True Blue in CO

June 2nd, 2011 at 9:37 PM ^

related to the SI story during the weeks to come. The bottomline is that Tressel is gone, the NCAA is on campus, and there are plenty of sanctions in the future. While I am getting full on popcorn, there remains plenty of juicy drama ahead.

Darth Tressel

June 2nd, 2011 at 9:37 PM ^

storm Klein and john Simon are now suing SI. Columbus radio station 97.1 said he NCAA have cleared 5 of the 9 new players that were introduced in the SI article. Klein and Simon should be 2 of the 5. Klein doesn't have any tags and still has his awards and Simon has 3 tags wig his dad claiming he had them in high school and that his dad has all his awards at his home.


June 2nd, 2011 at 10:48 PM ^

The article mentions Simon and Klein as part of a group of players who traded autographs or memorabilia for tattoos or cash. What Simon and Klein said about their tattoos (or lack thereof) and awards doesn't disprove the claims made in the article. Klein, for example, could have traded autographs or equipment for cash.


June 3rd, 2011 at 9:57 AM ^

And we've been at that point since at least 1964 (New York Times v. Sullivan).

It's a First Amendment thing. The idea is that the greater threat to liberty is not from the ability of the media to say what it wants, but rather from the power of the state to curb what is said by the media.

Besides, I'm not sure how you could have a system where you could sue over false statements without having to show that those statements were false.


June 3rd, 2011 at 10:13 AM ^

You could, with an Orwellian concept of media control. Barring total state control over the media which would, in theory [because it is impossible], vet every single story for truth before it came out, it can't happen.


June 3rd, 2011 at 6:55 PM ^

I thought you were talking LvMI, and I was speaking about their revamped forums. I haven't posted on those yet, judging by some of the comments in the daily, I need to step up my economics before I can add anything of substance to a lot of those discussions.

And no, I think that's about to happen right after people with more points than us get Scarlett.


June 3rd, 2011 at 11:01 AM ^

You also can't always print all of the evidence you have. In the media's defense, one has to be careful what one writes concerning individuals these days, especially with the speed that information moves. Also, if I recall correctly, SI thoroughly inspected the story with their lawyers before publishing. It seems the sources within the story and other evidence collected implicates the players.


June 2nd, 2011 at 11:03 PM ^

What a couple of spoiled, petty brats Klein and Simon come off as by lawerying up instead of just saying it's not true. It also shows a complete ignorance of journalistic law.

The article quotes "Ellis" who identified the nine new players. Some idiot on an OSU board brought up that the story is obviously BS because Klein has no tattoos, as if he's inspected every inch of the kid's body while also ignoring that the article states they traded merch for tattoos OR cash.



June 2nd, 2011 at 9:46 PM ^

Maybe interviewed them already, but I doubt they were "cleared" cleared. And Blue in South Bend is absolutely right -- there is not even a snowball's chance in Hell that a lawsuit is successful. SI will just trot out their sources and it's all over.


June 3rd, 2011 at 7:12 PM ^

I left aerospace engineering to go work for an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software company. That got me into operations and supply chain. I farted around for a while before I ended up at a large, multi-national technology and services firm in their consulting services organization.

Chances are, you know or know of both guys in the photo. The guy on the left is still at JSC, (he was in DX when the photo was taken) but I don't know about the other.

I get down to JSC fairly frequently on business. Have Brian or one of the mods send you my contact info. It would be great to get together over a beer and talk about the Wolverines.



June 2nd, 2011 at 9:50 PM ^

I hope someone -- anyone -- files a lawsuit. That makes everyone subject to discovery. Everyone remotely connected in the OSU Athletic Department, the Tattoo Parlor and on the team can be subpoenaed and required to answer questions under oath. And they can ask questions about many more things than tattoos. I am guessing that Gene Smith & Co. are doing some fancy footwork right now to make sure that no one files a lawsuit.


June 2nd, 2011 at 9:53 PM ^

Try explaining 'libel' and 'slander' to those is hilarious.  

As for discovery, made that point to several bucknuts, and they didn't understand that this is a Pandora's box...CNNSI can call anyone linked to the story, and put them on the stand to testify.  Everything changes when perjury is on the table. 


June 2nd, 2011 at 9:57 PM ^

It will never get to trial. They will file a motion requesting depositions. Tressel. Smith. Gee. All the players. The tattoo parlor people. The auto dealer people. Family members. It would be a nuclear bomb if those depositions took place and OSU knows that.


June 2nd, 2011 at 10:05 PM ^

The interesting part is that OSU lacks standing, so they don't get to make the call. I'm sure they're explaining how unlikely it is for these players to get anything, but ultimately, they're at the mercy of 18-23 year old athletes.


June 2nd, 2011 at 10:28 PM ^

But I guarantee you that OSU will do everything in its power to prevent such a lawsuit. And I am not saying they will do anything illegal, but they could simply purchase the legal claims of the plaintiffs for a fee if need be. Unless they are idiots, no such lawsuit will be filed.


June 2nd, 2011 at 10:45 PM ^

Not my point. My point was that OSU could just quash the whole thing themselves, but they cannot because it involves students and not them. I agree that OSU would never want to go through a lawsuit, but now could be forced to by their students.


June 2nd, 2011 at 10:52 PM ^


Hey, I don't want to get into an argument about this, but no, even if OSU had standing in such a lawsuit they would not have the right to quash someone else's standing. That is just not how it works.

