A former Ohio State wide receiver told the school's student newspaper that he sold Big Ten championship rings and other memorabilia for cash and got special car deals.
Ray Small, frequently benched, suspended or disciplined during an erratic career at Ohio State from 2006 to '09, confirmed to The Lantern that when it came to getting improper benefits "everyone was doing it."
He also said it was no big deal selling personal items given to the team: "We had four Big Ten rings. There was enough to go around." And added that, despite Ohio State's large and proactive NCAA compliance department, most of the school's student-athletes "don't even think about [NCAA] rules."
Ohio State didn't dismiss his charges but also didn't sound as if it would try to find out any more about them.
"At this point, the university does not have enough information regarding the reported matters concerning a former student-athlete who has been gone from the football program for 2 years," athletic department spokesman Dan Wallenberg said in an emailed statement.
Small was suspended for the 2010 Rose Bowl in what would have been his final game.
Five Buckeyes players are suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season for selling memorabilia to the owner of a local tattoo parlor.
Coach Jim Tressel also is suspended for five games and is under investigation by the NCAA for knowing about his players' involvement and not telling his superiors for more than 9 months.
In other college football news:
* Bowl Championship Series officials are considering whether to strip Southern Cal of its 2004 national title after the NCAA denied an appeal by the university to reduce sanctions imposed on its football program. The championship would be left vacant and not awarded to another team. The NCAA ruled Trojans star Reggie Bush had received improper benefits and was ineligible for that season.
* Former Florida running back Mike Blakely transferred to Auburn.
* Pitt backup quarterback Anthony Gonzalez was arrested in his hometown of Bethlehem and charged with marijuana possession, police said. Panthers coach Todd Graham suspended the redshirt freshman indefinitely for an undisclosed violation of team rules.
In college basketball news:
* The NCAA has approved adding an arc 3 feet from the basket, inside which a defender cannot take a charge. Also, the women's three-point line will move back a foot to 20 feet, 9 inches next season, the same distance the men have used since 2008-09.
* Former Duke guard Greg Paulus has been added to the Ohio State basketball staff as video coordinator.
* A Massachusetts judge has sentenced the brother of Olympic figure skater Nancy Kerrigan to the maximum 2 1/2 years in jail after he was convicted of assault in the death of their 70-year-old father. Six months of the sentence will be suspended.
* Cyclist Lance Armstrong is adding two lawyers to his legal team that previously won a major legal victory against federal investigators in a doping case. John Keker and Elliot Peters, of San Francisco, represented Major League Baseball players as they won a key appeals court case 2 years ago in which a panel of federal judges ruled that agents had no right to seize baseball's anonymous drug-testing results from 2003.
* South Africa's Olympic Committee has ruled out a bid for the 2020 Summer Games.