Ohio State takes back ‘JT’ wristbands

Posted Aug. 05, 2011, at 5:48 p.m.
Last modified Aug. 05, 2011, at 6:32 p.m.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Two days after several Ohio State freshmen proudly displayed wristbands supporting deposed Buckeyes coach Jim Tressel, the university has taken them away and refunded the players’ money.

Ohio State spokesman Jerry Emig said Friday that officials wondered if wearing the wristbands — which said “JT” — could be an NCAA violation.

“We don’t know that yet, but that’s what compliance is looking into,” Emig said.

Since Ohio State goes before the NCAA’s committee on infractions on Aug. 12, it might also appear that the school remains firmly behind a coach who was forced out on May 30. Tressel was pressured to resign when it was revealed he knew some of his players had broken NCAA rules but did not report it for more than nine months.

“There was a concern that maybe this isn’t a thing that should have been done,” Emig said of the wristbands, which were worn by several freshmen at a news conference on Wednesday.

He added that Ohio State decided to take a “cautionary” approach after the wristbands, which were sold by an Ohio State staffer, were mentioned prominently in several media reports. After turning in their wristbands, players’ $15 was refunded.

Emig said interim head coach Luke Fickell was unaware that a staffer had sold the wristbands.

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