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Tressel ‘encouraged’ to resign ‘for good of the program’

Jim Tressel

The fallout from Jim Tressel‘s stunning resignation, which came nearly two weeks after getting a vote of confidence from his boss, continues this morning with word that his decision to step down as head coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes — surprise! — may not have been a completely voluntary one.

According to the Columbus Dispatch, which broke the story on Tressel’s resignation, the now-former head coach was “encouraged” to resign by unnamed individuals.  It’s unclear precisely who those individuals were, but the talk of Tressel stepping down for the good of the program had reportedly commenced several weeks ago.

The Dispatch further writes that “mounting pressure, a pending NCAA disciplinary hearing and new revelations about the culture of the program forced the university to act on their once-revered coach, sources said.”

The new revelations the paper spoke of could include myriad issues, including the school’s probe — prompted by a Dispatch inquiry — into vehicles purchased by members of the football program and their family from a pair of Columbus dealerships.  Additionally, a feature by Sports Illustrated senior writer/pit bull George Dohrmann has been in the works for weeks and is said to be very damning and damaging to the OSU football program in general and Tressel specifically.  While it’s unclear what new details, if any, Dorhmann unearthed, OSU officials were reportedly given a sneak peek into the piece late last week.

“I’m told it is likely my SI mag story will be posted at later today/tonight. Timing of Tress dec. will make sense after you read it,” Dorhmann wrote on his Twitter account shortly after news of Tressel’s resignation broke.  Dohrmann went on to write that a statement by OSU officials that the “Board and President Gee consider this matter unrelated to the media” is “bs“.

As for the future of an Ohio State football program rocked by the scandal that eventually brought down one of the most successful head coaches of the past decade?  For the time being, you can forget about Urban Meyer riding in on his white horse and saving his home state’s flagship institution, even as ESPN‘s Kirk Herbsteit stated this morning that “[t]he reality is his (Urban Meyer) dream job has always been and will continue to be the head coach at Ohio State.”

In an email sent to students announcing Tressel’s resignation, OSU president/serial buffoon E. Gordon Gee wrote that “recruitment for a new head coach – which is expected to include external and internal candidates – will not commence until the conclusion of the 2011-2012 season.”  So, at least for the 2011 season, Luke Fickell, who it had previously been announced would serve as interim head coach while Tressel served his five-game suspension, will be in charge of the Buckeyes.

Athletic director Gene Smith, who also attended the meeting, declined to comment but said in a release that he is looking “forward to refocusing the football program on doing what we do best – representing this extraordinary University and its values on the field, in the classroom, and in life. We look forward to supporting Luke Fickell in his role as our football coach. We have full confidence in his ability to lead our football program.”

After that, however, the speculation centering on Meyer taking over the program will commence in earnest.

Regardless of whether it’s Meyer or Fickell or whomever, that individual could very well be stepping into an on-field mess spawned by off-field issues.  The university is scheduled to appear in front of the NCAA in August to answer for the cover-up/lies/dishonesty that led to Tressel announcing to his players Monday morning that he was stepping down.  Tressel became aware in April 2010 that at least two of his players — quarterback Terrelle Pryor, wide receiver DeVier Posey — had likely received impermissible benefits but sat on the information — in one instance lying to the NCAA on a compliance form — until confronted with damning emails this past January.

Whether Tressel’s resignation, forced or not, will have an impact on whatever sanctions the NCAA levies on the football program remains to be seen.  It became clear, however, to many involved, including the coach, that the trigger had to be pulled.

“After meeting with University officials, we agreed that it is in the best interest of Ohio State that I resign as head football coach,” Tressel said in a statement. “The appreciation that Ellen and I have for the Buckeye Nation is immeasurable.”

Tressel leaves Ohio State with a 106-22 record, seven outright or shared Big Ten titles — including six straight — and one national championship.  Unfortunately, given the circumstances surrounding his resignation, the on-field greatness will not be his legacy.

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46 Responses to “Tressel ‘encouraged’ to resign ‘for good of the program’”
  1. WingT says: May 30, 2011 11:45 AM

    …and Gene Smith comes out of all of this smelling like a rose…doesn’t make sense

  2. gatorprof says: May 30, 2011 11:47 AM

    Gee and Smith need to go next for aiding and abetting. It is nice to see the adults in charge wake up and flush the toilet.

  3. iownyoutoo says: May 30, 2011 11:54 AM


    Look buddy, either resign or we have to fire you.
    If you don’t go, we will get fired next. The dogs are getting too close, soon they will find out about EVERYTHING, then all of us could end up in prison.

