Does Sarniak now totally change the OSU investigation?

Submitted by no joke its hoke on March 28th, 2011 at 4:47 AM

I unfortunately have been ill lately and havent been able to follow this story all that well, but wanted to get the feel from some people on if they believe this is going to bring up even more trouble? I would imagine that he will change this whole investigation and the NCAA will now uncover all the "extras" that OSU players have been receiving for years. Anyways I just wanted to see what the general thought was about all of this. Thanks for any feed back Go Blue!



March 28th, 2011 at 5:01 AM ^

Paging all MGoLawyers.  Repeat, paging all MGoLawyers.

Haha...Seriously though, it can't be good for Mr. Tressel for this booster to be linked to the case.  We all know the horror stories about OSU's overly enthusiastic boosters and what they have allegedly done throughout the Tressel era, and earlier.

But we must always keep a reasonable doubt in our minds at all times when examining the facts of Tatgate.  Let us not be forced to eat our words later down the road.


March 28th, 2011 at 5:44 AM ^

Just how they describe Sarniak in the article make it sound like he was awfully close to Pryor. Especially how they said he has been a major influence in his life, including his recruitment. Just all seems kind of fishy, and then for Tressel to relinquish this information to no one else (as far as we know) just seems down right odd. You would have to think as this investigation continues this web will continue to grow and grow.  But who knows, I was just surprised to see someone else up this late.


March 28th, 2011 at 6:12 AM ^

Tressel is done. It's just a matter of when. If it is a quick investigation, he likely get's a year suspension or worse and the program will get nailed with some sort of sanction that will make keeping him too detrimental.

If it is a long investigation, that is likely worse. That means the NCAA is looking closely at the booster connections we have all heard rumored about, which has been the driving force behind the Tressel victory machine all these years. So when that report comes out, maybe years down the road, it will be even worse. 

I seriously think Ohio State is better off with the long drawn out scenerio. It will allow them to act like everything is cool. Their fans can be so lacking in perspective, that they can wrack up a few more good seasons before their shady program gets barbecued to a crisp. Finally.

Message to Michigan fans: Don't feel guilty while this all goes down. Also stop feeling like Michigan can only gain some sort of legitimacy in this rivalry by beating them in full Sweater Vest mode.  It is very likely that Ohio State built this juggernaut using shady means in acquiring and making eligible star players that should never have seen the field. How legitimate is that?

no joke its hoke

March 28th, 2011 at 6:23 AM ^

Do you think that if this goes on for awhile it may end up having the same effect that the Ed Martin long process had on Michigan b-ball program? By the way from some of the things I've read and with some feed back it is looking more like Maurice Clarett was being totally honest when he told about the cars and "extra" help in the class rooms. This programis in TROUBLE!

The Barwis Effect

March 28th, 2011 at 9:58 AM ^

"Message to Michigan fans: Don't feel guilty while this all goes down. Also stop feeling like Michigan can only gain some sort of legitimacy in this rivalry by beating them in full Sweater Vest mode.  It is very likely that Ohio State built this juggernaut using shady means in acquiring and making eligible star players that should never have seen the field. How legitimate is that?"

Well stated, Nate.  Not that anyone cares what I think, but I couldn't agree more with this take.  I don't believe for a second that U-M and OSU have been competing on a level playing field for going on close to ten years.


March 28th, 2011 at 6:59 AM ^

I think it only changes the investigation significantly, if they can prove that Sarniak was a booster.  As far as the article goes, he was only a mentor and family friend to Pryor.  I'm not sure, but I think that a family friend of an athlete can give gifts to that athlete, as long as they're not a booster to the program. 

I think it will slightly change the investigation because it's further proof that, regardless of Tressel's lame excuses, Tressel did understand there was not any reason for confidentiality.

This won't have the same effect that Ed Martin had on our basketball program.  That slide was extended, partially because of the federal probe, but mostly because of bad decisions (read Brian Ellerbe). 

The one detail that I've read about lately that intrigues me is the idea that they may receive additional punishment because they're a repeat offender.  Because they're almost 5 years from the basketball violations and because they're flippin' Ohio State, it may not matter, but it does add a nice twist. 


March 28th, 2011 at 11:10 AM ^

I had read on here that Sarniak's business "blew up" after Pryor signed w/OSU.  Although I can make the assumptions, just like everyone else, I didn't know that it had actually blown up IN Columbus.  I thought it was blowing up in western PA.  The NCAA could definitely look into that.  I'm afraid that they're not that interested in digging too deep.  Hopefully, they will, though. 

@ Tater: I think (definitely not sure) Ed Martin became an official booster to Michigan basketball when they began leaving game tickets for him.  Can anyone clarify that? 


March 28th, 2011 at 8:06 AM ^

Ed Martin was a "family friend" to a lot of inner-city Detroit players.  I still don't know how Iowa and Bill Jones escaped scrutiny.  By the NCAA's definition of Martin as a "Michigan booster," even though he wasn't anything close, Sarniak has to count as a TSIO booster.


