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Ex-Buckeyes not biting tongues on Tressel situation

Chris Spielman

With reports surfacing Monday that Ohio State had, as expected, received their “notice of allegations” from the NCAA, and even as it contained no “new” information, the Jim Tressel “situation” seemed to get that much more real for Ohio State.

In appearances throughout the day yesterday on various ESPN platforms, a trio of high-profile ex-Buckeyes got down to straight real talk when it came to the current head coach at tOSU.  And, to their credit, they refused to bite their tongue when it came to their former school.

Perhaps the strongest words came from former OSU running back Robert Smith, who heavily intimated that he doesn’t see this ending any other way than The Vest losing his job.

“Quite frankly … the information may be there, but I haven’t heard anything that in my estimation wouldn’t lead to his firing,” Smith said by way of the Detroit Free Press.

While not going as far as Smith, former quarterback Kirk Herbstreit, the most polarizing ex-Buckeye amongst the TV talking heads, “think[s] it would be very difficult moving forward with Jim Tressel” as OSU’s head coach, even as the school appears to be solidly behind Tressel at this point in time.  And even as Buckeye Nation is “blindly” supporting the institution and coach.

The Ohio State fan base is blindly just supporting Ohio State and Jim Tressel,” Herbstreit said. “It’s almost gotten to the point where he beat Michigan, he wins 10 games, he goes to BCS bowl games and they’ll support him no matter what he does as far as the fan base. If this would have happened to John Cooper, not only would they have fired him, they would have actually lined him up at a firing squad and fired him.”

Herbstreit, who created a stir earlier this year when he revealed that he was forced to move his family from Columbus to Tennessee due to a “relentless… 5 to 10 percent of the [OSU] fan base”, on the one hand believes that “people are being a little unfair to (Tressel’s) character”.  On the other hand, Herbstreit notes that “the bottom line is he broke the rules by the NCAA” and that such a situation makes it “very difficult after you do that to go into the future homes of recruits and try to recruit and try to say, ‘Hey, we’re going to do things the right way’ when you have this in your background.”

For ex-OSU linebacker/bad ass in perpetuity Chris Spielman, the recruiting issue is not really an issue at all, despite all that’s gone down in regards to The Vest over the past few months.

“If my son’s ever good enough to play for Ohio State, I want him to play for Jim Tressel,” Spielman said.

That said, even Spielman, who acknowledges a close relationship with Tressel, can see that a well-deserved hammer from the NCAA is coming.

“I think if you’re a true fan of Jim Tressel and a true fan of Ohio State, you understand that there has to be action taken against his mistakes that he’s made,” Spielman said. “He’s admitted he’s made mistakes and I think … the NCAA’s going to come down hard. I don’t think you can have a coach who knowingly put ineligible players on the field and you’re not going to take those games from them last year. …

“I think his intent was pure, but his actions justify the punishment that’s coming his way.”

Just what that punishment will ultimately be remains to be seen.  Will the NCAA be satisfied with the self-imposed five-game suspension and $250,000 fine?  Or, because of Tressel’s blatant dishonesty and outright lying, will the NCAA make an example of Tressel and turn him into the coaching equivalent of Dez Bryant?

Those were the same questions the NCAA was facing when it came to Bruce Pearl before Tennessee took the decision out of their hands by firing their men’s basketball coach.  We still say that, barring any negative future revelations, OSU will not go the UT route.  Then again, out of the 120 Div. 1-A head football coaches, we would’ve thought Tressel would’ve come in right around No. 120 on the list of coaches who would’ve participated in a cover-up, let alone be the mastermind behind it.

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35 Responses to “Ex-Buckeyes not biting tongues on Tressel situation”
  1. alligatorsnapper says: Apr 26, 2011 10:58 AM

    Wow! It is not the SEC faithful, not the fans from outside the Big 10, not the fans from outside THE Ohio State University (which is a great research university which we affirm since we work with several graduates from that fine institution), but it is the former OSU players, even prominent ones, that are speaking out.

