The Cheap Seats: Tressel resigns from Ohio StateWritten by Chris Schmidbauer | | email@example.com
It wasn’t all that long ago that Jim Tressel’s face graced the Toledo Free Press cover with a story about faith and how to live life with integrity, honesty, and virtue.
Having worked under Tressel for five seasons, my mission was to tell the story of the man behind the sweater vest.
In the wake of the NCAA scandal that rocked the football program these recent months, the vocal minority who did not support Tressel has turned into a majority, and they finally got their way.
Jim Tressel is no longer the head coach for the Ohio State Buckeyes.
On May 30, Tressel, along with University President E. Gordon Gee and Athletic Director Gene Smith, decided that it was in the best interest of the football program and The Ohio State University that the embattled coach tender his resignation.
The resignation, which came as unexpected news on a Memorial Day holiday when most university operations are closed, sent shockwaves through the school’s fan base.
Ever since the March 8 news conference announcing that Tressel knew that players were selling memorabilia for tattoos and other benefits prior to the December investigation that suspended five Buckeyes, the pro-Jim Tressel camp’s number appeared to have dwindled significantly.
As more time went on and the more people dug, the scandal kept getting worse until all parties involved were left with only one outcome.
The act of not forwarding the emails from former walk-on and current attorney Christopher Cicero was wrong and any self respecting fan needs to admit the act is indefensible, especially when it is written in the contract that Tressel was to do so.
In the case of the law it is called aiding and abetting.
In the world of college sports there is another label assigned: cheater.
It is difficult to lead any athletic program, even more so one that has been built on a perception of integrity and honesty, with this label.
For what it’s worth, I feel this was an act out of character for a man that has lived his life to the letter of the law: moral, legal, and spiritual.
Tressel said he was looking out for his players when he didn’t notify his bosses of the emails he received.
Most critics of the program, however, have contrived an image of Jim Tressel as a scheming behind the scenes con-artist who hides behind a false public persona to allow him to lie, cheat, and steal to win championships.
Recently lost from their collective conscience has been the all the charity work Tressel, his wife, and family have done in the community.
As a football coach, his team just posted the highest team academic progress score in the history of the program. He has coached numerous scholar athletes and touched the lives of so many young men.
The court of public opinion was judge, jury, and ultimately executioner in this case. In one act, all of the good deeds have been forgotten and cost Tressel his job.
Many a Buckeye had always asked me how I thought Jim Tressel’s tenure at Ohio State would end.
In happier times I would have said on his terms; retiring after a lengthy career as a legend in the coaching profession and scribed in the annals of Ohio State lore.
Never did I imagine it would be amidst scandal, being asked to resign by university brass, for the good of the program.
But I think we all can agree on one thing — we never thought it would be this soon.