After months and months of negativity, the beleaguered Ohio State football program is finally on the receiving end of some good news Tuesday morning. Probably.
According to the Associated Press, the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles has determined that the purchases of dozens vehicles at a pair of Columbus dealerships by football players and family members were on the up and up. The investigation conducted by the BMV found that the purchases, the AP writes, accurately reflected the vehicles’ sales prices.
The Columbus Dispatch reports that the 65-page report issued by the BMV concluded that the dealerships turned a profit on 24 of the 25 vehicle purchases the bureau investigated. The report, the Dispatch states, did not examine whether the prices that OSU players paid involved discounts not available to the general public.
The BMV launched its probe into the “situation” on the heels of reports that at least 50 OSU players/family members had possibly received deals because of their status as athletes, which would violate NCAA bylaws.
OSU’s head of NCAA compliance, Doug Archie, said at the time that the reports first surfaced this past March he has seen “nothing to believe a violation has occurred.” Based on the results of the BMV’s investigation, that appears to be the case.
“Today’s report from the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles supports the sworn statements two Columbus auto dealers provided us that the manner in which they conducted sales with Ohio State student athletes adhered to university and NCAA rules,” Archie said in a statement released today.
What this doesn’t mean, however, is that the Buckeyes are out of the NCAA woods entirely. An investigation is still ongoing into the upwards of eight vehicles former quarterback Terrelle Pryor drove during his time in Columbus, including a couple/few loaner vehicles from the dealerships in question. Additionally, there have been subsequent reports that members of the football program, including current ones, may have been on the receiving end of impermissible benefits outside of vehicles.
And then there’s the possibility that the NCAA could also determine during the course of their own investigation that the players/family received deals not available to the general public, despite the BMV’s overwhelmingly positive report.
But, still, and at least for now, the members of the OSU athletic/compliance can breathe a huge sigh of relief. Until the next revelation surfaces. Or the Aug. 12 hearing in front of the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions. Whichever comes first.