    Look, Gene and I had your back as long as possible, now we have to look out for our own interests. We have a good scam going here, and we can’t let you blow it up.
    That damn George Dohrmann though may ruin everything if he found out about everything we have going on here. Who cares if the program ends up getting the death penalty, as long as we laugh all the way to the bank.

    ~Gordon Gee~

  4. blackdb says: May 30, 2011 12:29 PM

    Tressel out! Dana Holgerson on deck who will be the next College coach fired for non football related actions?

  5. dkhhuey says: May 30, 2011 12:31 PM

    Yeesh – picked a bad day to give up heroin, smack, crack, pot, acid, booze, and kicking puppies!

    Sad day for us OSU alumni.

  6. 1historian says: May 30, 2011 12:31 PM

    It is a good idea to get this out of the way – now. Then you can start “anew.” OSU has always been, is now and always will be a jock factory. Remember Greg Oden, who played center for the b-ball team a few years ago? His 1st year second semester class load – Sociology and The History of Rock & Roll. (Source – Sports Illustrated)
    One immediate effect of this will be that Notre Dame football recruiting in the state of Ohio will benefit.

  7. gorilladunk says: May 30, 2011 12:44 PM

    frankly, I’m saddened that his story had to break on Memorial Day. You think they (OSU) could have kept a lid on it for another 24 hours. On a day like today, who gives a rat’s hiney about OSU football.

  8. ernestbynershands says: May 30, 2011 12:44 PM

    I’ve met the vest, worked with many of his peers. All well-intended people. But, even at the small college level, he, and they, tended to look the other way when kids took, benefits, cheated in class, got in legal trouble, failed drug tests, etc.
    A good man, I believe, corrupted by focusing solely on the outcome. Never caring too much about, or ignoring altogether, the process.
    So much for that streak over Michigan.
    Too bad Gene Smith and Gordon Gee won’t have to face the music.
    It wasn’t OSU’s problem, it was just their turn getting caught.

  9. tk1966 says: May 30, 2011 12:46 PM

    “Tressel leaves Ohio State with a 106-22 record, seven outright or shared Big Ten titles — including six straight — and one national championship.”

    There are a lot of coaches out there who could accomplish as much, if they too decided to cheat. Lets not praise what he accomplished – he earned those victories dishonestly. What would he have done if he ran a squeaky clean program?

  10. Deb says: May 30, 2011 12:56 PM

    Hello, JT … we missed you 😉

    six straight Big 10 titles
    one national championship

    And what are his chances right now of getting another HC job? Some day I wish he’d tell the world–honestly–why a coach with his good-guy reputation risked so much to lie about such penny-ante infractions. It almost had to end this way. Wonder how Pryor, Posey, and the other three feel about it.

    But this is my problem with the NCAA. The players have received their punishment. Tressel has lost his job. If the NCAA feels the need to vacate the 2010 wins, then do it and be done with it. Don’t keep pummeling the school and its fans when the guilty parties are gone.

    Urban wouldn’t want to step in under these circumstances. But after the 2011 season when he can start fresh recruiting his own coaches and players? I’d bet on it.

  11. Deb says: May 30, 2011 1:00 PM

    @tk1966 …

    More may come out later, but all we know right now is that he covered up for some players who sold memorabilia for cash and traded autographs for tats. Please tell me how players trading merchandise for cash was a cheat that helped OSU win ballgames. :roll:

  12. rjsjr says: May 30, 2011 1:00 PM

    JT, you have no idea what his legacy is going to be. No one can say what his legacy is going to be. That’s because it is a LEGACY.

  13. mondzy805 says: May 30, 2011 1:05 PM

    This guy is a snake. It’s about time. As a USC fan, if Ohio State doesn’t get a worst punishment than we did, the NCAA is a joke. At the least, they should be hit with 3 years with out being able to play in a Bowl game, along with a lost of 10 scholarships a year. Along with vacating the 2011 Sugar Bowl and the whole 2010 season. To say the least.

  14. imsmartandyouarenot says: May 30, 2011 1:17 PM

    OSU will not be clean until Gene Smith and Gordon Gee are gone also.
    The “school” is full of corruption and needs to be punished harshly. Tressel should not be allowed to coach in D-I again.

    This would never be tolerated at my alma mater which is the greatest program with the most championships since 1949

  15. joerevs300 says: May 30, 2011 1:57 PM

    Sorry but I have a hard time feeling sorry for someone that knowingly lied TWICE to NCAA officials because he thought they could win a national title and it would all go away, nor do I feel sorry for someone that’s made tens of millions of dollars and written two books on “integrity” turning around and being a weasel.

