Blog Entry

Oregon St. president: Tressel 'beyond the pale'

Posted on: March 31, 2011 1:12 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Oregon State president Ed Ray is in something of a unique position when it comes to the Jim Tressel brouhaha at Ohio State. As a former vice president and provost in Columbus, Ray was one of the Buckeye officials who hired Tressel away from Youngstown State and knows Tressel personally. But as the current president of the NCAA's Executive Committee (the committee which oversees changes to NCAA's byzantine rulebook and bylaws), he's also heavily invested in seeing the NCAA's standards and rules upheld.

So it carries more than the usual weight when Ray opens both barrels on Tressel in an interview today with the Oregonian:
"I just thought the world of him ... " Ray said. "I would assume he's certainly been a very positive influence on many of the players that he had. But this whole episode to me is beyond the pale. It's totally unacceptable ..."

The NCAA has not yet ruled on Tressel's transgression, and Ray emphasized that he was speaking for himself only. But on how NCAA enforcement officials might view Tressel's case, Ray said, "If I were in their position, I'd be a hanging judge."

He continued: "I think there are lines you don't cross in your own life.... I'm not a big mercy guy. I'm not a big understander of extenuating circumstances. We all sort of engage in thinking about situational ethics. But I'm kinda old-school. And I think you're either ethical or you're not ethical."
As Ray himself points out, his opinion is not necessarily an opinion shared by the NCAA colleagues who will ultimately decide Tressel's punishment fate. And Ray's personal disappointment with a man he clearly respected a great deal is also likely coloring his remarks.

With that said, Ray also remains representative of the type of academically-focused officials who populate the NCAA and will be on the committee reviewing the Tressel case. If his response to Tressel's transgressions are even remotely similar to those shared across the NCAA, that five-game suspension could be the tip of the proverbial iceberg.


Since: Nov 23, 2006
Posted on: March 31, 2011 4:07 pm

Gordon Gee calls in a FAVOR (Opinion)

Dear Buckeyes,
In my opinion, it is highly unlikely that Ed Ray is speaking for himself.  THIS IS ED RAY SPEAKING FOR GORDON GEE.  Ray is a very careful man that is not inclined to mouth off about other universities.  His words have been scripted for him.

This is quintessential Gee behavior.  He is calling in a professional favor.

For all of you Ohio State fans, here is what is unfolding.

Gee could not fire Jim Tressel without losing his last presidency. It is even possible that he was initially hoping to save the coach.  But the news cycle is churning against him, and the end is inevitable.

Now, Gee has to take the time to allow Coach to become sufficiently villafied.  Coach Tressel is being roasted on a slow turning spit to save Gee's overpaid hide.  Why hasn't Gee issued a public statement in response to Ray's statements?  BECAUSE HE WILL NOT DEFEND TRESSEL, HE IS KEEPING THE FIRE LIT.  Even the "venerable" Columbus Dispatch is involved in the drumbeat.  The daily columns coming out of the sports department could be stopped with a single phone call.

Gee's entire work performance rests upon his popularity, and firing the coach would be the ultimate unpopular move in Ohio.  There is no way that Gee could survive this without "staging" the event

In my opinion,  Jim Tressel is really one of the good guys who made a mistake, and people in Ohio justifiably like him.  Unfortunately, the view outside of Columbus is a different matter, and this is the view that Gee cares about. 

After decades of cheerleading for universities, Gee has no legacy.  He stands for nothing but his self-interest, and in getting others to become similarly self-interested.  He is a master of manipulating all things political.  (Read Machiavelli.)  In fact, he attempted to construct a legacy at Vanderbilt as someone willing to take on the reformation of college athletics.  The hypocricy of this is now growing into an absurdity. 

Gee is the highest paid president in the United States and has no future job prospects.  You can spin it however you want, but he was run out of Brown, and just beat the posse from organizing in Nashville.  (Read the Wall Street Journal expose.)  He now needs to save his hide, and he is calling in a favor from Ed Ray. 

