The university also said it has placed the football program on probation for two years, The Columbus Dispatch reported. Officials asked the National Collegiate Athletic Association not to impose additional punishment like being banned from bowl games or losing scholarships.
Tressel was the only employee with the football program who knew that players had violated NCAA rules by selling sports memorabilia to the owner of a tattoo parlor, officials said.
"The institution is embarrassed by the actions of Tressel," officials said.
Tressel resigned in May. At the time, the university said his departure was voluntary, but officials now say he was forced out.
The university also said it is taking steps to guard against similar violations in the future. Players must prove championship rings and watches are still in their possession and will not receive other awards until they have left the athletic program.