    Sorry Deb, the ONLY way to try and prevent a coach from taking this kind of chance is to hammer Ohio State and hammer them HARD. He KNOWINGLY did this, and you can’t tell me those in the Ohio State leadership chain didn’t play the “hear no evil, see no evil” game.

    Take away their scholarships, put a bowl ban in place and vacate their wins from last year, and teams will think twice about doing it (Not that I think it’s going to stop them).

    Ohio State, as others have written, are throwing Tressel under the bus in the hopes they won’t get the USC treatment.

    I don’t think the NCAA is that naive or stupid.

    Here’s betting the college football world is rejoicing today with this news. After all, we’ve had to listen for 10 years about Ohio State being the best team in college football and their fans gloating about winning what has amounted to a watered down Big 10 the majority of those years.

    Now, we can just laugh at them. :)

  16. polegojim says: May 30, 2011 2:00 PM

    Great additional info JT

    My sister Deb and I have been on the same page
    all along on this. Unless additional ‘critical and serious’ allegations come to light, the only thing this will prove to be is… SAD.

    Not one thing he did affected ‘on-field’ performance. That’s were the NCAA has completely lost my confidence.

    All of you calling him scum, snake and worse… please look in the mirror and grow up. If you think that his errors are scummy and slimmy, you have a lot to learn about the world you live in.

  17. joerevs300 says: May 30, 2011 2:04 PM

    Looks like we have another OSU fan in here…

    So, it’s OK for Tressel to “mentor” these kids into adults, and write books making him millions about integrity and honesty but he can commit one of the two biggest NCAA sanctions and that’s OK?

    And YES…it DOES affect on field performance. When you can recruit kids with the promise of…

    – discounted cars
    – free tattoos
    – other benefits

    You don’t think that gives you a SIGNIFICANT edge in recruiting against Michigan, MSU, Wisconsin, PSU and the like?

    Please save your “errors” comment for someone who deserves it. He got EXACTLY what he deserved, although the way OSU did it was just as much a slimeball tactic as what he did when talking to the NCAA.

    I suppose you also support Bruce Pearl, when he was confronted with a picture OF HIS OWN FREAKING HOUSE said “it isn’t mine”.

  18. polegojim says: May 30, 2011 2:14 PM

    @joe –

    1) obviously you’re oblivious to your surroundings to call me an OSU fan- wrong — I’m a realist. Spend a little time in CFT and get current.
    2) Seriously???
    Tres: “Hey Terrell, …if you sign with us, we’ll get you FREE TATOO’s.”
    Pryor: OH REALLY COACH, you MEAN THAT? I just can’t believe it…FREE TATOO’s. Now, that’s a CLINCHER right there coach. Sign me and my buddies up right NOW!”

    Now that’s funny! Regarding discounted cars, etc, if you actually don’t think that’s also done at other universities, you’re dreaming. You actually think a kid will sign for a discounted car, when his entire FUTURE in the NFL is on the line???

    What’s an OTHER BENEFIT? You mean there are no OTHER BENEFITS to playing at any other schools? I never realized OSU was the only program to offer OTHER BENEFITS.

    I’m calling Brady Hoke tonight to start offering these OTHER BENEFITS to sign some guys.

    Sorry – no sale here Joe.

  19. joerevs300 says: May 30, 2011 2:23 PM


    Well fine. You choose to stick your head in the sand, that’s your choice.

    You’re in the 1% minority, I can promise you that.

    Why don’t we just wait until the SI article comes out say, oh about midnight, and see the true depth of how big this really is.

    Don’t worry-Crow doesn’t taste that bad going down…

  20. joerevs300 says: May 30, 2011 2:24 PM

    And furthermore…

    You’re saying that lying to NCAA investigators TWICE about possible NCAA violations when you’re the face of the university is OK?

    Just checking.

  21. imsmartandyouarenot says: May 30, 2011 2:39 PM

    I honestly believe that many people that are saying Tressel did nothing wrong,the NCAA is only on a witch hunt, these didn’t help anything on the field, blah blah blah are from two camps.

    1. OSU fans who continue to only pull their head out of the sand long enough to put on their school issued propaganda lined blinders, and to whine on this site.


    2. Those fans of other schools that know their program is just as shady. They come here to defend OSU and Tressel cause they know sooner or later it will be their school in this predicament and they want to get their excuses out in front beforehand.

  22. WingT says: May 30, 2011 2:39 PM

    @ polegojim
    First of all, I hope you and your family are enjoying Memorial Day.

    I usually agree with most all of your posts with the exception of your latest take on the Tressel situation. It is hard for me to accept this as a trivial mistake on his part. I also do not buy in to the theory that the NCAA is “out to get” OSU.

