Former Ohio State wide receiver Ray Small says school newspaper The Lantern “flipped my words around” one day after the paper published a story in which Small was quoted as saying “everybody” on the football was breaking NCAA rules including selling memorabilia and getting deals on cars from program supporters.
In an interview today with WBNS-10TV in Columbus, Ohio, Small said, “It’s hard being an athlete. That was basically what I was saying. (The Lantern author) just flipped my words around and make the whole Buckeye Nation hate me.”
In short, Small changed his story after he received negative feedback from the OSU faithful.
Small told the newspaper that he sold his Big 10 championship rings to make ends meet and that the “best deals” came from working with car dealerships. Among the players who didn’t appreciate his allegations was center Mike Brewster, who tweeted, “Show me a coward and I will show you Ray Small. He isn’t part of the sacred brotherhood anymore. Never on time, never accountable, never sacrificed for the team. Can you trust his word?”
The Lantern, for its part, stands by its story and the newspaper’s editor said the interview with Small was recorded.
As WBNS reports,
“Five Buckeye players are suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season for selling memorabilia to the owner of a local tattoo parlor. That is considered an improper benefit under NCAA rules.
Coach Jim Tressel was suspended and is under investigation by the NCAA for knowing about his players’ involvement and not telling his superiors for more than nine months.
On Friday, the tattoo parlor owner whose relationship with the players led to suspensions and the NCAA investigation will plead guilty to federal charges, including drug trafficking, according to court documents filed in U.S. District Court.
During a federal drug investigation, authorities raided Rife’s home and west side tattoo shop. Among the items seized were several pieces of Ohio State football memorabilia.