Exactly a year ago to the day and as I was in the midst of enjoying a morning on the links sans phone – Jim Tressel abruptly retired/resigned/was fired as the head football coach at Ohio State, a cloud of off-field controversy overshadowing a decade of on-field excellence.
Both The Sweatervest and his beloved Buckeyes have since moved on, the former initially to the Indianapolis Colts and then to the University of Akron in a non-sports position, the latter, after a sub-.500 season under interim coach Luke Fickell, to Urban Meyer in a hire that has rejuvenated the football program.
Tressel, given a five-year show-cause for lying to the NCAA regarding potential violations involving a handful of players, has spoken around the subject of his former school since his departure, but never directly addressed it in any meaningful way. While that’s still essentially the case, the former coach did go to greater lengths than he has previously in an interview with the Cleveland Plain Dealer‘s Doug Lesmerises, which ran, obviously, to coincide with the anniversary of his official demise.
Addressing the possibility of, eventually, getting back in the school’s good graces, Tressel stated simply, “[t]ime has to take care of some things. … and then enjoy that recognition of every place I’ve been.” Tressel also stated that he holds no bitterness toward the university for what some still believe was the school unfairly stripping him of his dream job.
“It was going to end one day, in one way or another, and that wasn’t the way we wanted to end it,” Tressel told the Plain Dealer.
“Wow, a lot happens in a year, a lot that you don’t know is going to happen. But I don’t feel scarred or disappointed or mad. I just don’t feel that way. The people at Ohio State have always been great to me, and things end up the way they do, and you go on to the next play or the next day, and that’s always been the way I look at things.”