Who do you think helped to advance Ed Ray's career at Ohio State?  Hm?  Why does Ed Ray dare to call out Jim Tressel and not Gordon Gee?  He should be more concerned with the behavior of his fellow President, than that of the coach.  Judges should comment on judges.  Where is his criticism of Gee's handling of the matter? 

Ed Ray was asked to stoke the flame under the spit.  It is a favor to Gee, and will ultimately help to create the eventual scene of a tearful and handwringing Gee announcing the dismissal of Jim Tressel.  My guess is that the speech has already been written and starts with, "This is the saddest day of my life as a President." 

Watch it unfold before your eyes.

Since: Sep 17, 2006
Posted on: March 31, 2011 3:57 pm

Oregon St. president: Tressel 'beyond the pale'

Imho, Tressel needs to learn that HIS duplicity will always affect others (and not the other way around).

Since: Sep 11, 2006
Posted on: March 31, 2011 3:53 pm

Oregon St. president: Tressel 'beyond the pale'

I'd say you're probably being too hard on Tressel (which is ironic since I'm a Michigan fan).  I agree with 2 yrs of probation for Tressel (not the team - not the "no bowl games probation" type).  More of the "if you, Tressel, do something sketchy within the next two years you're toast" kind of probation.

I'd also say they should forfeit the Sugar Bowl victory and its spoils (which those guys might want to sell for more ink anyway).  But no future post season ban and no scholarship limitations.  However, there should be some sort of independent oversight with regards to Tressel and his interaction with present players/future recruits for, say, the length of his personal probation.  It could be part of the probationary conditions.  As for money?  The NCAA will need to pay for all this stuff so they'll need to doc Tressel the cost of all this investigation, but nothing more.

IMHO, I think those punishments would fit the crime without punishing collateral people.

Since: Sep 17, 2006
Posted on: March 31, 2011 3:42 pm

Oregon St. president: Tressel 'beyond the pale'

I think it's in the ballpark, Toby.

Since: Sep 11, 2006
Posted on: March 31, 2011 3:42 pm

Oregon St. president: Tressel 'beyond the pale'

I love a post that includes the phrase "I agree with the balls analogy". There can never be enough analogies about balls.

Since: Dec 7, 2006
Posted on: March 31, 2011 3:39 pm

Oregon St. president: Tressel 'beyond the pale'

Damn, things like this makes me not want to watch College Football.  Tressel did put this on himself though an perhaps the administration probably had some knowledge. I really hope OSU can carry on without much damage but the way things are going i really don't know.

Since: Oct 12, 2006
Posted on: March 31, 2011 3:38 pm

Oregon St. president: Tressel 'beyond the pale'

Hi Wollam...Do you REALLY think it will he THAT heavy???   Honestly..that seems pretty severe...

Since: Sep 17, 2006
Posted on: March 31, 2011 3:36 pm

Oregon St. president: Tressel 'beyond the pale'

My crystal ball says: 
1.  Two years of probation, covering the 2011-2012 seasons.2.  Loss of up to five scholarships.3.  Forfieture of all the 2010 wins.4.  $500,000 fine for Tressel.5.  A 2011 postseason ban.

Since: Oct 12, 2006
Posted on: March 31, 2011 3:29 pm

Oregon St. president: Tressel 'beyond the pale'

What a wonderful post...I agree with the "balls" analogy..some are rubber and from them, there's a chance you can bounce back..but this thing....also on the Tiger Woods DO look at him differently now-with a little more apprehension..this will follow Mr. Tressel around..for the rest of his life...AND the REAL powers have not yet  decided on the degree of punishment that he and the school will receive! You should consider adding footnotes to your future posts, so that most OSU faithful will have a fighting chance of understanding it.

Since: May 30, 2007
Posted on: March 31, 2011 3:28 pm

Oregon St. president: Tressel 'beyond the pale'

When the President of Oregon St is also the President of the committee investigating Tressel, you OSU fans better gove a damn what he has to say lmao! He may very well suspend Tressel the whole season and strip Ohio St. of all there wins from last year (I know a meaningless penalty). Just pray they don't label Ohio St as having a "lack of institutional control" cuz then you will be screwed

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