Officials at Ohio State knew Jim Tressel had forwarded emails to a mentor of quarterback Terrelle Pryor before the Buckeyes’ news conference March 8, CBSSports.com reported Thursday.
The school initially announced at the news conference that Tressel failed to notify the school in a timely manner of emails which stated that Buckeyes players, including Pryor, had given team paraphernalia to a tattoo parlor in exchange for tattoos. Tressel reportedly waited more than nine months before notifying the school in January of the April 2010 emails. But the school would not confirm at the news conference whether it knew Tressel had forwarded the emails to anybody else.
The Columbus Dispatch then reported on March 25 that Tressel had sent the sensitive emails to 67-year-old Ted Sarniak of Jeanette, Pa., who, according to the paper, is a mentor to Pryor.
Tressel was asked during the March 8 news conference if he had forwarded the emails, but before Tressel could finish his answer, Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said the information was still part of the investigation.
"Obviously, we knew everything at that point," a source close to the situation told CBSSports.com of the March 8 news conference. "We were starting to deal with the initial part of the self-report. We didn’t know the specifics."
Ohio State fined Tressel $250,000, and initially suspended him two games next season before increasing the suspension to five games. Pryor, along with the other four players who participated in the scandal, were suspended five games by the NCAA.