As Bruce Pearl learned from the University of Tennessee last week, it’s not so much the NCAA infractions, it’s the lying that really matters. Things got worse for officially “embattled” Ohio State Buckeyes Coach Jim Tressel; and things will likely continue to get worse for the leader of one of college football’s premier programs.
Multiple sources told the Columbus Dispatch that Tressel forwarded e-mails containing info about players selling merchandise to a local tattoo parlor owner who was under federal investigation– therefore rendering them ineligible for the 2010 season – to one of the player’s mentors.
Ted Sarniak, mentor to Pryor, received e-mails from Tressel. But the sweater vest failed to show these e-mails to his superiors in the athletic department. His reason? Fear of endangering the fed’s investigation. And now the entire Ohio State athletic department may be complicit to cover-up as well. Which means no amount of self-sanction will save them. It looks like big-time program wide NCAA sanctions are on the way. The situation is reminiscent of the Fab 5 scandal involving the Michigan Wolverines last decade. It involves a “mentor” older man, which is usually a euphemism for “benefactor” or “ATM machine,” in situations like this. It’s also easy to jump to that conclusion when it surrounds a player who is already suspended for half of next season.
That joke of a press conference OSU had a couple weeks ago, where they slapped themselves on the wrist, won’t suffice. Word is OSU will suspend Tressel for all of spring practice. But that might not be enough. I agree with the opinion of the Sporting News:”
“All that’s left for the most successful coach in Ohio State history is to stand in the beautiful rotunda of Ohio Stadium, underneath the stained glass murals of Buckeye heroes, under the cascading ceiling designed to look like the Pantheon, and humbly resign.
Or be fired.”
Exactly. The Vest has tainted the program plenty already, and it’s better for him, the University, and all parties involved if he steps down now. Or Gene Smith should force him to resign. They’re just digging a deeper hole for themselves with all the lying and cover up. Time to come clean.
In Ohio, many stores sell a version of the famous peanut-butter and chocolate buckeye candies, called Tressel Truffles. These are made of the same ingredients but shaped like footballs and feature a wholesome looking picture of Tressel and his mother on the cover. The sugar in those truffles seems much less sweet, and more like cancer-causing saccarine today.
He does a regular guest spot each week for Chicagoland Sports Radio.com You can follow him on Twitter @thesportsbankFollow paulmbanks