Transactions between Ohio State football players and a tattoo-parlor owner are far more extensive than previously made public by OSU officials.
A letter sent by the U.S. Department of Justice on Dec. 7, which was obtained by The Dispatch today, show that suspected drug dealer Ed Rife bought or traded for tattoos 36 different football-related items since 2008.
However, only some of the transactions were considered violations by the NCAA, which suspended five players for the five games of the 2011 season for improper benefits and preferential treatment.
"There may be items in this letter that do not constitute NCAA violations," OSU spokesman Jim Lynch said this morning in explaining why all the items were not previously disclosed. "The NCAA had this exact list as they prepared their notice of allegations."
The NCAA Notice of Allegations lists 14 items instead of the 36 listed in the DoJ letter.
But this was only about some low level stuff being traded for tatoos, right? Well, yes that happened, but it was much more.
In exchange for game-worn gloves, he gave the players free tattoos.
The financial transactions between Rife and the players total more than $14,000. The largest cash deal involved a 2008 championship ring he bought for $1,500.
I like this transaction the best:
One player gave Rife four passes to the 2010 Rose Bowl and his watch in exchange for a 2003 Tahoe, which Rife purchased for $3,500.
[Edit: Here's the link to the DoJ letter (PDF).]