I said I'd do it, so here it is.
To Dan Wetzel and Charles Robinson:
My apologies. I was wrong about your source. You were correct that Ohio State and Jim Tressel committed major NCAA infractions by not reporting knowledge of other infractions in April when Tressel learned about it. You were right. I was wrong and I apologize.
Personally, I can't believe Jim Tressel was that stupid. Perhaps that's what colored my view of what was reported initially. The man's been Teflon coated since day one at Ohio State, so I assumed that he'd remained that way. He didn't.
Here comes the caveat to the above. I stand by my criticism of Wetzel and Robinson. If they had the information in their possession (emails) that made their case, they should've said so. There is nothing, and I repeat nothing, in their article that would make a reader believe that they possessed anything other than speculation and the word of an "unnamed" source to support their article. Hard evidence obtained through a FOIA request should've been disclosed in their article in support of their premise. It wasn't. It was a case of "trust me". If they had someone close to the investigation, they should've said so. But they didn't say that. They said they had a concerned party, a phrase that can mean anything. In the future, irrespective of the "Leak" as OSU termed it, they need to be far more specific.
I'll say again, my issue was not with the information reported. It was with the manner in which it was reported. I still maintain that it was inexcusable for Yahoo to give less than 24 hours notice of a story like this. If Ohio State schedules a press conference, fine, then publish your story before the press conference. The ends do not justify the means on this. I have a significant problem with the main stream media publishing unverifiable accusations without any evidence to support their claims. Read their piece again, I mean really read it without your own prejudices involved, and tell me how this is verifiable other than the name plate above. There is nothing in that piece other than accusations and a rehashing of past events. My complaints are with the process, not the results. But that's neither here nor there at this point.
They were right. I was wrong. I stand by my criticism, but in hindsight I was wrong. For that I apologize to Yahoo Sports and its writers.
Moving forward I don't have a clue how this unfolds for Ohio State. Sadly, Tressel's press conference left more questions than answers, and it's perfectly clear that he played ineligible players with full knowledge of their transgressions. I don't know how Ohio State can avoid a full vacation of its 2010 season. I really don't. All five players played in each game. Pryor in particular directly affected the outcome of each game. A two game suspension of their coach isn't going to cut it with the NCAA.
Sadly, in reading Ohio State's self reporting document.... yeah.... there's no defending Tressel on this one. Three emails detailing issues germane to NCAA relevant violations, including one initiated by Tressel himself. Then there's Tressel telling investigators he didn't know anything about it. This isn't a phone call gone unheeded. This is a full blown cover up.
Frankly I'm shocked. I can't believe that this is the way it went down for Tressel and Ohio State. We've all joked about the shadiness and questionable recruiting at OSU for years. Yet Tressel's come off smelling like a rose. But this. This boggles my mind. He was warned about it. He took proactive steps about it. And then he lied to the NCAA about it. I'm shocked. There's no other word for it.
Well... at least for one summer the NCAA will focus its attention on Columbus rather than inexplicably on Ann Arbor. Thanks for that, Jim. Say hi to the investigators for us.