Columbus, Ohio A day after coach Jim Tressel’s forced resignation for lying about Ohio State players receiving improper benefits, the focus has shifted to the investigation of star quarterback Terrelle Pryor and his succession of used cars.
The salesman who put Pryor behind the wheel of several vehicles said in a sworn affidavit released by Ohio State on Tuesday that he didn’t offer any special deals to Buckeyes.
“The deals that I did for Ohio State student-athletes were no different than any of the other 10,000-plus deals that I’ve done for all my other customers,” Aaron Kniffin said in the statement.
Tressel’s 10-year reign as coach of the Buckeyes ended in disgrace Monday as he was forced to step down for breaking NCAA rules. He knew players received cash and tattoos for autographs, championship rings and equipment and did not tell anyone at Ohio State or the NCAA what he knew for more than nine months. NCAA rules — and Tressel’s contract — specify that he must disclose any and all information about possible violations.
Pryor, the highest profile recruit of Tressel’s 25-year coaching career, is one of five Buckeyes who have already been suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season for taking money and tattoos from local tattoo-parlor owner Edward Rife, who pleaded guilty last week to federal drug trafficking and money-laundering charges.
Ohio State confirmed that the NCAA continues to look into potential violations.