SVJ: OSU Player Appears to Have Paid for Vehicle

Submitted by Geaux_Blue on May 11th, 2011 at 12:19 PM

Columbus Dispatch reporting vehicle sold for $13k. Still excessively low for the vehicle but the conflicting reports, and questions regarding why it was submitted as $0 a year later, still keeps the pressure on the dealership and the salesman to disclose all the facts and cooperate with any federal investigations that reveal facts...


Former Ohio State linebacker Thaddeus Gibson didn't understand why his purchase of a used Chrysler 300C was listed at $0 in documents disclosed in a media report, since he was still making payments on the vehicle.

Now, newly uncovered documents appear to back up Gibson -- to the tune of $13,700.

In an initial report on Ohio State's investigation of car sales to athletes and their families, the Dispatch cited documents showing a purchase price of $0 for Gibson's car.

But on Wednesday, the newspaper reported it obtained a previous title on the vehicle listing the purchase price as $13,700 for a sale dated June 27, 2007 and financed through Huntington National Bank.

The title listing the purchase price as $0 was dated March 6, 2008 and listed the same bank as the lender, according to the report.

Important to note: car salesman was receiving tickets to sporting events from OSU/players. This would qualify him as a booster, meaning any impropriety, however slight, would take this to Ed Martin town.


Section 1

May 11th, 2011 at 12:46 PM ^

It was a used car.  It had something close to 14k miles on it.  It was probably a repossessed vehicle, purchased at auction by the dealership and resold.  We don't even know what kind of shape it was in.

And one other thing -- this was originally a Columbus Dispatch story, where they looked at a later-issued title that had a "zero" payment on it.  They had not seen the original title, which included the payment amount.  Credit, I say, goes to the Dispatch, for correcting its error with a big, headlined story, and not with some buried "correction." 

Throughout this affair with Tressel, it has been remarkable to watch how the Dispatch has operated, as a newspaper that is interested in carefully reporting the story by asking the most important questions in a fair way.  As opposed to being on a Jihad against a coach who is disliked by the columnists.


May 11th, 2011 at 3:58 PM ^

The Columbus "Discharge" has been a shilling machine for TSIO forever, just like most of the Ohio media in general.  I'm grossly surprised that they have even written anything negative at all.  They suck as badly and lack as much objectivity as the freep does; they just do it on opposite sides of the fence.

Section 1

May 11th, 2011 at 4:26 PM ^

The part of the general investigation that is now focused on the two car dealerships started as a wholly-owned Dispatch story.  Others have picked up on it now; but for you to suggest that Ohio papers are "shilling" for Tressel or OSU, when in fact the Dispatch has been responsible for a very significant new development in the investigation, is so plainly wrong, that I had to call you on it.

But I am gratified to see you call out the Freep for general suckiness.  That part was good.


May 11th, 2011 at 4:23 PM ^

Your logic is flawed.  Who knows where these cars came from.  Maybe they had a very low trade in value from a stupid buyer.  Maybe they were repossesed.  My uncle ran a dealership and he would often buy cars for less than 1k, and turn around those cars and sell them for 8-10k.  It did not hurt him financially to buy one of those cars and sell it to family for sigificantly less than the Blue Book Value.

This being said, none of this looks good for ohio.  Although there may be zero violations with the cars...ohio will already burn for tat-a-gate.  It just fuels the already burning fire.


Man arrested for rape, pending trial.

While awaiting trial, man arrested for a second rape.

All charges on second rape dropped, found out the victim was lying to cover up cheating on her boyfriend.

The jury is not going to hear anything pertaining to the second arrest, but they still heard about it and it will factor into their decision no matter how hard they try to ignore it.

no joke its hoke

May 11th, 2011 at 5:05 PM ^

my best friend works for a dealership in Columbus and it doesnt matter  if its a reposses because they still sell it for KBB price. In your own statement you said he sold these kind of cars to family and close friends for very low prices,that is different from a "guy" getting tickets to NCG from buckeye  players for deals. I don't know any smart salesman that would EVER give up a 7-15 k  on a car just for the hell of it. I bet you any amount you want that you cant walk into that same dealership,find a repo car and offer them 10k less than what it books for and buy it.


May 11th, 2011 at 5:24 PM ^

1.  Have you ever heard of someone giving free guest NCG tickets to a used car salesman that sold him the vehicle for market price?  Didn't think so.

2.  Have you ever heard of someone from Maryland or more than 200 miles away in Pennsylvania buying a used car from someone in Ohio for market price?  Didn't think so.


no joke its hoke

May 11th, 2011 at 5:32 PM ^

they have turned players familes away for asking for discounts since their son is such and such. He said that no sane salesman is going to sale a car for  7-15k less on 50 CARS!!!!!!!!!!   Thats the thing to remember,it's not 3 or 4 players or parents, this has taken place 50 times. No one is going to take that kind of a loss with out getting something in return.


