Jim Tressel resigned as the Head Coach of the Ohio State Football Program. What are the ramifications of this resignation?
First, a brief history of the events that led up his resignation. Tressel became aware of numerous NCAA violations committed by several of his players. He hid this information from the NCAA, the Ohio State A.D, and the Ohio State President for the entire 2010 season. He later admitted to hiding these facts, apologosed and was given a two game suspension by the school. He then requested that the suspension be extended to 5 games, the same number of games that the players who were returning to Ohio State for this season were given. That, in a nutshell, is what allegedly happened.
Now we get to the truth of the matter. First, these violations were obviously NOT the only violations that occurred during Tressel’s career at Ohio State. Other former Ohio State players have stated that the selling of items such as rings, “Gold Pants” awards for beating Michigan, and other items were a common thing amongst Ohio State players. Other allegations involving illegal auto sales, the “loaning” of vehicles to players, and possible illegal activities involving housing of Ohio State Football players have recently emerged. The infamous “Tattoo Parlor”, where many of these violations occurred, is now under Federal Investigation, and the owner under arrest for Durg Trafficing, Money Laundering, and other crimes.
Tressel aparently had no intention of resigning. He hired an attorney who was once a member of the NCAA infraction committee to defend him. He stated at that time that he would not resign. The official resignation statement says this, in part: “After meeting with university officials, we agreed that it is in the best interest of Ohio State that I resign as head football coach…” The key words being “AFTER MEETING WITH UNIVERSITY OFFICIALS”. That implies that Ohio State had found out that the rules that Tressel had broken go much deeper than the original infraction. Ohio State aparently believed that Tressel’s problems were much deeper than first anticipated. After numerous statements defending Tressel, and stating that he would remain at Ohio State, the University changed it’s mind and told Tressel that it was time to leave.
Ohio State now faces a huge problem with the NCAA. First, the University suspends Tressel for two games. Then they extend the suspension for 5 games. All the while, they publically back Tressel and state that they have no intention of asking for his resignation or firing him. Now, all of a sudden, Tressel resigns AFTER numerous new allegations surface, and AFTER meeting with Ohio State officials. Aparently Tressel was in so much trouble, that his attorney, who was a member of the NCAA infractions committee, told Tressel that he had no chance of winning any type of NCAA hearing.
The NCAA will now extend their investigation into Ohio State to include more allegations of wrong doing. They will also investigate why Ohio State either did not know about these additional infractions, or knew about them and did nothing. Ohio State allegedly has an infraction committee who looks into the legality of everything that goes on at the school. The “Auto Sales” that are now currently under investigation by the NCAA bring many more problems. The salesman claims to have contacted the University about every sale. Ohio State denies this. If these allegations are proven to be true, Ohio State will fall into the dreaded “Lack of Institutional Control” rule that cost USC and Alabama so dearly. The fact that Ohio State vehemently defended Tressel and gave him a “slap on the wrist” (a two game suspension) initially does not bode well for the University. The fact that the owner of the Tattoo Parlor is now under arrest, and charged with numerous felonies does not help matters either.
Ohio State now faces penalties that will be similar to what USC received. It is no secret that Pac 12 Commissioner Larry Scott was not pleased at all when USC’s appeal was denied. Scott will be watching intently to see what penalties are handed down to Ohio State. If the NCAA lets Ohio State off with anything less than what USC received, look for a lawsuit against the NCAA by the Pac 12, and USC. USC’s infractions were committed by two players, and one assistant coach. Ohio State’s infractions were committed by numerous players, and their head coach. The NCAA has its back against the wall. They MUST mete out the same penalties to Ohio State that USC received, or more. It appears that Ohio State is destined to receive the same penalties that USC did.
If Ohio State receives the same penalties that USC did, their search for a new Head Coach will be severely hampered. How many “big name” former or current head coaches want to go into a situation where they are limited to the number of scholarships that they have, and cannot participate in any post season play for two years? USC grabbed Lane Kiffin because Kiffin was NOT a “big name” coach, and had been an assistant coach at USC before. This was a huge step up for Kiffin. Ohio State does not have that luxury. Do you think that former head coaches like Urban Meyer really want to get involved with the potential mess staring Ohio State in the face? Ohio State has a long road ahead of itself. Their football program is going to take a severe hit. Recruiting will be severely hampered. Yes, they are “The Ohio State”, but no, they are NOT USC. Ohio State needs to come clean, and beg for mercy at this point.
By BigdaddyQH – Jabberhead, SJ Contributing Author