Headlinin’: ESPN takes fight for Tressel records to a higher power

Matt Hinton
Dr. Saturday
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Making the morning rounds.

We have ways of making you talk. ESPN, Inc., filed a lawsuit against Ohio State Monday in an effort to force the university to release e-mail exchanges between exiled coach Jim Tressel and Jeaneatte, Pa., glass salesman Ted Sarniak, hometown "mentor" to exiled quarterback Terrelle Pryor. OSU denied the original request under federal student-records privacy laws, adding that it's already released a "voluminous amount" of information on the subject; ESPN is challenging the university's interpretation of the law. (The local Columbus Dispatch has also had discussions with the state attorney general about access to the same documents.) You can view all of ESPN's court filings here.

Previous records requests have already shown that Tressel forwarded at least one e-mail to Sarniak regarding likely NCAA violations involving Pryor in April 2010, and exchanged dozens of phone calls and text messages with Sarniak between April 2010 and March 2011 — all while keeping his own athletic department in the dark about his knowledge. [Columbus Dispatch, Associated Press, Ohio Supreme Court]

He was really just fishing for a dinner invitation. Having made a sizable dent in a mountain of traffic fines, suspended Oregon cornerback Cliff Harris has rejoined his teammates for "voluntary" summer workouts. Harris was a no-show for the first conditioning session on June 20, less than a week after his suspension came down from coach Chip Kelly, but has subsequently paid nearly $4,300 in fines to local agencies in Oregon and his native California. [Eugene Register-Guard]{YSP:MORE}

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The Rap Sheet. Marshall safety Donald Brown, a full-time starter in 2010, was dismissed from the team Monday on the heels of a weekend arrest for domestic battery. According to a police report, the alleged victim told officers responding to a call on Sunday night that Brown, 20, had become violent during an argument and began hitting her in the face and head. The alleged victim also reported that Brown's 11-month-old daughter had been struck in the face during the altercation. He was subsequently booked at Western Regional Jail on $5,000 bail. [Huntington Herald-Dispatch]

Comings and goings. Former Georgia offensive lineman Brent Benedict, a top-100 recruit out of Jacksonville in 2010, has decided to transfer to Virginia Tech. Benedict missed most of his senior season in high school with a major knee injury that also forced him to redshirt last year in Athens. With four senior linemen leaving Blacksburg after this season, though, he should have plenty of opportunities to break into the lineup with three years of eligibility remaining in 2012. [Jacksonville Times-Union]

Again, Brock. Many, many schools are releasing ticket ads this time of year touting the insane devotion of their chiseled student-athletes. But only one made its starting quarterback take after-hours snaps in an empty parking lot:

He knows it's a long shot, but Brock Osweiler is still trying to get Dennis Erickson to take a walk-on flier on the security guard's '93 Camry. [ASUAthletics]

Quickly… Bubba Starling arrives in Nebraska, right on schedule. … Auburn linebacker Jessel Curry is transferring to Delaware. … Clemson signee Joe Gore will miss the start of spring practice with a knee injury. … Mike Vrabel says he always thought of himself as a future coach. … Maryland introduces a mysterious flavor of ice cream named for Randy Edsall. … Tuscaloosa residents are hypnotized by NCAA Football 12. … And ESPN and the Longhorn Network are carrying what's left of the torch for Friday Night Lights.

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Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.