Blog Entry

Is this it for Jim Tressel?

Posted on: March 25, 2011 12:02 pm
Edited on: March 25, 2011 5:39 pm
 
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Gene Smith is supposed to be here in Anaheim on Saturday. As chairman of the men's basketball committee, it is his duty to make the rounds during the NCAA tournament.

Arizona and UConn play Saturday for the right to go to the Final Four. Don't keep a seat warm for Smith. He is also Ohio State's athletic director, which makes him a bit preoccupied these days.

Friday's revelation  that Jim Tressel forwarded emails to a mentor of quarterback Terrelle Pryor might be the deal-breaker for the Buckeyes coach. Remember, these are the emails that he wouldn't share with his superiors because Tressel was worried about "privacy" issues.

Apparently the emails weren't sensitive enough to keep from a 67-year-old owner of a Jeanette, Pa., glass company. It's hard to envision Tressel lasting any longer as this coverup builds. It's only a matter of time and definition -- when the coach will leave and what it will be called. Firing? Resignation? It doesn't really matter at this point.

Here's why Friday's news is so damning: If you remember at the March 8 press conference, Tressel was asked by Yahoo! Sports' Dan Wetzel if the coach had shared the emails with anyone else. As Tressel started to say yes, Smith intervened saying that couldn't be discussed, that there was an ongoing investigation.

Reminds us once again that the cover up is always worse than the crime.

This particular situation doesn't necessarily reflect badly on Pryor or Ted Sarniak, who was well known during the quarterback's recruiting process as a mentor. It was to the point, according to a source, that recruiters were dealing with Sarniak more than his high school coach. I was in Jeanette during that recruiting process and went to interview Sarniak at his Jeanette Glass Company offices. It was unannounced because I couldn't track him down on the phone. I was never able to find him.

The school vetted the relationship between Pryor and Sarniak, according to the Columbus Dispatch .

"He's [Sarniak] not a bad guy and he's got money," a person close to Pryor told me. "I don't think he did it [mentored Pryor] for the money."

This is more about Tressel. On the surface, he not only withheld information regarding -- let's not forget -- a federal investigation from his superiors. He also went off the reservation in sharing the emails with a person outside the university. Not even a parent -- a "mentor." Let's be clear: A glass company owner in western Pennsylvania apparently knew Pryor's name had popped up during a federal investigation before Ohio State's president or athletic director.

Poor Gene Smith. His basketball team is driving for the Final Four. That Final Four is a week away and Smith is in charge of it, the NCAA's top moneymaker. But those issues probably aren't in the top five in his mental Rolodex at the moment. We'll know for sure if there is an empty seat at courtside Saturday at the Honda Center. 

Comments

Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: March 25, 2011 12:27 pm
 

Is this it for Jim Tressel?

edit....If Smith already knew that the mentor had the emails, why would he fire Tressel now that the news came out? It's not like OSU can look any worse. It's also evident that OSU (I'm just glad he didn't fire me!) doesn't care how ridiculous they look in the public eye.




Since: Aug 18, 2010
Posted on: March 25, 2011 12:26 pm
 

Is this it for Jim Tressel?

If it turns out to be true that Tressel did not tell anyone at tOSU, but did tell the mentor, the administration at tOSU will be in a very tough spot.  I know that they, along with the vast majority of the Buckeye fanbase really love Tressel, but he has put the program in a bad light with the NCAA.  Do you fire the one you love because he made a mess of this situation, or do they keep him and simply throw yourself at the mercy of the NCAA.  This is interesting! 




Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: March 25, 2011 12:25 pm
 

Is this it for Jim Tressel?

If Smith already knew that the mentor had the emails, why would he fire Tressel now that the news came out? It's not like OSU can look any worse. It's also evident that OSU (I'm just glad he didn't fire me!) cares how ridiculous they look in the public eye.


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