    There are some significant contradictions regarding the OSU situation. Let me give you one. Isn’t it OSU that has previously self reported the most violations to the NCAA? IF they were so diligent, how could they miss this pile of fecal matter? How is it that they never investigated the car purchases? What else that was happening, right under their noses, did they fail to investigate? I guess we will have to read the SI article later today to learn more about this.

    If the head coach does not stand for integrity and honesty in the program then who should?

  23. imsmartandyouarenot says: May 30, 2011 2:56 PM


    Unless i am mistaken, i am pretty sure the schools “compliance officer” did investigate the automobiles issue long ago and after a whopping one week, declared that he saw no wrongdoing. After more light was shed on just how many vehicles were provided to football players this same “compliance officer” stated he would do another investigation but is confident that he still would find no wrongdoing.

    Now how bout that, the school’s “compliance officer” is confident before doing any real digging that nothing wrong is going on.

    Duh, of course you won’t find wrongdoing if you don’t want to.

  24. gatorfan1 says: May 30, 2011 2:57 PM


    So tell me, are you ONE of the bloggers that has been on here the last 4-5 years telling the world that Urban Meyer would never be allowed to coach OSU because he is a dirty & unethical coach.

    How about NOW!!!

    The premise that the TAT5 situation did not do anything to help the program, and is minor and did not lead to a competitive edge on the field, is laughable at best.

    I find this amusing since most of the transgressions in Gainesville were for smoking dope, whch probably 99% of the posters on this board did in college or in their younger years.

    Talk about something that is harmless and having absolutely nothing to do with Florida winning!!!

    So now you want to turn it around on us about “it’s done at every university, so what’s the difference”, I’m not about to accept it.

    There are plenty of Gator fans who responded this way (not me) and you hypercritical OSU fans excoriated bloggers for this position. What came first the chicken or the egg, well in this situation OSU fans making fun of Florida and calling Meyer a scum came first.

    So excuse me for taking delight in this, as I think most Gator fans are!!!

    And no doubt much much more is going to be revealed shortly by the article in SI and other sources. This is going to be systemic and far reaching or the shool. The least of the problems will be the TAT5 incident. There’s no doubt that the timing of the resignation is a week bfore the SI story hits the newstand. It will be available tonight at midnight on line. We’ll see what is really out there.

    And to add insult to injury, now the NC blowout looks even better, since it is obvious that Tressel & OSU have been cheating big time all along. So much for the OSU fans always saying they lost to LSU & Florida and the SEC because they don’t cheat as well.

    It seems you cheat more & better AND still can’t beat the SEC in a NC game.

    Funny as hell….

  25. osubuckfan says: May 30, 2011 3:08 PM

    And now perhaps it’s time to take a year off, do some interviews, maybe write another book, wait for the National Football Lockout to end, then get hired by the Browns in time for the 18 game season of 2012.

  26. WingT says: May 30, 2011 3:21 PM

    Thanks for that. I did some minor digging and found an article on SI by Andy Staples…he says

    “The Sporting News published a story Friday that shows Ohio State compliance director Doug Archie can’t keep his story straight about how many times he has spoken with the Buckeyes’ favorite car dealer. Just because the NCAA hasn’t accused Ohio State of a failure to monitor or the dreaded lack of institutional control doesn’t mean those charges are off the table. The enforcement staff could cancel Ohio State’s August hearing before the Committee on Infractions, add more accusations and reschedule the hearing for a later date. Any new accusations probably would attack the program instead of the coach.”

    This is certainly getting interesting

  27. imsmartandyouarenot says: May 30, 2011 3:33 PM

    I have been saying for awhile now that this is bigger than Tressel.

    There is much more going on at OSU and it involves more than Tressel.

    I still stand by my accusation that Gee, Smith AND the “compliance officer” are corrupt as all heck

  28. gatorfan1 says: May 30, 2011 3:48 PM


    After reading a post from you on another blog it looks as if you a re a Michigan man.

    My comments are for the overwhelming number of OSU fans who took and still take pot shots on Meyer, the school and the Gator fanbase over the last 5-6 years….

  29. Deb says: May 30, 2011 4:04 PM

    @joerevs300 …

    Well, I’m a diehard Bama and SEC fan and have hated OSU for as long as I can remember. Polegojim is a Michigan fan. So I think both of us are speaking objectively. But your team allegiance and that of iownyoutoo, and iamsmartandyouarenot remain mysteries. If you guys are so objective, why not speak up about the axes you have to grind?

