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Email warned Tressel of Talbott in 2007

Terrelle Pryor Golf

It was a series of emails starting in April of 2010 that ultimately led to the downfall of Jim Tressel and could lead to significant sanctions placed on the Ohio State football program.

Unbelievably, there’s yet another bit of electronic mail sent three years earlier that has surfaced and could give The Association an additional punitive bullet to place in their chamber ahead of an August hearing.

Continuing a dogged spate of investigative reporting by Doug Lesmerises, the Cleveland Plain Dealer beat writer reported Friday evening that on at least two occasions Tressel or someone in the athletic department were warned about an individual named Dennis Talbott.  Talbott, if you recall, is the Columbus freelance photographer/memorabilia purveyor who was accused in an ESPN Outside the Lines piece earlier this week of giving former quarterback Terrelle Pryor $20,000-$40,000 in a one-year period in exchange for his signature on memorabilia.

The first warning, Lesmerises reports, occurred in March of 2007, over a year prior to Pryor’s arrival in Columbus.  And, it came in the form of an email missive directly to Tressel — to the same email address Chris Cicero sent the April 2010 emails — warning the then-head coach of Talbott’s dealing with underclassmen in the football program.

The Plain Dealer obtained the email sent on March 27, 2007, to tressel.3@osu.edu and posted the content of the message regarding Talbott to the coach:

He has sold over 50 items with underclassmen signatures before their eligibility expires and would seem to be someone that both you and the university is aware of. I have a full report of his eBay activities if you would like to explore further or require documentation.”

It’s unclear if there was a response from Tressel to the unnamed sender of the email because, as the paper writes, “the school does not retain email records that are more than three years old.”

In previous reports, the just-as-dogged website SportsByBrooks.com reported that Talbott had extensive ties to not only Pryor but several members of the football program by way of his memorabilia business or businesses.

In addition to the email warning in 2007, the OSU athletic department was warned again in the summer of 2009 by two employees of a Columbus-area country club, of which Talbott was a member.

Two employees of Scioto Reserve Golf Club contacted members of the athletic department after seeing Talbott and Pryor golfing together. One employee said he talked to an Ohio State assistant coach he knew socially, and was told the matter would be taken care of. Another employee, Regan Koivisto, the club’s general manager, said he called the football office and detailed his concerns while talking to an administrative assistant.

“I just thought it would be best if the coaching staff was aware, because I’m certain they always had their players’ best interests in mind and would want to know,” Koivisto told The Plain Dealer.

ESPN.com had also reported earlier today that Talbott and Pryor golfed together on multiple occasions at the Scioto country club in the summer of 2008, before Pryor had even played a down for the Buckeyes.  Koivisto, the club’s general manager, reiterated to the paper that the golf involving Pryor occurred in 2009 and not 2008 as ESPN.com had reported.

However, there is a discrepancy involving Koivisto that remains.  The club manager told the Plain Dealer that, when he spoke to the administrative assistant — reportedly Tressel’s secretary — he was asked if he wanted the coach to call him back; the paper wrote that “he felt that was unnecessary because he’d provided all the information he knew.”

Koivisto, however, gave a significantly different version to ESPN.com.

“She asked, ‘Can I have Coach Tressel call you?’ I said, ‘He can,’ ” Koivisto was quoted as saying on the ESPN website. “Coach never did call me back. But I never saw Pryor at the club again.”

Regardless, Talbott has denied paying for any of the football players who had golfed with him.  He has also vehemently denied paying any type of money to Pryor, period.

After being warned about the potential issues involving Talbott and players in March of 2007 and the summer of 2009, Talbott remained a credentialed sideline photographer for OSU football games during the 2009 season.  In 2010, and after Tressel first learned through emails that there were likely impermissible benefits involving Pryor as well as others, Talbott was not a credentialed photographer.  Talbott claimed that he decided against applying for a credential last year as he wanted to attend the games as a fan.

It remains to be seen what if any impact this latest in a long line of developments has on the NCAA’s investigation or the school’s appearance in front of the Committee on Infractions Aug. 12.  However, if Tressel or the school were aware of a potential issue involving Talbott and did not act on them for what appears to be a period of at least a couple of years?