    We feel bad for OSU and its former players, present players, alums, etc. Maybe Meyer is indeed on his way. hmm.

  2. quadrophenia1 says: Apr 26, 2011 11:07 AM

    Ever been to Columbus? If anyone there says ANYTHING negative about Buckeyes football….. it’s considered the equivalent of spitting on your own Mother’s grave! If the Columbus Dispatch newspaper ever dared to print something nigative regarding the Buckeyes, the local yahoos would storm the Columbus Dispatch building and tear it apart, brick by brick with their bare hands. Going to Columbus is just like visiting those fanatical SEC schools in the Deep South.

  3. quadrophenia1 says: Apr 26, 2011 11:08 AM

    Ever been to Columbus? If anyone there says ANYTHING negative about Buckeyes football….. it’s considered the equivalent of spitting on your own Mother’s grave! If the Columbus Dispatch newspaper ever dared to print something negative regarding the Buckeyes, the local yahoos would storm the Columbus Dispatch building and tear it apart, brick by brick with their bare hands. Going to Columbus is just like visiting those fanatical SEC schools in the Deep South.

  4. newbombturk says: Apr 26, 2011 11:19 AM

    Oh come on!! Everyone knows the real No. 120 on the list of coaches who would’ve participated in a cover-up, let alone be the mastermind behind it, is Ole’ JoePa Terno!

    Say what you want about Joe, but he always did – and always will do – it the right way.

    Win or lose (but hopefully win), I’m proud to be a Nittany Lion! We Are…

  5. alligatorsnapper says: Apr 26, 2011 11:23 AM

    quadrophenia1: We don’t know about Columbus, have never been, but we have been to Baton Rouge where the local newspaper and radio talkers speak against LSU all the time (too much for our taste); and in Oxford, MS, Tallahassee, FL, Athens, GA, Tuscaloosa, Auburn, Nashville, Starkville, and all the SEC university cities we have been, there are always someone, especially some media speaking out or writing against something about the SEC team.

    You obviously have never been to a SEC university town or read a local newspaper or listened to local sports talk radio on any SEC town when you write “is just like visiting those fanatical SEC schools in the Deep South.”

    What you write may well be the case in Columbus, we do not know, but it is not the case in the Deep South.

  6. ihateannouncers says: Apr 26, 2011 11:24 AM

    I think Herbstreit is way off in his estimation of the Buckeye fanbase. I am a diehard alumni who goes to most home games yearly and am to the point that firing Tressel may be the best option. It took me a while to get here because it is so hard to believe Tressel could be this stupid / dirty. I assume most objective non- Buckeye fans are the same. I am not blindly supporting anyone and I don’t think most of Buckeye Nation is either. Herby should back off Ohio State for a while. It seems lately he has a huge axe to grind with the team(Pryor) and the fanbase (5-10%). You moved to TN to avoid that 5-10%, don’t take it out on the remaining 90%!!

  7. WingT says: Apr 26, 2011 11:26 AM

    I think I just gained new respect for Kirk Herbstreit.

  8. ihateannouncers says: Apr 26, 2011 11:29 AM

    Columbus is no different than any other major college football town. Don’t believe the random haters.

  9. tk1966 says: Apr 26, 2011 11:30 AM

    @ newbombturk:

    You are absolutely right. I agree, that as an alum of PSU, I am most proud of the integrity that Joe has shown over the years. I immediately think of the year that Joe sat Curtis Ennis from their bowl game because he found out that Ennis was given a suit. Broke the rule, pay the penalty. Penn State lost that bowl game with no running attack, but kept their integrity.

  10. alligatorsnapper says: Apr 26, 2011 11:38 AM

    Penn State fans on this blog: You have a right to proud of Coach Joe Paterno. He is a gentleman and a man of integrity. There are not many coaches with his character, and legacy of integrity that few current coaches will ever meet and only a handful of legacy coaches that have met.

    For the alums and fans of Penn State, you have a jewel, but don’t judge the rest of coaching quite from his standard because Joe is truly unique in so many ways.

