Well, at least that’s what the former Buckeye linebacker claimed in an interview on SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Radio channel today.
Rolle, who was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the sixth round of the 2011 NFL Draft, spoke about the ongoing saga at Ohio State and said he was offered extra benefits numerous times while in Columbus, but never specified who offered him extra benefits.
Below is the full text of Brian Rolle‘s conversation forwarded from new CFT part-timer/OSU analyst Mike Florio.
(On whether he was offered benefits at Ohio State)
“Being a player here in Columbus at Ohio State, which is in my opinion the number one university in the country, yeah, people want to throw things at you and offer you things. And you’re right, people always want to be around you because you are college football here. It’s tempting for people to offer you things that you don’t usually get or you wouldn’t get if you’re a regular person. But it takes special people, not saying that the guys that did accept things, it takes special people to say no. Those guys were young and most people don’t understand that. They think that it just happened, that these guys just did it but it happened when these guys were freshman, when they were young. They didn’t know exactly what to do. But me myself, I’ve been offered free things before and I’ve said no. It’s not hard the older you get because you know the morals of the program, you know what we stand for here. Those guys, I don’t blame them at all, I don’t point any fingers at them because what they did when they were young I’m not going to hold against them. They’re still my brothers and I still look forward to those guys playing.”
(On what he was offered)
“I was offered a lot more than cars, but at the same time I know better. I know that anything that comes free, it has a price attached to it somewhere down the line and just like those guys who accepted things, that price came with a five-game suspension.
People offer you cars, they offer you to get in free somewhere, they offer you free drinks somewhere, they offer you cash, anything. I mean you name it, people offer it. It’s crazy but at the same time you gotta understand that it’s not really free. And I’m sure a lot of our players, all of our players, know that. All of our players, we follow the rules strictly here and for the five players that didn’t that’s not a reflection of who this program is and that’s not a reflection of who Coach Tressel is. That was just five guys who made honest mistakes and now they’re gonna pay for it. And Coach Tressel, you know, unfortunately had to resign. It’s just sad to see.”
Well, there you have it, although I’m not quite ready to refer to the Buckeye Five’s memorabilia swap as a “honest mistake”.
If Rolle really did turn down impermissible benefits, then good for him. Even if he didn’t, Rolle appears to at least be bright enough not to admit to it before ritualistically backing out of his comments.