May 11th, 2011 at 11:12 PM ^

Car salesman are 100% commission...They'd be taking money out of their pocket by giving away that many vehicles under value. Plus, the dealership my Dad worked for absolutely raped people on used cars because a good majority were people who couldn't qualify for a lease & didn't have a choice but to overpay if they want a car.

I'm guessing this 'missing' money was made up somewhere....A used car salesman living in a $500k home seems a bit fishy to me.


May 11th, 2011 at 12:23 PM ^

This is still a large NCAA violation in my book. I mean hell, Jamal Crawford got the hammer dropped on him, and his violation was no where near as egregious  as this.

Zone Left

May 11th, 2011 at 12:27 PM ^

I personally think Kniffin may have been filing artificially low sales prices because he was trying to dodge taxes. You've got to be seriously rich to give away cars to random people, no matter how big a fan you are.

Benoit Balls

May 11th, 2011 at 4:43 PM ^

you are required to pay sales tax on a vehicle, based upon the county the vehicle will be titled in. Most counties in Ohio are between 5.5% and 8%, so theres some tax evasion going on there as well.  While it may be a small amount, its probably not a good idea to give the IRS reason to start looking around

Zone Left

May 11th, 2011 at 6:59 PM ^

That's what I'm getting at. The dealership could easily be filing 1 in 5 cars for significantly less than what they actually sold it for and then pocketing the difference. It's much more plausible than forfeiting 10K/per car 50 times ($500,000). Bobby Lowder (Auburn super booster) could do that, but a used car lot doesn't make that kind of cash.


May 11th, 2011 at 12:28 PM ^

It's not uncommon to report a lower selling price or no selling price when you know the seller. More often on cheaper used cars. Not exactly legal, but it obviously avoids high registration costs each year. At least not uncommon to me. Anyone else?

Maize and Blue…

May 11th, 2011 at 2:11 PM ^

I know the bank had the correct price, but if it was reported as a zero dollar sale to the state the sales tax would not be charged.  This would lower the price of the car for the athlete and also help the seller avoid paying taxes.  If there is one organization in this country that will get a conviction it is the IRS.  That  is why you see scores of drug dealers/bookies going to jail on income tax fraud.


May 11th, 2011 at 4:01 PM ^

...but I'm pretty sure the IRS doesn't care about state tax violators.  That probably falls under a state agency.  Which, of course, would be biased in TSIO's favor and wouldn't dare hurt the state "franchise."

The parts the FBI are looking at are still the most likely to uncover violations.


May 11th, 2011 at 12:32 PM ^

but Gibson has the dough as a full-time student to be making car payments?

That sort of undercuts the argument that athletes are in such dire financial shape that they need financial remuneration above and beyond what they receive in scholarship form.

Maize and Blue…

May 11th, 2011 at 2:22 PM ^

also played in the NFL.  Given when he played he may be making more money now as AD at WVU.

This would be an interesting test poll:  If we are going to give stipends to players do we even give them to kids who don't need it.  I'm sure Jordan Dumars isn't hurting does he get as much of a stipend as another player you comes from a vastly different background?  With Michigan being the home of three former NBA players kids what do you think?


May 11th, 2011 at 3:35 PM ^

I agree that every player who earns a scholarship should have an equal chance of earning some extra money, but it should not be automatic. Instead there should be an additional contract involved for those players who need the extra money to discourage everyone from taking it. Like if you want to receive the extra money, then you must also live on-campus and possible earn it by having a higher academic standard and/or participating in an X amount of university related events. 


May 11th, 2011 at 3:55 PM ^

See but that's different. Then you're making the distinction that "players who live on campus with a 3.0* who do 200 hours of volunteer work per year should get money, while those who don't should not" compared to the original idea which was "if mommy and daddy make >$200k you should not receive extra money and if they make <$200k then you should".

My problem was using that as a distinction; I just don't think that's fair.

*Every single number here is made up, but I tried to stay reasonable.

Wolverine 73

May 11th, 2011 at 12:38 PM ^

an unemployed college student qualifies for a five figure bank loan for a car?  did someone who was financially sound guarantee it?  if not, what sort of alternative banking universe exists in Cbus?


May 11th, 2011 at 12:41 PM ^

Probably the same alternative banking universe that existed everywhere else in the country in 2007.  

Heck, giving $13k to a potential NFL player is infinitely better than most mortgages that were handed out in 2007.