    I don’t believe in the NCAA death penalty under any circumstances, but it isn’t warranted by the violations so far uncovered here. How does it teach a coach a lesson to punish a school after a coach is gone. You think a coach cares what happens to the school after he gets fired??? Please :roll: You guys just want to see a nemesis get the worst–and for the life of me, I don’t understand why.

    I desperately want it proved that Auburn paid for Cam Newton because I believe that’s what happened. What upsets me is that he’s now beyond reach of any punishment other than having to send back his Heisman. The Son of a Preacherman and Daddy will go on their merry way. I’d like to see their championship vacated, and the appropriate coaches and boosters punished. But the death penalty–no way. I don’t want our biggest rival taken out of the game for a year. I don’t want them stripped of scholarships and bowls. I don’t want to miss the Iron Bowl because it won’t be televised. That wouldn’t punish the guilty–it would punish Auburn fans who didn’t do anything wrong.

    Yeah, maybe this will teach OSU fans not to blabber so much when other schools have issues. But it ought to teach the rest of you to stop blabbering, too. No school is squeaky clean and yours could be next.

    And I can’t believe you guys want Gee fired. Since the guy hardly knows what a football looks like, I doubt he was involved in any football violations.

  30. polegojim says: May 30, 2011 4:24 PM

    @WingT – yes sir, planting gardening, enjoying together! You as well.
    My issue is about balance and true justice -this is over-reaction to the actual ‘crime’. Tats and lying…which he apologized for… doesn’t equate to resignation and ‘off with his head’. Same as 25-Life for possessing an ounce of weed w/out intent to distribute.
    Lying is wrong, but not really the issue after he owned it. We taught our kids the same. Own it, make it right as best you can, move on and don’t repeat the same foolishness. If we hang people for mistakes, better wrap the noose around our own necks first.

    @joe – yes – but only if lying is an ‘Other Benefit’ ; )
    I’m regularly a 1%-er and enjoy it. Never been afraid to go against popular opinion when necessary. Even at that small percentage, I’m right more than I’m wrong.
    I’m also not afraid of a nice heaping bowl of crow. Although I’ve only tasted it a few times, I can take my medicine, and will do so IF this proves to be more than tats and cars.
    If not, will you all do the same? Many people would then owe Tressel HUGE apologies for how far this has gone.

    @Gatorprof – I don’t recall saying Meyer was dirty, I said he didn’t have a grasp on his family needs and balance. I’d love to start beating him at OSU… same as we would have done in Florida… ; ) I just wanted to do so at FULL STRENGTH, no excuses. Now, they have excuses. I hate that.

  31. 1historian says: May 30, 2011 5:21 PM

    “Tressel’s resignation may not have been completely voluntary, IOW he was pushed out.”

    Ya think?


    Better to get it done NOW rather than have it drag on and on.

    OSU fans – no cheap shots from here, but the University is taking some serious hits and IMO they have no one to blame but themselves.

  32. laxer37 says: May 30, 2011 6:04 PM

    If he was truly concerned about “the good of the program” he would have resigned two months ago.

    He lied and cheated at Youngstown State and he lied and cheated at Ohio State.

    The whole time Buckeye fans made the guy out to be some sort of a saint.

    I lost all respect for the Tressel in 2001 when he reinstated QB Steve Bellisari in time to play in the Outback Bowl after getting a DUI.

  33. imsmartandyouarenot says: May 30, 2011 7:08 PM

    Have you not seen my where I explain why I have an axe to grind with OSU?

    Also, i thought I gave enough hints of who my allegiance belongs to?

  34. chiefagc5675 says: May 30, 2011 7:42 PM

    For Deb and her brother who can’t figure out what the “infractions” had to do with onfield behavior- did you ever wonder why so many
    high profile kids picked Ohio State?You think visits didn’t include what “benefits” were available? Ask a poor kid if he wants some cash, a car, or a diploma -those picking cash or a car go to Ohio State- the kids that want diplomas go to JoePa.

  35. edgy and imtalking are one in the same says: May 30, 2011 7:57 PM

    I would like you to tell me, imsmartandyouarenot, why the board of trustees would fire the president of a university which brings in more in research money in a month than the athletic program profits in a year?

    when you grow up and learn that the president does more than participate in football, then you will realize what will happen.

  36. joerevs300 says: May 30, 2011 9:44 PM


    First of all, thank you for your reply.

    My teams are PSU and Pitt.

    As far as Penn State, YES I am actually mad at them and have quite the bone to pick, because I think Joe Pa has absolutely lost institutional control of the program. I think there have been something like 36-38 players arrested in the past 4-5, and some of them for some pretty serious crimes. Is PSU just recruiting thugs? I doubt it. At the same time, however, the buck stops with the coach laying down the law and the expectations. And something just isn’t right in Happy Valle,y and I don’t mean the lack of BCS appearances lately.