  11. newbombturk says: Apr 26, 2011 11:57 AM

    Joe may be unique, but there’s one other person I wouldn’t hesitate to put right up there alongside him: Coach K.

    I also went to Duke and am fortunate to have experienced 3 national championships – 2 at Duke (’91 and ’92) and 1 at State (’86) – as well as an undefeated year (and loss to OU in the 1986 Orange Bowl) in 1985.

    Regardless of whether you love or hate the Blue Devils, Coach K has clearly taken a page from the Book of Joe.

  12. dmvdmv101560 says: Apr 26, 2011 12:08 PM

    As a huge Michigan fan I am honestly sad to see what has become of Tressel’s legacy. Even though he’s had great success against the Wolverines I always thought of him as a class act – until now. As for JoePa, he is as trustworthy as it gets and, hopefully, other coaches around the country will try to model their behavior like his. We always had a “clean” record at Michigan, under the likes of Schembechler and Carr, until Rich Rodriguez came in and stained the program. The Michigan fans and alumni would not put up with it anymore and he’s gone. It will be interesting to see how OSU handles things.

  13. alligatorsnapper says: Apr 26, 2011 12:11 PM

    newbombturk: You are correct about Coach K. He is respected by coaches in his field and out of his field. So many other colleges (and the pros) have tried to lure him away with huge money but he has remained at Duke. Coach K may have taken more than a page from the Book of Joe, but we agree with the comparison. There are a few others similar, but they are few and far between.

  14. wvuandsteelers says: Apr 26, 2011 12:45 PM

    So does Urban Meyer cut his “retirement” short to take on OSU? If not Meyer, then who do they turn to? (I am obviously assuming Tressel gets the boot)

  15. 78lion says: Apr 26, 2011 12:56 PM

    For the alums and fans of Penn State, you have a jewel, but don’t judge the rest of coaching quite from his standard because Joe is truly unique in so many ways.

    Sorry, they should all be judged that way. It’s the only way to improve the lot of them. Joe has his faults, staying much too long is one of them, but if you don’t use him as the measuring stick all you doing is lowering the standard.

    Joe when asked about getting out eons ago claimed he couldn’t leave college football to the Switzer’s and Sherrill’s of the world. If asked today, he would just have Tresell and Kiffen as name changes.

  16. CBFAN says: Apr 26, 2011 12:58 PM

    “If this would have happened to John Cooper, not only would they have fired him, they would have actually lined him up at a firing squad and fired him.”
    _______________________________

    Now come on Herbie, you of all people should know that Cooper and Tressel are like night and day.

  17. florida727 says: Apr 26, 2011 1:00 PM

    I get it that Tressel was wrong and deserves some punishment, but what seems to be getting lost in all this is that the PLAYERS were just plain stupid. I’m actually beginning to feel sympathetic toward Tressel. No excuse for knowingly playing ineligible players, but in his defense (if there is one), he was trying to protect his players who he knew did something wrong. He was in an awfully tough spot if you ask me.

  18. 78lion says: Apr 26, 2011 1:14 PM

    There is nothing tough about the spot, given what he did. He should have contacted someone in OSU legal if he had any question about turning over the emails to compliance. He didn’t.

    If he wants to claim protection, keep it completely quiet. He didn’t, instead telling Pryor’s “mentor”. Once he informed someone else, he loses the veil of “protecting his kids”.

  19. huskerguy says: Apr 26, 2011 2:03 PM

    Guess what happened at Youngstown St doesn’t stay at Youngstown St.

  20. southyank7 says: Apr 26, 2011 3:31 PM

    the NCAA rules & regulations & how they are imposed/enforced are a bigger joke then the NHL enforcement of “headshots” & repeat offenders lets see who gets SERIOUS 1st…but i’m not holding my breath on either…

  21. edgy says: Apr 26, 2011 4:43 PM

    Sorry, John, but AT BEST, I would have put Tressel at 119 because there’s no way that I could put him before Paterno.

  22. BrownsTown says: Apr 26, 2011 8:05 PM

    Oh, wow, Kirk Herbstreit just spoke for all Buckeye fans. I wonder when Herbstreit gained that authority. Unless they’re trying to get me into a crowded bar, I don’t let guys with frosted tips speak for me.

