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Anonymous lawyer in Tressel e-mails identified

Jim Tressel

Columbus lawyer Christopher Cicero has been identified as the attorney who exchanged e-mails with embattled Ohio State coach Jim Tressel during April and June, 2010, three sources told the Columbus Dispatch.

Cierco, 54, was a former walk-on linebacker at Ohio State while Tressel was an assistant for the Buckeyes in the early 1980’s.

The e-mails, which can be seen HERE at, show that Cierco had “friends in law enforcement” which bridge the connection between him and Fine Line Ink tattoo parlor owner Edward Rife.

Rife — a convicted felon with connections to the drug trafficking industry — had his home raided by law enforcement officers prior to the initial April 2 e-mail exchange between Tressel and Cierco, and several pieces of Ohio State memorabilia, including championship rings,  were found in Rife’s home.

Cierco mentioned that he was informed players had signed memorabilia in exchange for tattoos. He also mentioned Rife was selling memorabilia for a profit, but was unsure if any players were pocketing money from the sales.

When informed of all of this, Tressel responded “I will get on it ASAP”.

About that…

But Cierco’s past is a sketchy one as well. The Dispatch cites that Cierco was part of two mistrials in 2002, and had his license suspended for 1 year in 1997 for implying he was having an affair with a female judge.

Shady? You bet.

Clearly, as more details come forward, the more damning the situation appears. Not only did Tressel fail to inform, well, anyone of what he knew, but he did so knowing there were potentially dangerous people involved.

And if the situation didn’t warrant more than a two-game suspension before, it certainly does now.

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18 Responses to “Anonymous lawyer in Tressel e-mails identified”
  1. WingT says: Mar 9, 2011 10:25 PM

    And the plot thickens…

  2. tryagainplease says: Mar 9, 2011 10:37 PM

    i love that picture, he looks like a fresh sprung jack in the box.

  3. Ben Kercheval says: Mar 9, 2011 10:42 PM

    I liked your comment, tryagain. But I also had to tell you how much I liked it.

  4. contract says: Mar 9, 2011 11:18 PM

    Someone is going to want to talk to him about his sources in the police department. Stuff is going to hit the fan.

  5. thefiesty1 says: Mar 9, 2011 11:39 PM

    Tressel should be required to miss at least 3more games just for answering an email from a lawyer.

  6. ernestbynershands says: Mar 10, 2011 12:06 AM

    Wow coach seems to have dropped the ball on this one!

  7. gentlax13 says: Mar 10, 2011 1:49 AM

    What is the university thinking here? By now surely Tressel has come clean with them and there is no way that anyone at that school can believe the NCAA will accept a 2 game suspension. This six hour suspension should just anger the NCAA.

  8. Slim Charles says: Mar 10, 2011 7:40 AM

    Tressel is still donezo. He’ll be on the next season of Celebrity Apprentice.

  9. jjay9 says: Mar 10, 2011 7:53 AM

    So was this the major bomb that Douche-bag Cowherd was referencing? I dont listen to anything ESPN, so I cant tell if it is this instance or Oregon’s.

  10. edgy says: Mar 10, 2011 8:12 AM

    Was it Mike Florio? :)

  11. edgy says: Mar 10, 2011 8:49 AM

    I think that “I will get on it ASAP” makes this even worse for him (Either that or they need to change the definition from As Soon As Possible to As Soon As Published). In this day and age, you can’t hope that this will stay secret forever and email is harder to shred than physical evidence and when you get it in your university account, there’s going to be a back up that can be pulled up to reveal that you got it and what it said.

  12. pottsvillemaroons says: Mar 10, 2011 9:56 AM

    WingT says:
    Mar 9, 2011 10:25 PM
    And the plot thickens…

    You mean the vest tightens……

  13. olddawg60 says: Mar 10, 2011 10:25 AM

    Can you say, “retirement community”?

  14. gentlax13 says: Mar 10, 2011 11:15 AM

    jjay9, according to Charles Robinson this is not the biggest story Yahoo will be breaking this offseason. He referred to this one as an “8” and the big one as a “10”. He also expected it to drop around August.

    This is the closest thing I have to a “source” on that.

    “Charles Robinson, one of the investigative reporters for Yahoo! Sports, was just interviewed on the Waddle and Silvie show on ESPN Radio 1000 in Chicago. He stated that there are two additional high-profile stories he is working on, on which will break within the next few weeks and another that looks like it will break in August. Mr. Robinson was prodded fairly hard by Tom Waddle, but would not divulge any individual or institutional names. He was asked to rate the Tressel story on a scale of 1-10 scale, and gave it an 8. Mr. Robinson rated the story to be broken this month as a 6-7, and gave the late-summer story a 10-rating, without hesitation.”

  15. gatorprof says: Mar 10, 2011 11:24 AM

    The feeding frenzy continues and the Vest is bleeding. None of these details are flattering for OSU.

    This comes on the heals of an embarrassing press conference in which the Vest wasn’t at all contrite and Gee was cracking jokes.

    At some point, the adults in charge (Ohio Board of Regents) will flush Gee, Smith and the Vest.

    While the circumstances are different (less arrogance, no stonewalling), the stupidity on display is similar to USC that resulted in Carroll leaving, Garrett being canned and Sample stepping aside.

    The adults at top research institutions (there is more to life than football and research revenue trumps the AD revenue) won’t stand for their brand name to be repeatedly soiled for very long.

  16. abrellbama says: Mar 10, 2011 12:03 PM

    What difference does it make if Cierco is shady or not? Coach Tressel already admitted that he sat on the info given by Cierco. The Feds have all of the memorabilia and they want to keep it for themselves so when the NCAA does the in depth investigation, all of this will come out anyway.

  17. tigersgeaux says: Mar 10, 2011 3:06 PM

    Alot of good comments on this thread. It impresses me that the Ohio State faithful are always jabbing the SEC in general and SEC teams in particular (Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Florida, etc.) and now this incident proves they are not truly holier. No moral superiority in college football! We read so many postings from the OS fanatics that OS could never do anything like this, that Tressel could not ever do this because he was beyond reproach and other such drivel. The NCAA will come down much harder on Tressel than OS did, though maybe not much more or any money, but much longer time off. I would give him a season or almost to think about it from not coaching in a game. Allow him to coach with the team all week, but no in the games, and I mean not in the Big 10 games which count.

  18. drexelvol says: Mar 11, 2011 10:50 AM

    * I like Cicero’s email writing style
    * From now on
    * I will use it
    * For personal emails
    * For work emails
    * Maybe even for Facebook messages
    * Be blessedededed everyone

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