Ray Small put himself in the headlines this week, telling The Lantern he had sold his Big Ten title rings for cash. The Cleveland native said he knew it was a violation of NCAA rules but he needed the cash to make ends meet. He also indicated that this practice was pervasive among OSU players while he was there.
The backlash from OSU fans and players was immediate. Players denounced the statements and excommunicated Small from a brotherhood. Well, it looks like Small is back on a media tour but this time to “retract” some of his statements and blame The Lantern for mischaracterizing his words. Prepare for an appearance on Outside the Lines.
Small stated, “I am a Buckeye at heart.” He is now saying he was faced with a choice – either break the rules or get evicted. Apparently, he also has no intention of sharing the details of his rule-breaking with the NCAA. The interview is unflattering and makes him look like more of an idiot than he is already perceived to be.
The Lantern denies that they flipped or twisted any of Small’s words and that they had the interview recorded. They have since posted audio on their original interview of their website.
The most important change is that he is now saying he knew of no other Buckeye who broke the rules – a departure from his quotes earlier this week. “I never heard another player say he sold his ring,” Small said. Small said he gave his rings to a friend to sell but he was not sure who ended up buying them – presumably collectors.
One of those rings could have ended up with the now infamous tattoo parlor owner – Ed Rife, who was accused of drug trafficking by the Feds yesterday. Small was one of the names Chris Cicero relayed to Jim Tressel.
It’s a quick change in tune by Small but his already poor standing in OSU circles is likely not going to improve because of this “retraction” and his statement that he doesn’t plan to cooperate with the NCAA.
It’s just another day with more OSU headlines. There’s blood in the water and it’s likely to continue.