Posted by Tom Fornelli
If it wasn't obvious before, it's pretty clear now that if Jim Tressel is not the head coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes next season it won't be because he stepped down from his posiiton willingly. It was reported on Friday that Tressel had hired the former chairman of the NCAA's Committee on Infractions, Gene Marsh, to be his lawyer.
But nothing indicates quitting is part of Tressel's thinking right now. And Gene Marsh, the former chairman of the NCAA Committee on Infractions who has been retained by Tressel in recent weeks, agreed with that sentiment in a brief interview with The Plain Dealer on Friday.
According to conversations with others in the past week, Tressel's intentions, like it or not, are to stay with his players and continue what he sees as his mission at Ohio State.
Which, in my opinion, is incredibly selfish of Tressel.
I've already let my feeling be known about Jim Tressel and what his future at Ohio State should be, writing last week that Ohio State should part ways with its head coach. Then there was former Ohio State Buckeye Chris Spielman who said he would be surprised if Jim Tressel were still coaching the Buckeyes in 2011, and that he also thought there would be "more stuff coming out."
There truly is nothing good that can come to Ohio State by Tressel refusing to step down. His continued presence may not only bring a harsher penalty from the NCAA -- which Ohio State would deserve seeing as how it never fired him -- but also continued scrutiny of the school. Think of the damage that has been done to Ohio State's reputation in the college football world over the last few months. The worst part of Ohio State's old reputation was that it could win the Big Ten, but it couldn't compete with SEC schools on the BCS stage. Well, after finally beating an SEC team in Arkansas at the Sugar Bowl in January -- a win that itself was overshadowed by Terrelle Pryor and other suspended Buckeyes being allowed to play in the game -- Ohio State has only seen its image become one of a program gone awry.
While talking to The Birmingham News, Marsh said that he thought Tressel's history and record would benefit him during the investigation.
"Obviously, the track record should matter because some people's track records are good and some people's track records are bad," Marsh told the paper. "I was on the committee for nine years. All I can say is it always mattered to me."
Does Marsh mean the track record that former Buckeyes running back Maurice Clarett first tipped us off to seven years ago? Sure, back then we may have brushed off Clarett's comments because of the source, but the things he claimed were taking place at Ohio State then -- free loaner cars, payment for jobs he didn't have to do and payments from boosters -- sure do ring a bit of a bell now, don't they?