Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Confidentiality and the Tressel matter at Ohio State


Emails released by Ohio State revealed that in April, Tressel was notified by an attorney that several of his players were selling memorabilia to Rife, who was under federal investigation. Tressel said he was “scared” for his players after receiving the emails and felt compelled to keep the correspondence private despite the informant – who Tressel said was not a federal attorney – failing to request confidentiality until their second exchange. Tressel also said he was confused about who he could reveal the information to.

While continually talking about his sense that the April email exchanges were confidential, Tressel was halted by [OSU Athletic director Gene] Smith from answering whether the coach ever forwarded any of the emails to another party. Smith said Tressel was barred from answering that question, because such information was still considered part of the ongoing NCAA probe.

As to the initial matter of the attorney contacting Tressel, any possible attorney-client privilege would have inhered in Tressel, not the attorney. In the limited context given above, it sounds as if the attorney had the expectation that Tressel would do something based on the information.

As to the present matter of the ongoing NCAA probe, confidentiality would be governed by agreements between the NCAA and Ohio State University.

The piece also noted:

According to the Ohio State investigation, the five players sold multiple items to Rife, who displayed some of the memorabilia on his Facebook page. Among the pieces sold were Pryor’s 2009 Fiesta Bowl sportsmanship award, Herron’s jersey, multiple Big Ten championship rings and multiple golden pants pendants awarded to the players for victories over the University of Michigan. Pryor, Posey, Herron, Thomas and Whiting were also cited for receiving discounted tattoos from Rife.

The NCAA’s reinstatement staff ruled in late December that the five players were eligible for the 2011 Sugar Bowl game against Arkansas. Smith revealed in December that the ruling came after some lobbying by Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany.

Note Ryan Mallett Throws Pick To Give Ohio State the Sugar Bowl Win, 31-26

***In paasing, SEC QB Mallett did not score well on the Wonderlic, but now it appears that another SEC QB (McElroy) did not score as highly as initially reported. From Mike Florio at profootballtalk :

It was reported that McElroy scored a 48 out of 50. Though debate quickly surfaced regarding the question of whether the number would have been available so quickly, McElroy himself confirmed the outcome on The Dan Patrick Show, explaining that others had informed him he had scored a 48.

But the official numbers are now in, and a league source with access to the scores tells us that McElroy actually scored a 43.


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