If the NCAA should have been "afraid" of any program, it would be USC, but USC got reaonably fair sanctions.  I think TSIO may be hurting big time soon.  I just hope they can't convince Urban Meyer to "unretire."  I could stand seeing them hire Saint Dantonio, though.

Urban Warfare

March 28th, 2011 at 10:29 AM ^

It won't be Dantonio.  Too many off-field issues.  If, and I think this is still a big if at this point, Tressel does get fired before the season, I think Fickell will take over.  If it happens after the season, it'll be Fickell, Daryl Hazell, or maybe Bo Pellini.


March 28th, 2011 at 10:43 AM ^

The next guy will be the scap goat for the probation/sanctions. It won't be a long term guy so I'm thinking your DC, he almost at the end of his road anyway. After the storm then Fickell/Hazell if he goes out and does well at another lower level school/Kent ST. I don't think your going to get Pellini/Meyer/BIG COACH duing a time of sanctions, "What? OSU has recruiting bans, Bowl bans....Sign me up." Not happing my friend.

Urban Warfare

March 28th, 2011 at 11:14 AM ^

I don't know, Pelini might be willing to take it.  He's from Ohio, played at OSU, and he's said before that he'd like a chance to coach the Buckeyes.  Even if there is a bowl ban or scholarship reduction, I think OSU will be OK.  USC isn't hurting too badly, and I can't imagine OSU getting the same sort of punishment as the Trojans.


March 28th, 2011 at 11:27 AM ^

I agree that you probably won't face the scholarship reductions, but I do think Tressel is going to have to leave one way or another.

The other point to mention about USC, though, is they haven't yet accepted those punishments. They've recruited a full class this year and are only going to take the brunt of their scholarship reductions after they're bowl-eligible again, assuming they lose their appeal. They're avoiding a lot of their recruiting problems by doing this.

I'd like to think OSU isn't that bad, but Gee/Smith definitely did not inspire much confidence in OSU at their press conference, IMO.



March 28th, 2011 at 11:05 AM ^

I don't think I could take Dantonio being the coach there. I would be too angry. It would be like preparing for a drug trip: remove any sharp objects, make sure any valuables are safe, have someone come check on me in a few hours....

Or I could gain some perspective, but let's not kid ourselves... that ship sailed long, long ago.

Maize and Blue…

March 28th, 2011 at 11:13 AM ^

He had a friend/guardian he lived with before even coming to Michigan.  The NCAA still ruled him ineligible.  Don't see how this can be any different.  In fact, it could actually be worse for OSU since Sweater Vest decided to forward the e-mails to him.

Urban Warfare

March 28th, 2011 at 8:52 AM ^

Ken Gordon at the Dispatch has tweeted that this isn't news to the NCAA, and that Sarniak actually is a long time family friend-apparently he's been some sort of a father figure to TP since at least middle school.   It would be hard to prove Sarniak is an OSU booster, given Sarniak's lack of OSU connections before Pryor came and the length of their relationship.

Assuming that OSU didn't completely fuck up and fail to inform the NCAA of the emails being forwarded, I don't see this changing anything.   The Dispatch is pretty adamant that Smith, Gee and the NCAA have been aware of this since February, so I think it'll have a minor impact, at most.

RE: Ed Martin.  Did Michigan self-report, or did the NCAA start investigating on their own after the FBI stuff came out? 


March 28th, 2011 at 9:15 AM ^

To me...this is the difference between Pearl, Tressel, and what had gone down with Martin and Michigan. Ohio State self-reported these things...the Tat5 stuff and Tressel's cover-up. How do you punish beyond all reason a place that self-reports? If they do get huge punishment, what college in their right mind would ever self-report again? With Pearl, he was caught in a lie by the NCAA during their investigation and then 4 days later had another violation, which he inturn lied about. Tenn and Pearl didn't do any self-reporting...


March 28th, 2011 at 11:50 AM ^

Unfortunately, they were already working with the NCAA on the investigation at the time the Yahoo! story came out. So, as far as the NCAA is concerned, it was self-reported. You and I and the rest of the world may not have known about it until the story broke - but the NCAA did.

I wish it weren't so, but it is.

Of course the *perception* of what went down may have some impact on what the NCAA ultimately does to them. Since I think they may be tiring of being the press' whipping boys. I think the NCAA prolly thought when they came down on SC that everyone would be happy and they could go back in their closet. Then Auburn happened, and Oregon, and OSU... Now they look like pansies again.


March 28th, 2011 at 11:33 AM ^


Well if this isn't news to the NCAA, I don't know how it came from OSU. It was definitely not in their self-reporting letter, so either they found it after sending the letter (i.e. when the papers started making FOIA requests) or they were unaware. 

Either way, it's looking like the media is doing this investigation for OSU.


