Report: Ohio St. May Lose Players For Bowl Game

FOX 28 in Columbus reported Wednesday afternoon that compliance issues may impact the Ohio State lineup in its Sugar Bowl game against Arkansas.

Terrelle Pryor tattoo

Sources tell ABC6/FOX28 News that Ohio State officials are meeting for a second straight day to consider compliance issues involving high-profile players on the football team.

The issues could impact the players’ participation in the Sugar Bowl.

The COLUMBUS DISPATCH also reported:

Ohio State is investigating possible NCAA violations involving several football players receiving tattoos in exchange for autographs, multiple sources have told the Dispatch.

Sources indicate that some sort of discipline is likely to be handed down, but it is unclear when, or to what extent. It is possible that some players may not be available for the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 4, but it’s also possible that any discipline could get pushed back to the start of the 2011 regular season.

Yesterday Dave Biddle of broke the news that there could be a compliance issue facing the Ohio State football team thanks to tattoos that Buckeye football players had received.

Excerpts of Biddle’s Tuesday Tweets:

Being told it will be a while until we know a resolution. One source thinks there will be no suspensions. Another one says 50/50.

Good news: Current player and SID deny the rumor. Bad news: Several sources sticking by their stories.

Word is a tattoo artist was giving out free tats in exchange for autographs from OSU players. Again, nothing has been confirmed yet.

Biddle’s Tweets were accompanied by this Tweet from Ohio State beat reporter Ken Gordon of the COLUMBUS DISPATCH:

Public-service bulletin: Tim May & I checking out compliance/NCAA rumors. So far, nothing to report. If something is up, we’ll have it.

May is a reporter for the Dispatch.

Ohio State Players Tattoos

There’s been no official statement released by Ohio State or Coach Jim Tressel on the matter, only unattributed denials to this point. Where the story now stands is anyone’s guess, but in the interim I’ve learned that a good many current Buckeyes have received tattoos at the same Columbus establishment.

Two sources close to the Ohio State football program told me today that Fine Line Ink is a tattoo parlor in Columbus that has been providing current and former Ohio State football players with tattoos for some time now.

Ohio State players tattoos

I was told those current Ohio State players include Terrelle Pryor, Dan Herron, DeVier Posey, Chris Fields, Nate Oliver, Travis Howard, Mike Adams, Jonathan Newsome, Michael Brewster and Jordan Hall. (Brewster had since Tweeted that he got his tattoos in Orlando.)

Prices at a high quality tattoo establishment range anywhere from the low hundreds well into the thousands - obviously depending on how extensive the work is.

If Ohio State football players received tattoos in exchange only for their autographs, that might indeed be a compliance issue for the school.

Fine Line Ink Tattoos In Columbus

It isn’t necessarily unusual that Buckeye players would refer each other to the same tattoo parlor. But in the context of Biddle’s recent Tweets, it isn’t unreasonable to think that Ohio State’s compliance office may be paying the proprietors of Fine Line Ink a visit in the not-to-distant future.

UPDATE: Terrelle Pryor (and Brewster) have responded to the situation on Twitter.

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