Jim Tressel’s resignation, which most of the thinking college football world believes was a forced resignation, seemed to catch us off guard. We didn’t think the Ohio State Buckeyes Coach would step down on Memorial Day, but that’s because we didn’t know a smoking gun of a Sports Illustrated article was about to be published.
The sweater vest knew this was coming, and knew it was time to go because he just couldn’t hide the truth anymore.
“I’m told it is likely my SI mag story will be posted at SI.com later today/tonight. Timing of Tress dec[ision]. will make sense after you read it,” article author George Dohrmann tweeted earlier today.
This is like the Big Ten version of the day Donald Rumsfeld resigned as United States Secretary of the Defense- the day after the Democrats won back control of both houses.
Rummy, and the GOP knew they could no longer protect their lies, much like Tressel realized on Memorial Day morning. It’s one thing to commit infractions, yet another to cover them up.
However, Tressel also likes to quote bible verse in public, has a prayer box on his desk and he tries to project a holier-than-thou attitude through his constant preaching of faith, service and humility. Therefore, he’s fallen back down to Earth much harder than other program leaders who have been caught committing similar crimes.
So now that we know, what’s in this SI article? EVERYTHING!
Tressel seemed to commit the sins of omission much more than commission, but the NCAA doesn’t see it that way. It’s like Federal, State and Local law- ignorance is not a valid defense.
Tressel’s crimes stretch back to the national title year of 2002 (vacated championship anyone?) The vest looked the other way on every star player, former running back Maurice Clarett, quarterback Troy Smith, Terrelle Pryor (more on that later).
From SI: (READ THE WHOLE THING HERE)
“The Clarett and [Robert Q.]Baker scandals were further evidence that Tressel was, at best, woefully ignorant of questionable behavior by his players and not aggressive enough in preventing it. At worst, he was a conduit for improper benefits, as Clarett alleged,”
Of course, there’s much more.
One former Buckeye, defensive end Robert Rose, whose career ended in 2009, told SI that he had swapped memorabilia for tattoos and that “at least 20 others” on the team had done so as well. SI’s investigation also uncovered allegations that Ohio State players had traded memorabilia for marijuana and that Tressel had potentially broken NCAA rules when he was a Buckeyes assistant coach in the mid-1980s.
And it stretches to his days at Youngstown State too. It may be mid-major football, but Tressel’s rule-breaking was high major at that that stop in his career as well.
You can follow him on Twitter @Paul_M_BanksTSB and Facebook