NC Man Pretending to Be Ex-Buckeye TE?
An Ohio State fan group based in Charlotte, NC, called the Charlotte Buckeyes has welcomed Giovanni Strassini to several of its events over the past two years. He was present at a viewing party for the Wisconsin-Ohio State football game in 2011 (photo below) and a “special guest” at another viewing party for the Buckeyes’ 2012 Final Four game against Kansas.
Strassini’s biography, culled from several places around the web, such as his IMDB page, touts him as:
- A 1976 All-American in both football and baseball
- A member of the Buckeyes’ 1974 Rose Bowl-winning team
- The recipient of an 8-yard touchdown pass in OSU’s 23–10 loss to UCLA in the 1976 Rose Bowl
- The 162nd player selected (by the Cleveland Browns) in the 1977 NFL Draft
- A member of the OSU Football All-Century Team
There is even a picture of an Ohio State football ring that allegedly came from Strassini’s Facebook page now circulating the web which lists him as No. 89.
Yet there is sneaking suspicion among Buckeye fans that such a player never existed.
There is no Giovanni Strassini listed as a letterman in Ohio State’s media guide, the 162nd player selected in the 1977 NFL Draft was in fact Maryland guard Tom Schick (by the New Orleans Saints) and the only touchdown scored by the Buckeyes in the ‘76 Rose Bowl was by running back Pete Johnson.
Even more bizarre? Strassini was apparently involved in a lawsuit last year in which it is alleged he has a lengthy criminal history, served time in a North Carolina federal prison and lost his property over bankruptcy and foreclosure proceedings.
Ohio State SID Jerry Emig responded to Lost Lettermen’s inquiry about Strassini with the following information:
I cannot find any documentation that Giovanni Strassini was ever a member of Ohio State’s football teams. I won’t go so far as to say that he wasn’t part of the team…as a walk-on for a season or two and just didn’t appear on the rosters, but the following resources were used to determine that he wasn’t listed on any Ohio State rosters.
- Rosters from official media guides from 1971-77 do not list him.
- Rose Bowl media guides for 1973 and 1974 do not list him as a member of Ohio State’s roster.
- Ohio State’s 2005-06 edition of the Varsity O – official letterman’s club – director do not list him as a letterwinner.
- We do not list anyone by that name as an All-American in any of our All-American lists.
- The list of letterman in Ohio State media guides does not list him as a letterwinner.
This bizarre situation is entering Lennay Kekua territory.