Much like Tressel’s initial cover-up and lies, we’re guessing the NCAA would not appreciate it in the least.  And the NCAA’s sanctions will ultimately show exactly that.

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16 Responses to “Email warned Tressel of Talbott in 2007”
  1. whatswiththehate says: Jun 10, 2011 10:35 PM

    So this Talbot guy was doing business as usual with Tressel’s athletes long before Pryor even got to the school and yet it’s Pryor’s name that is high on the media’s talking points list. I wonder why????

    But one has to laugh because it seems as if folks like Talbot have been like roosters running around in the chicken coop for a long time while both the media and these schools simply close a blind eye to it all…Until the NCAA ish hit the fan that is.

  2. mdnittlion says: Jun 10, 2011 11:55 PM

    Everybody wants to blame boosters for doing things that the NCAA feels is wrong. But the truth is that these same boosters donate money that keep the program going. OSU football budget is so large, because wealthy fans that want to donate money and hangout with papers. If schools got rid of boosters than they couldn’t afford all the cool stuff they want, but don’t need.

    Has anyone ever seen what Oregon’s football facilities look like? Think the CEO of Nike gives all that stuff without access to players, don’t kid yourself.

  3. tryagainplease says: Jun 11, 2011 12:41 AM

    I wonder why????

    they’re both talking points. we hear more about pryor because he’s the action figure- evidently there was an infraction per day. tressel was rather inactive sitting around with his eyes shut while pretending to have integrity. neither is getting positive press.

  4. edgy says: Jun 11, 2011 3:05 AM

    Gee and I got all those thumbs down for reporting this. I guess the truth hurts. :)

  5. macbull says: Jun 11, 2011 7:23 AM

    HEY JOHN TAYLOR…

    We now know, that many of the Texas Longhorn players are given freebies too.

    Tell us what you know about the Mac Brown football program that appears to look the other way when their players take advantage of all the “free stuff” given to them, by the good folks in TEXAS.

  6. laxer37 says: Jun 11, 2011 10:07 AM

    Ironic that this Talbott chump is going to end up being one of the guys that ruined the same program he claims to be a “fan” of.

    Of coarse, once again we see that all of this could have been avoided if Tressel didn’t choose to ignore the numerous warnings he was given.

  7. tomosbornesretirementcostjoepaatitle says: Jun 11, 2011 12:16 PM

    mdnittlion says:
    Jun 10, 2011 11:55 PM
    Everybody wants to blame boosters for doing things that the NCAA feels is wrong. But the truth is that these same boosters donate money that keep the program going. OSU football budget is so large, because wealthy fans that want to donate money and hangout with papers. If schools got rid of boosters than they couldn’t afford all the cool stuff they want, but don’t need.
    ————————————————

    Really? You think a couple of thousand dollars donated by a booster has any impact whatsoever on big time programs.

    I see you are a PSU fan, as am I. PSU brings in ~$50 million in profit each year, or some ungodly number like that. Do you really think they need money from a booster?

  8. myballsmyrules says: Jun 11, 2011 12:19 PM

    Of course Tressel knew 3 years ago. Tressel knew this was going on 8 years ago. This was how he funneled money to the players. This was detailed to kids when he recruited them.

    This was how the pay-for-play program worked. The “discounted vehivle program” was also detailed and explained while recruiting.

    Only those excuse makers want to believe this was something that popped up recently and that Tressel is a victim.

    The pay-for-play system goes back almost at least 8 years.
    TOTAL LACK OF INSTITUTIONAL CONTROL

    DEATH PENALTY

  9. tomosbornesretirementcostjoepaatitle says: Jun 11, 2011 12:20 PM

    Hey macbull –

    I am sure that if the fit hits the shan in Austin JT will cover it as extensively as he has every other scandal that is occurring.

    As it is, all you have are the ramblings of a an ex-players wife who did not even attend said university. While it may be enough to pique the interest of the NCAA, there is nothing yet documented, no witnesses coming out, lawyers speaking for players.