    Kirk needs to worry about what blinds go with the new carpet in his Tennessee home because nobody in Ohio cares.

  23. BrownsTown says: Apr 26, 2011 8:10 PM

    And if Tressel was going to be fired, he already would be gone. Let’s think, folks.

    And if order needs to be restored to a program, why would they bring in a guy who had how many player arrests during his tenure???? Tressel lies….Gator players say it’s time to die.(s?).

  24. professor350 says: Apr 26, 2011 9:06 PM

    Spielman says Tressel’s intent was pure. What is that?! His intent was to lie.

  25. iamtalkingsolistenandlearn says: Apr 26, 2011 9:55 PM

    OSU is a hypocrite school with a hypocrit for a head coach.
    The bowtied under the desk paymaster, and the great vested one are two of the nations crookedest figures in college football.
    The fans are the most hypocritical and two faced as you will ever find, and above all else they are the simplest dolts to grace the lame state of Ohio

  26. ernestbynershands says: Apr 26, 2011 11:25 PM

    Im a Buckeye Lifer. Born and raised and transplanted to the West.
    Here’s my 2 cents:
    1. Fire Tressel. I’ve met him. Sent many players to play for him. Nice man. Time for change.

    2. Buckeye Nation is the biggest set of homers. They are among the most loyal, yet blind/delusional fan bases in college sports. If you don’t agree, you probably live in Ohio. Or wish you never left.

    Maybe with Meyer as coach it will get better. Players will get baked and forget to trade their memorabilia for tats. Or maybe they’ll just trade it for the weed.

  27. ernestbynershands says: Apr 26, 2011 11:28 PM

    BrownsTown, you go to bars with frosted lips?!?!

  28. berryds1 says: Apr 28, 2011 2:30 PM

    you know, i live in columbus and probably hate the buckeyes more than anyone. they lie, play with ineligible players and lose when playing against top tier teams. the fans are the worst of them all. i wont even date a woman who is a buckeye fan. if you want to see the top ten teams of this decade that are over-rated, osu is there. they fall in at #8.

  29. edgy has an obsession with buckeyeboy being a young girl says: Apr 28, 2011 6:24 PM

    well thank you berryds1, you are the worst kind of person

    if you hate columbus so much, why dont you move away?
    why are you still here?
    did a buckeye kick your a** last week and make you need to post this?

  30. berryds1 says: Apr 29, 2011 3:45 PM

    actually know. i was told to meet up with tressel and aj hawk for toys for tots but i didnt and took a write up from my 1stsgt. i just think that buckeye fans are annoying and there teams are over rated. by the way do you know what the stands for in the ohio state university. did u know they were not the sirst to start it even though they will claim they were since they lie and cheat

  31. edgy has an obsession with buckeyeboy being a young girl says: May 1, 2011 2:04 AM

    dude are you clueless or looking for attention?

    your post is borderline incoherent and completely infactual

    next please

  32. gatorfan1 says: May 1, 2011 3:34 PM

    @edgy has an obsession with buckeyeboy being a young girl says:

    “Irregardless” of what you may think “infactual” is not a word!!!

    You are a f***ing moron and YOU talk about the education in the south.

    Incoherent you say….look in a mirrir…Wow!!!

  33. gatorfan1 says: May 1, 2011 3:37 PM

    @edgy has an obsession with buckeyeboy being a young girl says:

    Typo: “mirror”….

  34. edgy has an obsession with buckeyeboy being a young girl says: May 1, 2011 5:58 PM

    says the idiot who can’t type correctly

    and you still have yet to give me a credible argument to why columbus sucks

    I will be waiting boy

  35. gatorfan1 says: May 1, 2011 10:36 PM

    @edgy has an obsession with buckeyeboy being a young girl says:

    At least I catch my own mistakes F***ing Retard.

    And I never said anything about Columbus, you obviously have me confused with another poster!!!

    Epic Fail….AGAIN.

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