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Phone, text records between Tressel and Pryor’s mentor released

Just when Ohio State fans thought it was safe to come out with the ongoing drama in Morgantown, there are new details that bring the Ohio State/Jim Tressel situation right back to the front page

Or, as (our) JT so eloquently stated in an e-mail, “You know it’s been a hellacious June day when a tOSU story gets kinda lost in the shuffle.”

Speaking of e-mails and other communication tools, it looks as though records of several calls and texts made by Tressel are being brought to light. According to information obtained by (who else?) the Columbus Dispatch, Tressel exchanged 77 calls and text messages totally 4 1/2 hours talking with Ted Sarniak, Terrelle Pryor‘s mentor who previously exchanged e-mails regarding Pryor with Tressel.

Below is an excerpt from the Dispatch’s story of Tressel and Sarniak:

Their longest phone conversation - 18 minutes - happened on Dec. 21, two days before OSU announced Pryor and five others would be suspended for part of the 2011 season for violations.

The two also spoke for three minutes immediately after the Dec. 23 news conference benching Pryor, Daniel Herron, DeVier Posey, Solomon Thomas and Mike Adams for five games and Jordan Whiting for one game.

Tressel and Sarniak exchanged text messages on March 8, the day OSU announced that Tressel had known about the violations for months.

The Dispatch also states Tressel sent as many as 91 text messages to another one of Pryor’s mentors, Roy Hall. Hall is the current Jeannette high school football coach.

The university is still withholding several e-mails between Tressel and Sarniak, as well as some numbers from Tressel’s and Smith’s phone records -- about 13 percent of the 22,858 calls or text messages Tressel made during a one-year period to be exact -- citing federal privacy laws.

However, it does not appear athletic director Gene Smith had any contact through his office or cell phone with Sarniak or lawyer Christopher Cicero, who initially tipped off Tressel that Pryor was receiving impermissible benefits from a Columbus tattoo parlor.

Still, the magnitude of which Tressel was speaking with Cicero and Sarniak is mind-boggling when you consider that not once (that we know of) did he contact his compliance director about the impermissible benefits his players were receiving. That’s not to say all those conversations were about Pryor, but the timing on many of them would suggest there were plenty.