    Now, back to OSU…

    – I’m sorry, but if you’re naive enough to think that the OSU AD AND Gee did not know what was going on, or what was going to come out in that SI article, why in the world would Tressel go from getting a vote of confidence 2 weeks ago to being fired (yes, he was FIRED, forget the resignation thing…giving someone a chance to save face is still being fired)???

    The bottom line is, the minute this came to light, and ESPECIALLY after he lied the 2nd time, Gee or the AD should have fired him, immediately. The fact they delayed and said even stupider stuff (i.e. “I’m lucky he doesn’t fire ME”) is going to make the sanctions even worse.

    – You punish the school because this was far for it just being Tressel’s fault. When this came to light, the school did NOTHING. So they are just as culpable in this as Tressel is.

    And this ISN’T just a coach thing…unless you believe guys were not getting discounted cars or other benefits until Tressel showed up. This has been an tOSU tradition probably for the past 20-30 years if not more than that.

    – Believe me, I too wish Cam Newton would have been exposed, caught and all of those actions taken. Unfortunately, you’ve got some plausible deniability there (“I didn’t know my father was doing that”) and that’s why he got off. Tressel has no such luck.

    – I’m with John on a post he made in another story….if Gee and the AD knew about this (and I think that’s pretty much a given) they need to go too, period. Otherwise, I promise you the NCAA will drop the hammer at least when it comes to vacating 2010 (a given) and scholarships/postseason ban (less of a given but I would give it about a 60-70% chance of happening).

    Trust me, I understand no program is clean. But few HC’s of a Power 6 conference team would lie twice to NCAA investigators, and then the school try to keep it under wraps (i.e that sham of a 2 game suspension, their other public comments, etc). I would hope if Joe Pa did something like this that PSU would fire him and I’d be on the horse leading the charge for that too. I am hardly a homer with beer goggles who can’t see the warts of my own team.

  37. Deb says: May 30, 2011 11:13 PM

    @chiefagc5675 …

    Whoa! I’ve mentioned my brother on occasion, but haven’t discussed any of this OSU situation with him, nor have we discussed the death penalty as it applies to football. But we disagree on many issues. He has 25 times my knowledge of NCAA football and shouldn’t be held responsible for my comments. My guess would be that he agrees with John Taylor and supports a stiff penalty for OSU.

    @joerevs300 …

    Understand what you’re saying. I’m operating based on what’s known so far, and right now there’s no proof of recruiting violations. I’m about to click on the SI thread and may learn differently. If evidence of recruiting violations emerges, I’ll modify my opinion. But I’m very much a person who waits for the evidence, and all I know is that five players were involved in minor infractions while the coach committed the major infraction of lying to the NCAA and covering up for them.

    If the AD and Gee were involved in the coverup, they should be fired. Frankly, I think Gee is a boob from a football perspective. I can’t imagine why anyone would let him in on a football coverup.

    When it comes to issuing punishment, I believe in using a rifle rather than a shotgun. Zero in on the guilty parties: coaches, administrators, boosters, players, and punish them to whatever degree possible. Fire the coaches and administrators. Ban the boosters from ever again attending games. If they’re still in the NCAA, suspend the players and work out an arrangement that keeps them from jumping to the NFL to avoid suspension. Vacate wins, recall trophies.

    But once all that has been done, I do not believe the school should be punished. “Schools” don’t commit infractions–people do. Sanctioning schools after the guilty parties have been fired only punishes future athletes and coaches who had no part in the misdeeds. I simply don’t believe that’s fair.

  38. edgy says: May 31, 2011 9:59 AM

    Talk about a stunner. I think that the only way that this happens is that Ohio State has found a lot more than they’re willing to admit publicly and they’re worried about what’s coming down and they’ve decided to cut their losses now with Tressel and have given him a chance to save face. With everything that’s been coming out, I think that they can see where this could end up with the NCAA and it could be big. I don’t think that they keep the wins except the bowl win and they may end up having to self-impose a bowl ban and maybe a couple of scholarships to get ahead of the NCAA. I know that Small has been given some hell by a lot of Buckeye fans and while he tried to walk his comments back, I think that they were damning enough and credible enough that the school was worried about how this would add to the situation. Like it or not, this goes on every where that a booster has access to the players and unless a coach clamps down on them, the players are going to take whatever they feel that they can get away with, consequences be damned (Of course, that sense of entitlement started early for most of them, as they got it from their parents, who pushed their coaches to play their “superstar” more when they were little and then all through school, when they were allowed to get away with practically anything, up to and including sexual assault or battery on their girlfriends). I’m not blaming Tressel for what the Tattoo-Gate guys did but I am blaming him for thinking more about his own wins when he didn’t report them and suspend them for 3 to 5 games last year. THAT would have been enough to satisfy the NCAA but instead, he played INELIGIBLE players and put the entire season in jeopardy (Ironically, he would keep the bowl win because the NCAA made them eligible for the game and there are no back-sees, even though they will probably give up all the wins that would have made them bowl eligible and their string of Big-Ten titles will stop at the season before).

