Reports: Players traded for tattoos

Updated: December 23, 2010, 11:34 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith is slated to "address NCAA rule violations" at a noon ET news conference at the school.

The news conference comes amid multiple reports that Ohio State is investigating allegations that several football players traded autographs for tattoos. WBNS-TV and The Columbus Dispatch, both citing unidentified sources, reported on their websites Wednesday night that the school was looking into the possible NCAA violations just two weeks before the Buckeyes face Arkansas in the Allstate Sugar Bowl on Jan. 4.

Quarterback Terrelle Pryor, not mentioned in either report, quickly responded on Twitter.

"I paid for my tattoos. GoBucks" he posted.

The Associated Press left telephone, text and e-mail messages seeking comment from coach Jim Tressel, athletic director Gene Smith, the school's compliance director and other university officials.

Asked by the AP to respond to the allegations, Ohio State associate athletic director Dan Wallenberg said in an e-mail, "No information to share."

Team spokeswoman Shelly Poe said after Tuesday's practice that each player was eligible for the bowl. She said she was unaware of any NCAA investigation.

The Buckeyes have several days off before reporting back to campus Sunday night. They will practice Monday and Tuesday before flying to New Orleans for the BCS bowl game on Wednesday.

Information from The Associated Press is included in this report.