Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany on Ohio State: 'A lot of interest, and I don't think it's positive'
CHICAGO — Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany can’t gauge the impact of the NCAA investigation into Ohio State’s football program on the school or the Big Ten.
But he does know it is a topic that has generated a lot of talk over the past three months.
“A lot of interest,” Delany said at the Big Ten spring meetings Tuesday. “And I don’t think it’s positive.”
Currently, Ohio State is under investigation for eligibility questions into five players including quarterback Terrelle Pryor along with whether or not Buckeyes’ coach Jim Tressel covered up what he knew about the allegations against the players and their eligibility.
The NCAA is accusing Tressel of lying to hide violations committed by his players in a notice of allegations sent to the school in April. Tressel and others meet with the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions on Aug. 12 in Indianapolis.
“It’s a difficult set of facts and a difficult circumstance,” Delany said. “In due respect, I think the facts are known and we have a hearing date and we’ll go to a hearing and we’ll answer the questions and present the case and the NCAA will make a determination. And that’s the juncture at which time you’ll be able to absorb sort of exactly what it means in the short and the long term.
“Right now, to me, it’s just talking about something well in advance.”
At the meetings Tuesday, Tressel did not speak to a group to reporters waiting for him on the third floor of the Palmer House Hilton. Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith was not spotted Tuesday, although he is at the meetings.
Delany will also be in Indianapolis with Ohio State, although that is standard protocol. He was in Seattle last August for Michigan’s meeting with the Committee on Infractions as well.
As for Tressel, other football coaches said his demeanor during this week’s Big Ten meetings hasn’t changed.
Said Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio: “He seems like he always does.”