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Friday, April 29, 2011

DE Heyward No. 1 Steelers pick- Buckeye Players traded, sold 36 items - NCAA Allegations Reveal Mystery Player “G”

Ohio State DE Heyward No. 1 Steelers pick
His father Craig was star running back at Pitt
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Maybe not as good a story as the Pouncey twins, but the Steelers played their own game of all in the family when they drafted Ohio State defensive end Cameron Heyward on the first round of the NFL draft Thursday night.
Born in Pittsburgh, he follows in the shoes of his father, the late Craig "Ironhead" Heyward, a Pitt running back who also was drafted in the first round, by the New Orleans Saints at No. 24 in 1988. His mother, Charlotte Heyward-Blackwell, is a Pittsburgh native.
"I know he's watching," Heyward said of his father. "I'm going to try to do everything to make him proud of me and live his legacy on."
Heyward, who lived in Monroeville as a youngster, has plenty of family in Pittsburgh, including uncle Nate Heyward, who followed in his brother Craig's shoes as a running back at Pitt.
"Aunts, grandparents, uncle ... I know Pittsburgh pretty well," said Heyward, who currently lives in Suwanee, Ga., and said he visits Pittsburgh twice annually.
"I've always loved the team, I'm from there ... To be somewhere you want to be is an unbelievable feeling."
Steelers officials say they were overjoyed to draft Heyward and never thought of anyone else when their turn came at No. 31.
"We feel this is one of those special players I talked about the other day," said Kevin Colbert, the team's director of football operations. "It's hard to find a hole with this guy. This is a special moment."
Heyward (6 feet 51/2, 288 pounds) is the second defensive end drafted on the first round by the Steelers in the past three years and their third consecutive lineman. They took defensive end Ziggy Hood No. 1 in 2009 and center Maurkice Pouncey last year.
"Fortifying the line of scrimmage," coach Mike Tomlin called it.
Heyward started all four seasons at Ohio State and was a Lombardi Award semifinalist last season for the best defensive lineman in the country. Tomlin called him an "A-Plus" in character and said he can push the pocket, rush the passer and stop the run.
He has earned his degree from Ohio State, so he will be eligible to participate in all the Steelers' spring practices and workouts (provided there is no further lockout).
"He's not only a mature young man, he's a mature player," Tomlin said. "I think he's capable of doing it all."
The Steelers chances to get one of their most highly rated prospects improved when four quarterbacks were drafted in the first dozen picks, two more than almost anyone had predicted. A handful of other picks -- Seattle's choice of guard/tackle James Carpenter, Kansas City picking Pitt wide receiver Jon Baldwin and New Orleans taking running back Mark Ingram -- also aided the Steelers.
"Every pick that comes off of guys we wouldn't be considering, our odds increased" of getting the player they wanted, Colbert said.
They resisted trading away valuable draft choices to move higher in the first round, as at least one report on NFL.com said they were trying to do to draft Maurkice Pouncey's twin, Mike. The Miami Dolphins drafted the center-guard with the 15th pick.
Colbert said they received only mild inquiries from other teams to trade and never made any serious offers of their own.

Report: Players traded, sold 36 items

Ohio State football players are alleged to have improperly traded dozens of items to the owner of a tattoo parlor, receiving tattoos, $14,000 and in one case a sport-utility vehicle, according to a newspaper report.
The report by The Columbus Dispatch says it obtained a letter Thursday that was sent from the U.S. Department of Justice to Ohio State officials in December. The document lists 36 items that players are said to have sold to Eddie Rife or traded for tattoos since 2008.
The newspaper reports that investigators say one player received a 2003 Chevy Tahoe, purchased by Rife for $3,500, in exchange for a watch and passes to the 2010 Rose Bowl.
Only a portion of the transactions were deemed violations by the NCAA, and five players have been suspended for the first five games of the upcoming season. A related NCAA investigation into coach Jim Tressel continues.

NCAA Allegations Reveal Mystery Player “G”
By Brandon Castel
Good article! Who do you think is player G? Leave your answer in the comments.
COLUMBUS, Ohio — At first glance, there wasn’t much “news” in the NCAA’s “notice of allegations” delivered to Ohio State University president E. Gordon Gee on Monday.
According to Ohio State’s release, “The allegations are largely consistent with what the university self-reported to the NCAA on March 8, 2011, and which were widely covered in the media.”
The eight-page notice—which was preceded in perfect bureaucratic fashion by a six-page cover letter— read more like a filibuster. About the most interesting proclamation in the entire report was the fact the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions will consider Ohio State’s response to these allegations during their August 12 meeting in Indianapolis.
Another look at the fine print, however, reveals a much more significant detail; one that, until now, was omitted by both Ohio State and the NCAA: there was a previously undisclosed seventh OSU player who violated NCAA Bylaws between November 2008 and May 2010.
This mystery player, whose name was redacted from section “G” on the first page of the “Notice of Allegations,” was listed separately from the other six, and identified as a “then football student-athlete.”
Although he is apparently no longer a member of the Buckeye football team, this mystery player “G” was still a student-athlete at Ohio State when he allegedly sold his 2008 Big Ten championship ring ($1,500), his 2008 and ’09 gold pants charms from victories over Michigan ($250 each), a game helmet ($15) and a pair of game pants ($30) from the 2009 Michigan game, along with a watch from the 2010 Rose Bowl ($250).
The NCAA estimated the total value of those items at $2,430. This player, who appears to have left the football team after the 2009 season, also allegedly received a $55 discount on two tattoos as well as $100 for obtaining team autographs on two replica football helmets.
If that wasn’t enough, Rife also allegedly gave player “G” an estimated $2,420 discount on the purchase of a used vehicle, along with an $800 loan for vehicle repairs.
In all, player “G” received cash and discounts equaling an estimated $7,435 from Rife, making him by far the most egregious offender in the entire scandal.
Why is Player “G” a Mystery?
There is little doubt that the identity of player “G” will eventually be revealed, much like the author of Jim Tressel’s emails, Chris Cicero, and that of the person Tressel forwarded them to, Terrelle Pryor’s mentor Ted Sarniak.
Ohio State may even release the name, but whether or not they do, it is curious that the identity of this former player has been concealed for the last five months.
According to the first line of the NCAA’s “notice of allegations”, the university self-reported this former player along with the six current ones back in December. Yet, while the others prepare to serve their NCAA-mandated suspensions to begin the 2011 season, there has been no mention of this mystery player.
Until now, there was no outside knowledge of his existence and now player “G” may be the only one to walk away from the incident without facing the consequences.
While Ohio State has argued from the beginning that Pryor and his five teammates did not know that what they were doing was wrong at the time, there is little question that player “G” knowingly committed at least some of his violations.
The OSU compliance office addressed the team in November 2009 to educate players on the fact they could not sell items given to them by the university, but the NCAA allegations state that player “G” continued to sell his through May of 2010. He also knowingly accepted a discount of over $2,400 on a used vehicle as well as a loan of $800, two blatant NCAA violations that needed no explanation from the compliance department.
Six players and a head coach are suffering public consequences for their actions, yet the player who gained the most gets off without even being mentioned. What’s wrong with that picture?

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