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Jim Tressel Suspended: Ohio State Football Scandal Hits Coach

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By Adam Ramirez on March 08, 2011 5:20 PM

Is Jim Tressel leaving Ohio State?

It's not apparent what will happen yet, but Ohio State has fined football coach Jim Tressel $250,000 and recommended he be suspended for the first two games of the 2011 season, Yahoo! Sports reports. The university said Tressel failed to notify the school of NCAA violations involving Ohio State football players and a financial arrangement with a local tattoo parlor, the school announced Tuesday.

Now, this is just the school's recommendation for the Ohio State football coach. Jim Tressel could still face much harsher punishment from the NCAA. The NCAA could require Ohio State football to vacate all 12 of its 2010 wins for using players he knew to be ineligible.

Ohio State self-reported Jim Tressel's violation, via NCAA Bylaw 10.1, which governs unethical conduct.

Athletic department officials discovered that Tressel was aware in April of a financial relationship between a Columbus, Ohio, tattoo parlor and two Ohio State players. Reports are that the players traded championship rings, jerseys and awards to owner Edward Rife of Fine Line Ink Tattoos in Columbus, Ohio, in exchange for cash and discounted tattoos.

This is no small potatoes. Violations of Bylaw 10.1 are considered major infractions by the NCAA.

Based on previous cases, Tressel also could face charges of failing to promote an atmosphere of compliance and a failure to monitor for not reporting the information to the NCAA, Sports Illustrated reports. Both of those also are considered major violations.

Jim Tressel leaving is not out of the question, but it's likely too early to predict. Tressel is 106-22 and won a national title and seven Big Ten titles at Ohio State.

Tressel's contract lays out the scenarios in which Ohio State could fire Tressel for cause. One such scenario is for "Failure by Coach to report promptly to the Director any violations known to Coach of governing athletic rules or Ohio State rules and regulations by assistant coaches, students or other persons under the direct control or supervision of Coach."

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