    BTW, don’t think that I’m happy about this because if you’ve REALLY read what I’ve said, I haven’t called for Tressel’s head but only indicated what I thought was coming. This isn’t his first incident, even at Ohio State but I was willing to give him a chance but frankly, he needed to be disciplined and you can call it what you want but what he and the school did was a SHAM because he was going to be able to do everything but coach the game. I would have been satisfied with him having no contact for the entire period that he was suspended and that would have been fine. I think that the NCAA would have been willing to deal with that but if it’s true that he was encouraged to resign, there’s more to this than meets the eye. If he would have been the adult in the room and self-reported the incidents with his players, this wouldn’t have been a problem and the other stuff might have blown over but he thought more about his wins than the program and there’s going to be a price to be paid for all this. Unfortunately, THE Ohio State is the one that’s going to have to bear the brunt of the penalties but that’s the breaks and it’s going to make them a lot more vigilant. I’m sure that Deb will take the stand that the school shouldn’t pay for what he did but the fact is that they enabled his activities and the guy has had a long history of activity that would have gotten other coaches fired but he probably would have been an actor, if he hadn’t become a coach because he’s got that look of feigned innocence down to a T. Seriously, go back to every incident and read his quotes and you’ll see that he professes to be innocent and unaware of any illegal activity and that goes back to Youngstown, where there was some serious cash flowing around a I-AA program.

    Frankly, given the fact that this is going to be a lost year, Oho State should just give the job to the guy that was going to replace him for the 5 games, Fickell and then decide whether they want to keep him or go after a big time name like Meyer but they need to make the hire well before the end of the season so they can get the recruits excited to go to tOSU because their enthusiasm might be tempered by a bowl ban.

    Finally, one thing: I never give any program hell because of USC’s past problems but I do jump on to those that are holier-than-thou about their situation. I may joke here and there about a school but that’s as far as I go. I won’t get into their face because frankly, too many schools can get into trouble for some of the smallest things. tOSU’s problem was a minor glitch, that would have never been a big issue for more than a few weeks, if ONLY Tressel had reported it and moved on but he didn’t. Some have accused the kids of getting Tressel into trouble but the truth is that HE was the adult in the room and he not only chose to ignore what they did but he KNOWINGLY lied to the school and the NCAA and signed compliance papers that lied about his knowledge of the incident. Nothing pisses the NCAA off more than a guy that lies to them and a school that doesn’t take real action against him isn’t doing itself any favors when the NCAA begins to mete out justice. The SEC recognized this with Tennessee and that’s why they slapped Pearl with his suspension and it’s probably not enough for the NCAA because the Volunteers had to be brought to Jesus by the conference. tOSU, on the other hand, was never brought to Jesus by its own conference and the commissioner was among those who intervened to get the players into the $ugar Bowl so that’s going to work against them. Firing Tressel isn’t going to help, especially when your main men stood firmly and publicly behind him and even offered up the laughable “I hope he doesn’t fire me” baloney. This isn’t more than trying to get ahead of the NCAA but it’s too little and too late. Had they done this after they concluded their investigation after they found out about his knowledge in January, the NCAA would have let them off but now, I don’t think that it buys them any wiggle room because they let the situation go on until it was virtually too late.

  39. jkat1 says: May 31, 2011 10:22 AM

    To think the actions the permiated down from Tessel, through the assistants, equiptment people, players, and the fans themselves are bundled up, all together, and put on Tressel to pay for the blame is not fair, or close to fair.

    Tressel will never coach another major college team again because of this, yet he played only a small part in it, in denying it existed. For that, he is losing 3.5 million per year now, and what could have been 5 or more million in a few years. Nobody else is losing much of anything. The NCAA needs to correct this injustice. Make the penalty fit the crime, not single out the man on top and say he is responsible for everyone elses actions.

