JEANNETTE, Pa. -- One of the supporting characters in Ohio State's NCAA violations and the downfall of coach Jim Tressel has died.
Jeannette, Pa., businessman Ted Sarniak III, died on Friday at a Pittsburgh-area hospital, according to the funeral home handling the arrangements. He was 68.
Sarniak was a mentor to Terrelle Pryor, who played at Jeannette High School. Pryor was considered 2008's No. 1 quarterback recruit and signed with Ohio State.
When Tressel, who later resigned, discovered in April 2010 that Pryor and other players were involved in selling memorabilia to the subject of a federal drug probe, one of the first calls he made was to Sarniak. The NCAA and Ohio State investigated Sarniak, but cleared him of offering any improper benefits.
Ohio State was sanctioned by the NCAA.