Ohio State University can breathe a slight sigh of relief after some very hard times.
ESPN.com reports that the university will not face the most severe sanctions in its recent tattoos-and-cash-for-memorabilia scandals. The scandals caused coach Jim Tressel to resign and star quarterback Terrelle Pryor to leave the school.
NCAA investigators said in a letter sent to the school Thursday that they found no evidence that Ohio State had issues with managing its football program, and they found no traces of new violations either.
"Considering the institution's rules education and monitoring efforts, the enforcement staff did not believe a failure to monitor charge was appropriate in this case," the NCAA investigators said in the letter.
Ohio State will meet with the NCAA's committee on infractions on Aug. 12. The surfacing of the letter could indicate that the NCAA will allow Ohio State's self-imposed penalties to be the only punishment the university receives for the scandals. OSU announced earlier in July that they would vacate its 2010 season, including its Sugar Bowl victory, and that it would self-impose a two-year probation and suspend six players — one of them being Pryor — for the first five games of the 2011-12 season.
Earlier this year, Ohio State players were accused of involvement with a Columbus tattoo parlor owner. Players reportedly received cash and tattoos in exchange for autographs, championship rings and equipment at the tattoo parlor. Tressel knew about the involvement for nine months and did not say anything to the NCAA about it. The school forced his resignation in May.
In other college football scandal news, the University of Tennessee self-imposed a two-year probation on its athletics department Saturday. Both ousted men's basketball coach Bruce Pearl and former football coach Lane Kiffin were accused of recruiting violations.
Tennessee detailed its self-imposed sanctions in a 191-page response to the NCAA's allegations.
"The University has taken what it believes are meaningful and appropriate steps to address the problems identified in this case," the response reads, "including declaring student-athletes ineligible, implementing enhancements to the compliance program, and self-imposing penalties upon the particular coaching staff members and sports programs that were designed to punish the head coach, deter similar conduct in the future, and offset any advantages that the programs may have gained."