Certainly, OSU could have its own separate claim for libel if the facts existed to support such a claim. But OSU's claim and YSU's claim and the players' claims are all separate and distinct. The success or failure or standing of one has no bearing whatsover on the others.


June 2nd, 2011 at 10:57 PM ^

I was only saying that if it was OSU that was (potentially) libeled, they would be able to make this go away. Because it isn't, their students can force them to go through a process they don't want to go through. My only point was that, ironically enough, OSU would end up wishing that SI came out with a story libeling the university directly, because then there would be no chance of a lawsuit because they would sit on it.

Really my comment had nothing to do with legal standing or any type of procedure, just pointing out the irony that OSU might end up wishing they got hit instead of the students.


June 2nd, 2011 at 9:56 PM ^

It's hard to believe that the president would deny something that he knows is recorded.  It's hard to believe that SI would just make up a quote, especially one that doesn't make or break the story.  This one just gets weirder and weirder.

Also hats off to psychomatt and the other lawyers  on the board.  I wouldn't have thought of the discovery process on my own---not being a lawyer and all.

Let me put my naivete cap on and ask, shouldn't Smith welcome a discovery process so that they can get to the bottom of it, come clean and produce a thorough report and investigation?


June 2nd, 2011 at 10:17 PM ^

Maybe you are being sarcastic, but the last thing Smith wants is a clean report that gets to the bottom of everything.

Everyone is stumped as to why Tressel would decide not to turn over the emails involving the Tat-5 to his compliance people back in April 2010. The answer is simple. Despite what everyone thinks, his motivation was not to keep TP and the others on the field for the first four games of 2010. He was going to win at least three and probably all four of those games without them. So, why would someone like Jim Tressel risk his $4 million per year job and sterling reputation by concealing a seemingly minor memorabilia for benefits scheme? Because he knew it went back to 2002 and involved more like 40+ players. He knew if he turned in these five guys, he risked the whole ten years being discovered.

Go back and look at the comments and tweets of several players when the Tat-5 story broke. Everyone knew this was going on for the entire ten year period (actually, it probably pre-dated Tressel) and the five players were only the tip of the iceberg. That is why Tressel decided to not disclose the Tat-5 and handle it internally. And he almost got away with it. Almost.


June 2nd, 2011 at 11:28 PM ^

Yeah, but until he got the email from Cicero, Tressel had plausible deniability. Had he turned them over, even if the ten years of hook ups that Pittman referred to had been revealed, Tressel could have reasonably denied knowledge of those past transgressions.


June 2nd, 2011 at 10:13 PM ^

shouldn't Smith welcome a discovery process so that they can get to the bottom of it, come clean and produce a thorough report and investigation

Yes and no. Discovery in a civil case would definitely clean a lot of house, but it wouldn't necessarily be limited to the topic at hand. The scope of discovery in something like that would dredge up ANYTHING sitting on the bottom of Dumbshit Lake, including stuff than would be outside the scope of an NCAA investigation (Did your teammates use drugs?  Did they sell drugs?  Were recruits offered 'hostesses'? Did you pay full price for your car? Did your teammates pay full price for their cars?).

A court's subpoena power exceeds the powers of the NCAA or an internal investigation.  People are also less likely to lie during discovery, what with the whole perjury thing and all.  Long story short, civil litigation would take the monster out of the lab.


June 2nd, 2011 at 10:29 PM ^

The way I look at this is that SI has a heck of a lot more to lose by making up a quote than the former YSU president does by denying it now. If I lived in Youngstown, I would be afraid for my property and mildly afraid for my physical safety if I was connected to something that was perceived as bringing down Jim Tressel. Of course, neither of these points proves that his denial is a lie.


June 2nd, 2011 at 10:10 PM ^

Not sure if this will be successful but can they argue that this will jeopardize any future employment? I know the NFL really looks at character issues and can end up affecting their draft position, thus messing with the amount of money they are due to make. If a player is linked to drugs I would think his draft position is in jeopardy? I am absolutely not a lawyer but this is the only thing I can think of them pursuing action for?


June 2nd, 2011 at 10:17 PM ^

Let's imagine that SI's sources indeed made to SI the accusations that appear in the piece. Let's also imagine that those accusations are false. In that instance, generally speaking, a falsely-accused Buckeye almost certainly will not have a successful claim against SI but may have a successful claim against the source(s). SI was just reporting what it was told. The source, on the other hand, could have lied.


June 2nd, 2011 at 10:26 PM ^

What you're talking about are the types of damages that could result from a successful suit.  IF they won, the could collect from lost future wages, etc.  But they would still have to win on the underlying action (libel). 

These players are arguably public figures (and Tressel, Gee, Smith, and OSU writ large are definitely public figures), they would have to show (1) knowing or reckless disregard for the truth, and (2) actual malice.  In other words, SI would have had to know (or have been very reckless in failing to recognize) that the statements were false, and had to have printed them with the intent of screwing with the individuals.

No one ever wins these cases. But lord I'd like to watch them try...


June 2nd, 2011 at 10:34 PM ^

The standard Blue cites is the reason that the National Inquirer or whatever rag can print what they do. The standard is lower in the UK, i.e., it's easier to win a libel suit there, which is why you see celebrities sue British tabloids far more often than American ones.