We were one of the many, many people who were very, very vehement in their opinions that the two-game suspension given to Jim Tressel by his Ohio State amounted to nothing more than a feathery slap on the wrist.
Apparently the head coach agrees as he’s asked the school to hit him harder. And they’ve obliged.
Shortly after it was officially confirmed by the NCAA that the five Buckeyes found to have received impermissible benefits had their appeal on a five-game suspension denied, Tressel announced that he had asked for, and received the same five-game suspension as his players.
“Throughout this entire situation my players and I have committed ourselves to facing our mistakes and growing from them; we can only successfully do that together,” Tressel said in a statement. “I spoke with Athletics Director Smith, and our student‐athletes involved, and told them that my mistakes need to share the same game sanctions. Like my players, I am very sorry for the mistakes I made. I request of the university that my sanctions now include five games so that the players and I can handle this adversity together.”
PR maneuver news of Tressel upping his own punishment was first reported by the Columbus Dispatch.
Tressel was suspended for two games by the school earlier this month after emails were discovered January 2011 which showed the coach knew in April of 2010 that at least two of his players — quarterback Terrelle Pryor and wide receiver DeVier Posey — had likely received impermissible benefits. Tressel, as revealed in the school’s letter to the NCAA announcing his suspension and $250,000 fine, had at least three opportunities between April of last year and January of this year to forward the information he received from a former OSU player/current attorney to school authorities. Instead, he squatted on the information based on a limp confidentiality defense and, in at least one instance, lied to the NCAA based on his signature on a compliance form.
Still to be determined is whether what’s now a five-game suspension will be the end of the sanctions Tressel faces, or whether the NCAA will tack on additional time away from the game-day sideline.
As it stands now, Tressel and the Buckeye Five will miss games against Akron, Toledo, Miami (Fla), Colorado and Michigan State. Only the game against the Hurricanes is on the road.