Tressel had signed an NCAA compliance form in September saying he had no knowledge of any wrongdoing by athletes. His contract, in addition to NCAA rules, specified that he had to tell his superiors or compliance department about any potential NCAA rules violations. Yet he did not tell anyone, except to forward emails to Ted Sarniak, reportedly a “mentor” for quarterback Terrelle Pryor back in his hometown of Jeannette, Pa.
Under an agreement reached with federal prosecutors, Rife will plead guilty this month to charges of drug trafficking and money laundering and cooperate with authorities.
The charges and Rife’s tentative plea agreement don’t mention the sale of the memorabilia.
Rife could face a prison sentence of 20 years although would likely receive much less under federal sentencing rules.
Pryor announced last week that he would not return to the team for his senior season. He had already been suspended by Ohio State and the NCAA for the first five games of the 2011 season for accepting improper benefits in the form of cash and discounted tattoos from Rife.
On Monday, Pryor hired an agent and took steps toward making himself available for an NFL supplemental draft.
The NCAA is investigating all aspects of Ohio State’s athletic program, particularly the football team.
Andrew Welsh-Huggins can be reached at http://twitter.com/awhcolumbus
(This version CORRECTS Corrects that misconduct charge was filed Monday, not Friday.)