    If you wish to continue to stick your head in the sand, ignore the situation at OSU, and try to deflect attention away from the issue at hand by all means continue to do so. Your inane ramblings give me a good chuckle on a daily basis.

  10. tomosbornesretirementcostjoepaatitle says: Jun 11, 2011 12:25 PM

    mdnittlion – OSU’s football budget is not huge because of boosters. It is huge because of fans who buy tons of merchandise, the massive BTN contract, and continually selling out their stadium.

    Check out this blog about the revenue in the B1G, it is pretty informative, and offers some comparisons to the top SEC schools.

    http://blogs.forbes.com/sportsmoney/2011/01/30/how-the-big-ten-stacks-up-against-the-sec-in-sports-revenues/

  11. mdnittlion says: Jun 11, 2011 1:03 PM

    @ tomosbornesretirementcostjoepaatitle

    Actually you can include whatever link you want, but your statements prove you don’t know anything about PSU at all. Years ago the state lawmakers said they’d cut funding to the university if they didn’t disclose how much the coaching staff made PSU said no. And every governor from Rendall to Corbett has cut public funding for the school.

    All the money from Bowl games, Big Ten Network, merchandise goes to prop up athletic & academic programs no one cares about. The swim team has their own Bus and no one goes to those things. PSU has the largest alumni base in the world, because it has over 20 campuses in the state. You’d need a huge budget too if you had to stand up over 20 campus across the state.

    The point is boosters prove the extra money teams depend on expecially when your football teams budget gets raided for other programs no one watches. Don’t believe me look at the Ice Hockey arena the school is in the process of building mostly funded by one family.

    http://articles.philly.com/2010-09-18/news/24974498_1_division-i-hockey-hockey-program-ice-hockey

    By the way you never proved me wrong do you think the CEO of Nike spends all that money on Oregon without access to players?

  12. tomosbornesretirementcostjoepaatitle says: Jun 11, 2011 2:31 PM

    I’m well aware of the ice hockey donation. I was born at centre community hospital in the 70’s. I moved back to state college in 1990, and have been here since then. I have known McQueary since I was in high school. My brother is an IT guy in one if the departments. I could go on, but the point is I know plenty about the program, the school, and all of the pies they have their fingers in. Don’t claim to know it all, but the donation for a hockey program is the exception not the rule.

  13. tomosbornesretirementcostjoepaatitle says: Jun 11, 2011 2:33 PM

    A for oregon, I wouldn’t doubt phil knight has access to players, and I never addressed it because I was nit trying to prove you wrong. I was speaking about the nittany lions alone.

  14. mdnittlion says: Jun 11, 2011 5:26 PM

    @ tomosbornesretirementcostjoepaatitle

    Dude didn’t need your life story. My original point was and will simply be the PSU can’t run the athletic department on just the money the football team brings in. Boosters still kick in more than enough to keep the train running. So unless your cousin works in the budget department your still wrong.

    And the hockey program isn’t the exception every college has boosters that want their names on programs they stand up. Do you really think Oklahoma wanted to name their stadium Gaylord?

  15. whatswiththehate says: Jun 11, 2011 6:44 PM

    tryagainplease says:Jun 11, 2011 12:41 AM

    I wonder why????

    they’re both talking points. we hear more about pryor because he’s the action figure- evidently there was an infraction per day. tressel was rather inactive sitting around with his eyes shut while pretending to have integrity. neither is getting positive press.
    ——————————-
    You are right….But you can’t hate on the QB, who is simply playing the game. You have to angry at the fact that the game was allowed to be played in the first place and the coach that spent how many years acting all levels of naive at his age. After all Pryor is ONLY 21 and what 21 year old wouldn’t take gifts and money especially if his own coach is okaying it.

    Knowing what’s right and doing what’s right don’t always see eye to eye…If you know what I mean. Especially if they are best friends with “look the other way.”

  16. lakesidegator says: Jun 13, 2011 10:47 AM

    Uh….who cares?

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