When you tear away all of the superfluous layers and get to the very core of the demise of Jim Tressel, there is one simple and unmistakable truth: if The Vest had simply told university officials of the email regarding impermissible benefits received by some of his players — and not subsequently lied and covered it up — he would still be the head coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes.
In his first radio interview (that we’re aware of) since the lies and coverup cost him his dream job, Tressel was asked whether or not he would change anything that had happened.
“I think every time we get a chance to look back we can see where we made decisions that we would like to have back whether it’s play calls or decision within your own office or whatever it happens to be,” Tressel told WKNR in Cleveland by way of Sports Radio Interviews. “That’s the human part of all us, that’s the human part of me. But again I guess I will end with this, the only thing I can do is look forward.”
In that same vein, Tressel was also asked during the course of the interview whether a book he wrote that stressed integrity and honor, in essence, made him appear to be a hypocrite given the circumstances that led to his resignation/firing/retirement. In typical Senatorial fashion, Tressel dismissed the insinuation.
“Oh gosh. I think anyone that writes a book doesn’t do it with the preface that they are perfect. If that were the case and only perfect people could write books then there wouldn’t be any books,” Tressel said. “There are always critics and always people that support you. You know in your own life that what’s important are the people that care about you and are meaningful to you and there’s always going to people that think in a different way. That’s what is beautiful about our country is that you’re allowed to do that. You just try to keep getting better, be the best that you can possibly be, and you only look forward.”
After attending a Cleveland Browns training camp session earlier this month, Tressel said “I hope so” when asked if he would get back into coaching. Tressel intimated today that, while his coaches juices are still flowing, he might take a different path as far as his future is concerned.
“I feel good and when you get a chance to get around and have a chance to be at those training camps like I was fortunate to be able to do over the last couple of weeks, get out to see high school football tonight and tomorrow, and I want to get around and see some of the colleges practice next week so it’s fun to be around it and get your blood flowing,” the former coach said. “I’m sure that I want that as one of the options but honestly I don’t know what it is exactly I want to do going forward. I’m gonna take a little bit of time and make sure I make a good decision.”
Perhaps the biggest determining factor for Tressel’s coaching future, at least at the level he’s accustomed to, will be whether or not the NCAA decides to slap him a show-cause as part of their sanctions. Tressel and OSU officials appeared in front of the Committee on Infractions earlier this month, and a decision on the Buckeyes’ self-imposed sanctions — and any individual punishment Tressel may receive from The Association — is expected sometime in October.