Ohio State expands proactive compliance staff
OCT 03, 2012 4:52p ET
All the changes and additions are detailed in an 805-page report the university delivered to the NCAA Committee on Infractions in August.
The report also includes documentation of Ohio State acknowledging penalties it received -- and paid -- in forfeiting football games in 2010 and the 2011 Sugar Bowl.
Most of the additions and announced changes have direct ties to the tattoo and memorabilia scandal that cost longtime football coach Jim Tressel his job in 2011 and led to the ouster of quarterback Terrelle Pryor, a key figure in the incidents that led to multiple Buckeyes serving suspensions last fall.
Ohio State's football program is serving a one-year postseason ban this fall.
An annual report on changes and planned changes in the wake of the incidents is a required part of the penalty.
The compliance department has added seven staff members, bringing the total to 12 as of July, 2012, prior to the start of the current school year. One of those hires, assistant athletic director of compliance Brad Bertani, will "focus almost exclusively on the football program," the report said.
Former Ohio State basketball player Jason Singleton is another addition to the compliance staff. The report says Singleton previously "worked as a Money Laundering Specialist with a commercial bank, and most recently was an investigator for the NCAA enforcement staff for several years."
Singleton will oversee an "elite student-athlete program" designed to identity high-profile athletes most likely to be contacted by agents, runners or others who could potentially compromise the athlete's NCAA eligibility. His duties will also include dealing with complimentary admissions, student-athlete employment, social media and the monitoring of vehicles.
Almost all of those issues are outlined separately throughout the report and new items are detailed. Social media monitoring and education are mentioned in several different areas of the report, which also says Ohio State will add programs in the areas of financial responsibility and compliance and academic services. Former Ohio State basketball player Lawrence Funderburke was specifically named as someone who will provide four hours of financial responsibility education to basketball players.
Though social media -- and problems young athletes get themselves into via social media -- is more prevalent now than it was when these incidents took place, it's safe to say the university doesn't forget former Ohio State running back Antonio Pittman tweeting "cats been getting hookups on tatts since back in '01" shortly after news of the scandal first broke in Dec. 2010.
A new rule stating that student-athletes can not take place in promotional activities more than 30 miles from campus is at least an indirect reference to Bobby DiGeronimo, a Cleveland-based businessman whose 30-year association with the Ohio State athletic program ended last fall when the school was forced to officially disassociate him.
DiGeronimo took the blame for getting the suspensions of football players DeVier Posey and Daniel Herron extended when he paid them for work they did not do. DiGeronimo also often brought Ohio State athletes to promotional events in and around Cleveland, and that practice led to additional suspensions last season not related to the original incidents.
Among the other measures detailed in the report:
• Football players must give the university a signed statment declaring they have not exchanged their championship ring or bowl gift. From now on, helmets and jerseys will be "securely held by the institution" when they're not being used.
• Football and basketball players must register their vehicles, including make, model, purchase price and title holder. On-campus parking registration is held until these checks are completed. New measures include compliance staff taking a picture of the student-athlete license plate and pre-approval of the coaching staff before a new vehicle is purchased.
• Student-athletes seeking offseason employment must complete a thorough registration process and are subject to on-site visits from compliance officials.
• Compliance officers will travel with the team on road trips.
• A review process for those on the complimentary ticket list has been instituted, as has added education of boosters, parents, coaches on what student-athletes can receive. Ohio State contacted 2,000 local businesses to educate fans on how the NCAA defines boosters and their limitations.
+ SHOW COMMENTS +