The Columbus lawyer who tipped off Ohio State coach Jim Tressel about a federal drug-trafficking case has received death threats and now says he regrets ever contacting the Buckeyes coach.

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COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Columbus lawyer who tipped off Ohio State coach Jim Tressel that two of his players were involved with a man linked to a federal drug-trafficking case has received death threats and now says he regrets ever contacting the Buckeyes coach.

“I’m not the Judas in this situation. You know, I feel like Peter, but I’m not the Judas,” attorney Christopher Cicero said in an interview Friday with ESPN’s “Outside The Lines” and reported on ESPN.com.

Tressel has admitted he violated NCAA rules for not disclosing information Cicero e-mailed to him. He repeatedly refrained from telling Ohio State’s compliance department or his superiors about potential NCAA bylaw violations involving some of his players.

Tressel has been suspended for the first two games of the 2011 season and must pay a $250,000 fine. The NCAA could levy additional penalties on Tressel. The coach received a resounding vote of confidence from athletic director Gene Smith and Ohio State president E. Gordon Gee.

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In the first e-mail from Cicero, at 2:32 p.m. on April 2, 2010, Cicero said that Ohio State players were giving autographed Buckeyes football shirts, jerseys and footballs to a Columbus tattoo-parlor owner who was under investigation by the U.S. Attorney in a drug-trafficking case.