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Jim Tressel's Confidentiality Defense Was a Lie Too

Jim Tressel clearly doesn't understand email. He has some kind of fundamental inability to understand how it works. That's the only explanation I have for the latest development in his saga at Ohio State.

Tressel, as you know, got in hot water for getting tipped off about the tattoo scandal at OSU long before it ever came to light. He didn't tell anyone at his school about it and lied to the NCAA about his knowledge of it. His defense was that he was honoring a confidentiality request from his informant (which didn't really exist) and that he didn't want to interfere with ongoing investigations by forwarding the information to anyone. This all is old news.

What the Columbus Dispatch found out is that Tressel in fact forwarded the information he received to Ted Sarniak, a businessman in Jeannette, PA who was close with Terrelle Pryor. This tidbit was furnished to the Dispatch by multiple sources and was solid enough for two of its reporters to put their names on the story. That means it's solid intel.

While this fact is only just now known to the public, it's something that Ohio State could easily have figured out. The school has to save all of Tressel's email, which is why it disclosed his tattoo scandal-related emails as a part of a freedom of information request, and that includes sent mail. It wouldn't take too long for someone to search his sent mail archives to find evidence of him forwarding the tips on the tattoo scandal to anyone.

That Tressel still used the confidentiality defense shows he must not understand that his outbox is just as subject to records retention policy as his inbox is. Or, it could just be that Ohio State had planned to cover up the fact that Tressel's defense was an outright lie. One or the other.