  40. edgy says: May 31, 2011 11:11 AM

    jkat1 says:


    I can’t believe that you’re serious but you apparently are. The fact is that HE brought this on himself and not the kids. Yes, they screwed up but HE was the one who tried to cover it up AND lied to his bosses and the NCAA. If he had put tOSU ahead of his win totals, the school might have suffered one more loss last year but still made it to the $ugar Bowl with their record AND reputation intact and there would have been no need to worry about eligibility because the players would have paid the price earlier. NOW, the school will end up getting screwed because he DID put his record ahead of their reputation and HE and ONLY he is the one who is responsible. Contrast this with North Carolina, which saw many of their players lose eligibility (some permanently) and because they got ahead of the NCAA, they came out of it with no where near the fallout that tOSU will have to deal with.

  41. edgy and imtalking are one in the same says: May 31, 2011 11:22 AM

    edgy lemme ask you this honsestly what you think here

    if I’m an OSU fan and I go to michigan players and start handing them money for jerseys and such, and they get caught by the ncaa, who gets punished, mich or osu?

    (this has nothing to do with the current topic, just a question on my mind)

  42. shallowfan says: May 31, 2011 12:51 PM

    Is it just me or does the SI article make it sound like EVERYONE on the OSU campus and in Columbus in general knew about the tatoo’s, cars, etc…Clarett came out years ago and said he took money the article says, other players knew it was common practice (i’m sure they told their friends who might be playing for other major schools as well, who then started doing the same thing…possible). What I’m saying is that the only ppl that didn’t know anything about was the the AD and the president?

    Did Tressel tell them back in 2010 and they all decided to just kind of move on and sweep it under the rug? Now Tressel is taking the fall?

    I just can’t believe they didn’t know about it. Why is nobody in the media going after them?

    It just doesn’t add up…

  43. edgy says: May 31, 2011 2:05 PM

    Ok, ONLY because you were civil, I’ll break my promise:

    First off, Michigan would feel the brunt because whether they found out that you were an OSU fan or not, the players STILL took the money but don’t forget that the door swings both ways and just like the NBA when right of first refusal for free agents was the big thing, expect a tit-for-tat (no pun intended) and the NCAA to punish tOSU if the players sell to a Wolverine booster. Now, if you’re dumb enough to let them know your name then YOU would bear the brunt and would probably be barred from tOSU activities and unless the NCAA could prove that you acted on the school’s behalf, I don’t think that they’d get in trouble.

  44. edgy and imtalking are one in the same says: May 31, 2011 3:14 PM

    do you feel as if this could happen in the future

    say school A wants “John Smith”. John decides to sign with school A’s heated rival, school B. A booster for school A gets really mad and decides he is going to trap John in a money scheme. Booster/fan of school A starts feeding money to John while he attends school B. The booster/fan then decides to document every transaction and brings it to the NCAA officially screwing school B, but at the same time giving school A plausible deniability because they cannot monitor everyone

    I believe that this could create a whole new mess against players. Like we saw in recruiting this year, young men didn’t choose a school and those scorned fans resorted to harassment of the young player. This could happen if one crazy fan decides to screw another school, and theres nothing the NCAA can do

  45. edgy says: Jun 1, 2011 10:52 AM

    I think that the NCAA has probably thought of this scenario and my guess is that it wouldn’t turn out well for the person who concocted the scheme and they’re probably turn them over to criminal authorities and press criminal charges against them. Why not go to the NCAA site and ask them this question….

  46. 2007chill says: Jun 7, 2011 1:31 PM

    edgy…. a coach sabbotaging one team for the benefit of another? I like your thinking! BTW your last name wouldn’t happen to be Saban, would it?

    Srsly tho… on the topic of sabbotaging a bitter rival, yes it most definitely exists in college football. I still contend that the main reason Tressel won that first game against Michigan in 2001 wasn’t because he told an OSU basketball crowd that they’d be proud of his team. It was because of a guy by the name of Steinbrenner.

    A long-time fan and generous donor to Ohio State athletics, Papa George offered Wolverine QB Drew Henson $18 million to play third base for the Yankees. New York chose Henson in the third round of the ’98 MLB draft (with the 97th overall pick) and had just traded him to the Cincinnati Reds. So the Yanks had to work out a trade to put him back in pinstripes before Steinbrenner could offer him the loot.

    Henson—a junior at the time and the NFL’s projected #1 draft pick should he leave early—took the bait from the Bronx, and the bank from The Boss. In so doing, he broke his promise to coach Lloyd Carr (who had placated Henson the previous season by platooning him with senior Tom Brady, as astonishing as that sounds) and leaving the Wolverines with untested freshman John Navarre at the helm.

    That November, Navarre threw four interceptions in Michigan’s 26-20 upset loss to the Buckeyes. And Henson? He played a grand total of eight games in his major league career, batting .111 with one hit (an $18-million-per-hit average).

    Did I mention that I’m also a conspiracy freak?

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