March 28th, 2011 at 10:35 AM ^

First of all, nothing witll have the effect on our basketball program. Our ridiculously extreme, albeit delayed, reaction made sure of that.

But there's a FBI probe involved in this case as well. And even though OSU won't be so dumb to hire an Ellerbe equivalent, they won't be a real hot job with coaches knowing they will inherit some inevitable sanctions from Tressel.



March 28th, 2011 at 7:25 AM ^

Color me skeptical.  I'll believe the doom of Columbutt when I see it.  I think the NCAA is just as scared of what they'll find out at OSU as the school is itself. 


March 28th, 2011 at 7:52 AM ^

Likely the NCAA would like to see it all just go away with the current penalties in place.  I doubt they can just ignore the evicence coming out, however, and it seems the media is unlikely to let the story die.  After all it sells papers, or internet clicks, or whatever.  Plus, hypocrisy is always a great story.


March 28th, 2011 at 10:37 AM ^

And why would they be scared of finding out OSU when they just went full-gore after USC, an even bigger cash cow in college football?

They laid off Cam Newton because there wasn't enough time to do a real investigation before the national title game and that wasn't something they wanted to disturb. There is no good reason for them not to take this case on as it stands now.


March 28th, 2011 at 12:55 PM ^

You sir are incorrect.

2nd Ohio State $117,953,712 Big Ten
4th Michigan $99,027,105 Big Ten
19th University of Southern California $76,409,919 Pac-10

Granted these are athletic department revenue's for 2008 but I would not imagine a giant leap from these numbers. If anything, I would suggest a fall in USC's numbers due to sanctions and post-Carrol.



March 28th, 2011 at 1:03 PM ^

College football isn't.  Conferences (or team like ND) negotiate football television contracts with the networks themselves, and negotiate merchandizing contracts with the apparel companies.  And they don't share the revenue with the suits in Indy (that I know of, anyway).

About 90% of the NCAA's revenue comes from its contract with CBS for March Madness (it varies year to year but it's the primary source of income and will continue to be).  The balance of revenue comes from other championship tournaments the NCAA puts on, etc.  Here's this year's budget.

I know your point is that the NCAA won't be afraid to come after OSU given the investigation and sanctions with USC. I agree. But fear of financial repurcussions didn't play a part in the USC investigation. Nor will it here.



March 28th, 2011 at 8:37 AM ^

It's hard to look at his objectively, I'm/we're UM fans and are drinking in the tears of unfathomable sadness has just been a joy. OSU sold their soul when they hired Cheaty McSweater Vest, he was dirty since YSU when he was the AD/HC with a dirty QB(cars/$$$). The school gets busted the year he leaves, followed by MoC(Cars/$$$), Hawk($$$), T.Smith($$$), Pittmans Tweets about his Tats, TP (Cars/$$$/TATS there's more smoke but you get it), a true Snake Oil Salesman, wears a Vest and the call him a "Senator" (No politics but this should have been the first clue...Senator).


What I don't get is this Shitshow has to go deeper, I bet he DID tell the AD and Compliance department and they helped cover it up. What I don't get is why not the AD or the "Rouge" compliance guy fall on the sword? Why Tressel? If I was a Buckeye I'd rather have Smith under fire and not Tressel.


Sorry for the ramblings it would be nice to get an unbiased perspective and not UM's "BURN BABY BURN" or OSU's ....

Urban Warfare

March 28th, 2011 at 8:57 AM ^

If they covered it up to start with, why self-report in January/February when their attorney found the emails?  Doesn't that sort of defeat the purpose of a coverup? 

Also, why do people keep claiming that AJ Hawk was dirty?  I keep seeing it on mgoblog, but I've never seen any accusations elsewhere. 


March 28th, 2011 at 9:06 AM ^

"What I don't get is why not the AD or the "Rouge" compliance guy fall on the sword? Why Tressel?"

Because there's direct evidence of Tressel attempting to cover things up. Those e-mails will be instrumental in any charges the NCAA brings.


March 28th, 2011 at 9:42 AM ^

What I'm trying to say is why not set a guy up. USC had a assistant coach take a fall about withholding information, Pete Carroll had no idea what was going on at USC (sarcasm), IF OSU is in the business of "Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil." Why not spin it and protect Tressel? I know he said it was him but the AD cut him off before he could answer when asked if he forwarded the E-mails. This is where I think Tressel DID forward the E-mails to others not just TP's Sugar Daddy.   

Wolverine 73

March 28th, 2011 at 10:08 AM ^

forwarded the emails, there are electronic footprints to prove where he sent them.  (and from what we read, he sent them to Sarniak.)  if he didn't, there won't be any evidence they were forwarded.  it might be hard to hang this on an assistant AD or other sacrificial lamb if there was no indication he ever saw the emails--and there is proof Tressel sent them to Sarniak.  and just maybe no one was willing to take the ethical hit if he did nothing wrong.  or maybe the powers that be figured Tressel can survive this.