Pryor's cars now focal point of NCAA probe

By Rusty Miller

Associated Press

Published: Tuesday, May 31 2011 12:00 a.m. MDT

Late on Monday night, Sports Illustrated reported that the memorabilia-for-tattoos violations actually stretched back to 2002, Tressel's second season at Ohio State, and involved at least 28 players — 22 more than the university has acknowledged. Those numbers include, beyond the six suspended players, an additional nine current players as well as other former players whose alleged wrongdoing might fall within the NCAA's four-year statute of limitations on violations.

After the article's release, athletic director Gene Smith issued a statement.

"During the course of an investigation, the university and the NCAA work jointly to review any new allegations that come to light, and will continue to do so until the conclusion of the investigation," he said. "You should rest assured that these new allegations will be evaluated in exactly this manner. Beyond that, we will have no further comment."

Smith and Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee declined comment Tuesday when contacted by The Associated Press.

Since Tressel resigned, Ohio State is not required under terms of his contract to offer a buyout or any severance package. Tressel made around $3.5 million a year.

"I'm not aware of any buyout," Lynch said. "But we are attending to the details of the transition."

Luke Fickell, an assistant coach, will be interim coach until Ohio State hires a replacement for Tressel after the 2011 season.

The turmoil at Ohio State comes at the same time PGA Tour pros are arriving at Jack Nicklaus' Muirfield Village Golf Club in suburban Dublin for Thursday's first round of the Memorial Tournament.

Nicklaus, a standout golfer at Ohio State while Woody Hayes was the football coach in the early 1960s, was asked about Tressel's downfall.

"Well, obviously the coverup was far worse than the act," Nicklaus said Tuesday. "And once you got the coverup, it became a situation where Jim had to say some things that turned out to be that weren't exactly truthful. And so that's where he got himself in trouble."

Nicklaus said that now that the NCAA is continuing to investigate, almost any result is possible.

"Once one of these things happens, by the time they get through digging they're going to find whether somebody had a hangnail someplace or not, whether somebody replaced it improperly," Nicklaus said.

AP Golf Writer Doug Ferguson in Dublin contributed to this report.

Rusty Miller can be reached at http://twitter.com/rustymillerap

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