May 11th, 2011 at 12:39 PM ^

There is no way that something fishy isn't going on with these cars. I'm sorry, but I come from a middle class family and a wealthy city in Oakland county, I couldn't get a tin can Ford Ranger in college and actually had a job (I understand athletes get 'fronted' stuff based on potential, but the market value issue still comes up).

Family members wouldn't be coming from other states to buy cars at this specific dealership for market value...Not going to happen...It just happens that they're all athletes parents.

Also, my Dad was a cars salesman and they wouldn't let people test drive cars by themselves if they stayed within 1 block of the dealership. How in the hell can an 18 yr from a not so great financial background get a 3-4 day 'test drive' of a $60k Yukon Denali...Riiiiight.

If they REALLY dig deep into this, shady shit is going on.


May 11th, 2011 at 12:45 PM ^

Not to be a voice of reason or anything, but what is the financial situation for this kid's family? Could his family be giving him a major allowance to afford this stuff? Not every college kid is poor. Not every college kid has to work.

I do think OSU has major violations, but it's possible this isn't one of them.

I just remember someone asking the same question about one of our players driving around in a fancy car. The reason was just that his family gave it to him. Could be innocent. It's OSU so probably not, but maybe.


May 11th, 2011 at 1:39 PM ^

Agreed. One of my best friends comes from a lower-half-of-the-upper-middle-class background, his parents saved up to put him through college, he went to the Naval Academy and drives a 2012 Cadillac CTS that his parents just got him for graduation. When you have all that money saved up and end up not paying, even families that aren't especially wealthy can "make it rain" for their kids at a fraction of the cost of tuition, room and board.

Deep Under Cover

May 11th, 2011 at 12:59 PM ^

I have no doubt that these cars were sold to players at more-than-free prices.  I do believe the selling price was listed lower to avoid paying tax on them.  I think I echo alot of people when I say that the issue is the circumstances around this particular dealership.  Summed up from what I gather:

  • TP getting loaner cars like crazy
  • T Gibson getting a pretty sweet deal on a 300 (we do not know what condition it is in, but if you have the money to buy a car, why buy a beat up car for almost $14k? You can get a really nice used car at that price, just older and higher mileage)
  • The number of notable players who bought from them
  • PARENTS and family who came and bought from this dealership (I read somewhere that Pryor does not come from a very well off family, yet his mom and brother bought cars there?)
  • Clarett claimed this was going on years ago.
  • A compliance office that seems to be contradicting the fact that it cleared all of these transactions

I don't know, I have been as neutral on this one as I can be, but IMO there is WAY too much circumstantial evidence for the NCAA to not look into this further, particularly given the fact that OSU has already been punished for students receiving improper benefits.

MI Expat NY

May 11th, 2011 at 1:54 PM ^

Pryor himself said he needed to sell his memorabilia to help support his family.  It doesn't quite compute that his family could turn around and buy two cars in Columbus (unless they were real beaters).  I'll leave it up to others to determine which part was the lie, his family needed the support, or that's why he sold the memorabilia, or both?


May 11th, 2011 at 1:02 PM ^

Even if the players/families are paying for the cars, they seem to be getting deals or discounts not available to the general public.  This wouldn't be as bad as giving the cars away for free, but it is still a violation.


May 11th, 2011 at 1:35 PM ^

Something still seems a little baffling to me. OSU does have a compliance office, and that office (presumably) does review all car-purchase transactions. They've said as much. And god knows they'd be insane to not do so, since that's what they're there for -- to keep the program out of trouble.

But are we now to assume that they didn't review all the transactions? Or that they reviewed them and let sweetheart deals slide? The latter scenario seems kind of farfetched, no? Could they really be that corrupt? Or do we think they're just incompetent?



MI Expat NY

May 11th, 2011 at 1:58 PM ^

Honest question, would it really be that surprising to see a compliance officer at a major university doing his best to keep certain violations under wraps?  Isn't it possible that somewhere along the way, a huge fan with connections to boosters gets an AD job in compliance.  Maybe he's slipped slipped a little spending money of his own to make sure that boosters can do their thing and get everything covered up?  


Deep Under Cover

May 11th, 2011 at 2:09 PM ^

I could be wrong on this, but I always thought of the compliance officers as your "lawyers" for dealing with the NCAA.  They advise you on rules, and what to do with certain violations.  If it is something that can handled internally (secondary violations?), they will say so.

With major violations they would likely advise to investigate and self-report (or they should, anyway) as that looks better for the university than having the floodgates opened by a news story.

I could be wrong, but that is my understanding, and that is how I imagine it is supposed to happen.  Now, a crooked compliance officer?  I do not see why that wouldn't be possible.