ESPN has joined the fray in kicking Ohio $tate while they’re down. First head coach Jim Tressel resigned, then quarterback Terrelle Pryor flew the coop and declared for the NFL Supplemental Draft. Now the Entertainment Sports Programming Network wants a piece. They have filed a lawsuit in Ohio. They don’t want any of the new coaches or players, they want documents.
ESPN has asked the Ohio Supreme Court to release “all emails, letters and memos” to and from Tressel, Ohio $tate president E. Gordon Gee and other O$U administrators regarding Pennsylvania businessman Ted Sarniak, a mentor to Pryor whom provided guidance to Pryor before he announced he was leaving school in June.
The network is seeking emails mentioning Sarniak that were from Tressel, Gee, Director of NCAA Compliance Doug Archie and Athletic Director Gene Smith. They also want the documents that were forwarded to the NCAA from January 1, 2010 regarding the Tressel investigation, along with a list of people who were “officially” barred from receiving student-athlete game tickets since January 1, 2007 and all correspondence between the NCAA and Archie or any other Ohio $tate athletic department official related to any violation of NCAA rules since January 1, 2005.
ESPN is arguing that they were wrongfully denied these documents after their request to the school was rejected. The school maintains that ESPN’s request was overly broad and involves student privacy issues.
ESPN seems to want to give Brutus the Buckeye and the Ohio $tate football program a massive noogie here. If they convince the court that the documents should be made public, the school could be in massive trouble.
Dare we say that ESPN is trying to play the role of the nutcracker? Yep.