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Trustees to release athletic compliance report within 45 days

A report about the allegations against Ohio State’s athletic department and football program will be issued in the next 30 – 45 days, trustee Robert H. Schottenstein announced on Thursday. The committee also discussed the possibility of creating a university-wide compliance department, taking that responsibility away from the athletic department.

Ohio State’s Board of Trustees met for their quarterly Audit and Compliance meeting to discuss compliance issues.

Schottenstein, the chairman of the trustees’ Audit and Compliance Committee, made about a 10-minute statement at the end of the meeting about the report and possible changes in the way OSU deals with compliance with athletics.

“We believe we have very sound processes and protocols, many of them have been validated by third parties as being at or near best in class,” Schottenstein said. “Still as I said, we believe we can get better.”

One of the changes Schottenstein said they are considering is to move toward a more “centralized function for compliance.”

According to Schottenstein, this change could include moving the oversight of athletes and coaches out of the athletics department, and creating a university-wide office to oversee compliance of both the Medical Center and Research Office.

“We will be reviewing best practices and model programs not just within the academic arena that are at other institutions, but we will also be reviewing model compliance programs in the private sector as well as other non-profit organizations and as I said we will be accessing all aspects of our compliance programs within the university,” Schottenstein said.

While the review of the current allegations is on a 30 – 45 day timeline, any possible recommendations or changes would be on a longer timeline.

“We are at the very beginning of this process, and we believe it is very serious and very important work,” Schottenstein said. And we clearly have a lot to do, and we think this will be a six to nine month process.”

After Schottenstein’s statement, the board went into a closed-door session. Neither President E. Gordon Gee or athletic director Gene Smith attended the meeting but Gee showed up afterward for other meetings.

On April 25, the NCAA sent a Letter of Allegations to the university, citing several compliance issues within the football program at OSU. The letter included compliance violations involving the knowledge former head coach Jim Tressel had, and kept to himself, about the free tattoos for memorabilia scandal.

Tressel resigned from his position on May 30. One of the players involved in the scandal, quarterback Terrelle Pryor, left the university on June 7 to pursue a professional football career.

At the beginning of his statement, Schottenstein made clear that the NCAA violations the university found were timely reviewed and reported to the NCAA.

“There has never been any attempt to act with concealment or with indifference towards the NCAA, and I can’t emphasize that enough,” Schottenstein said.

Friday, trustees are expected to address fiscal year 2012 tuition, the fiscal year 2012 budget and authorize changes to the university retirement fund.

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