo parlor. The local attorney responds that he did not obtain any other names.
June 6 – The former head football coach sent the local attorney an email thanking him for the information.
September 13 – The former head football coach falsely attested that he reported to the institution "any knowledge of NCAA violations" when he signed the institution's certification of compliance form.
Fall - At least seven football student-athletes who received benefits from the owner of the tattoo parlor, participated in intercollegiate athletics competition on behalf of the institution.
December 7 - The institution received a letter from the U.S. Department of Justice regarding football memorabilia seized during a federal investigation.
December 16 - The institution conducted interviews with six then football student-athletes. The head football coach met with athletics personnel including, the associate athletics director for compliance, the assistant athletics director for compliance, the athletics director, and the senior assistant general counsel for athletics, regarding the institution's review of potential violations.
December 19 - The institution submitted a self-report of violations to the NCAA student-athlete reinstatement staff regarding the six football student-athletes and requested an urgent reinstatement decision prior to the January 4, 2011, Sugar Bowl contest.
December 21 - The enforcement staff, student-athlete reinstatement staff and institution conducted phone interviews with the six football student-athletes named in the institution's self report.
December 23 - The student-athlete reinstatement staff reinstated the six football student-athletes subject to repayment and withholding conditions.
December 24 – The former head football exchanged text messages with the local attorney confirming that the recently discovered violations related to the same information that the former student-athlete provided in April.
December 28 - The institution appealed the withholding conditions for five of the football student-athletes.
January 8 - Ohio State defeated the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville 31-26 in the 2011 BCS Allstate Sugar Bowl. Student-athlete 5 was named Most Valuable Player.
January 13 - The institution discovered emails indicating that in April 2010, the former head football coach received information regarding violations related to the subject matter of the December self-report.
February 3 - The institution informed the enforcement staff of the emails it discovered regarding the former head football coach's potential knowledge of violations.
February 8 - The enforcement staff and institution conducted on-campus interviews.
February 19 - Seven football student-athletes attended the annual charity event without the institution's knowledge or approval. During the event, the representative paid or arranged payment of $200 cash each to four student-athletes
February - March - The enforcement staff and institution conducted additional interviews.
March 9 - The institution submitted a self-report regarding the former head football coach's failure to report knowledge of potential violations.
March 15 - The student-athlete reinstatement committee upheld the withholding conditions on the five football student-athletes.
April 1 - A notice of inquiry was sent to the institution involving the institution's football program.
April 21 - The enforcement staff issued a notice of allegations to the institution and the former head coach.
May 20 - The enforcement staff and institution conducted an interview with student-athlete 5, unrelated to employment or to the representative. The staff requested student-athlete 5's bank records, a portion of which were provided 10 days later and included payments from a company owned and operated by the representative's family.
May 31 - The former head coach resigned.
June 6 - The enforcement staff and institution requested to interview student-athlete 5 and for him to produce the remaining requested records. Student-athlete 5 refused to cooperate.
June 7 - Student-athlete 5 withdrew from the institution and declared for the NFL supplemental draft.
June 26 - The institution sent student-athlete 5 a disassociation letter for his refusal to cooperate with the enforcement staff and institution.
June 29 - The institution and the former head coach were granted an extension for responding to the notice of allegations until July 8, 2011.
July 8 - The Committee on Infractions and enforcement staff received responses to the notice of allegations from the institution and the former head football coach.
July 13 - The enforcement staff conducted a prehearing conference with the former head football coach.
July 15 - The enforcement staff conducted a prehearing conference with the institution. July 21 - The enforcement staff's case summary was sent out.
August 12 - The institution and the former head football coach appeared before the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions.
Fall 2011 - The enforcement staff and institution continued the investigation and conducted further interviews.
November 3 - The enforcement staff issued a supplemental notice of allegations
November 10 - The institution submitted a response to the supplemental notice of allegations to the enforcement staff and the Committee on Infractions.
November 21 - The enforcement staff's supplemental case summary was sent out.
December 10 - The NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions reviewed the supplemental information/case summary submitted
December 20 - Infractions Report No. 358 was released.
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