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. 


Since: Jan 4, 2007
Posted on: March 28, 2011 4:54 pm

Is this it for Jim Tressel?

now demo51,
I have no idea what rock you crawled out from under but that is no way to talk to folks that are big college football fans, everyone has a right to their opinion, if I were you I would quit worrying about the KKK and AL SHARPTON and just try and find the i and dot it!!!
If you really think mr. tressel has done nothing wrong you need to put that crack pipe down and seek help at the  rehab center

Since: Jul 26, 2009
Posted on: March 28, 2011 4:17 pm

Is this it for Jim Tressel?

Let me start by saying I am a big OSU fan so my opinion on this matter may show a bias.  I have tried to look at this objectively and here are my thoughts:
When I first heard OSU's press conference regarding this matter, I was shocked by our coach's responses.  I thought that if he thought there was validity to the email and felt it was a big problem, why wouldn't he take action by going to his superiors (at OSU and/or the NCAA)?  Then I listened to every media voice available rip the guy to shreds and scream what a major violation this was.  There were people comparing this to USC's infractions, Bruce Pearl, and others (I even read an article comparing this to Rich Rod's practices at Michigan).  People were saying 5 games and $250,000 was too little a penalty, and if it were a smaller program the penalty would be swifter and larger.
Let's all calm down and try and be reasonable.  First, if it was a smaller school (an earlier blogger mentioned New Mexico for example), there would have been no nationally broadcasted press conference.  It would have been a back-page story when the kids were found in violation and suspended 5 games, and the follow-up would have been an equally small story about how further information showed their coach had knowledge of the situation without reporting the matter and that the NCAA was reviewing the it.  The end.  A 5 game suspension may have been handed out to the coach as was the case with Tressel, but I'm pretty sure people wouldn't be complaining for stiffer sanctions nor would he have been personally fined $250,000.  
Second, people are so bent out of shape because he didn't offer up the information to the NCAA immediately.  While I have no statistical evidence to support this, I would guess the majority of infractions investigated by the NCAA are first reported to the NCAA by sources other than the school itself.  So to act like this is such a major violation based on that would make all those other unreported violations equally major.
Third, this was not a situation created by Tressel nor one that you can prove offered any competitive advantage for the team, so why is it viewed as such a major offense requiring some hammer to come down?  Unless more information surfaces to contradict this, Tressel didn't broker this deal for the students (one which netted a few students less than market value for their own belongings).  There were no grades altered to change students eligibility (ex. Derrick Rose), there was no recruiting violation set up by the head coach (ex. Bruce Pearl), the students involved were not professional athletes (ex. Reggie Bush, whom I call a pro athlete strictly from the volume of money involved in his case), and there was no other competitive advantage for the team gained on the field by this incident (such as the extra practice time Michigan's team gained under Rich Rod).  One could argue the NCAA would have suspended the students last year which did offer them a competitive advantage, but the NCAA has a history of dragging their feet so even that is uncertain.  Plus, the NCAA caught wind of all of this before their bowl came and ruled the players eligible to complete the season, so that pretty much discards that argument anyway.
In closing, I still believe what he did was wrong.  I just don't know that firing him or further sanctions are necessary.  I believe he's a good man and a positive influence on his student athletes both on the field and in the classroom, even if he showed poor judgement on this matter.  A suspension of nearly half the season plus a quarter of a million out of pocket doesn't sound like too small a price to pay when you look at what he did to me.

Since: Mar 28, 2011
Posted on: March 28, 2011 3:51 pm

Is this it for Jim Tressel?

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

The coverage by D&D (Dodd & Doyle, and a lot of out-of-conference bloggers/authors) reminds me the worst of all are those that throw gasoline on the flames and complain about the heat & smoke. So far this is a witch hunt that wont be satisfied by ANY response --- you just want to sell a story.

The investigation hasn't even been concluded and you both are complaining the autopsy is overdue (yeah you both jumped past the execution too). You guys are fair and judicious as the KKK or Al Sharpton.

Lets let the NCAA do their investigation and meet out any deserved penalties. Or, are just interested the spectacle of the lyching?

Bunch of hacks!

Since: Jul 18, 2008
Posted on: March 28, 2011 2:39 pm

Is this it for Jim Tressel?

From Moneybags:

YIHAWYI...that is actually a fact.  There have been more NCAA infractions committed by OSU than any other University.  This is from the Columbus Dispatch:

In May of 2009, The Columbus Dispatch reported that since 2000, Ohio State had reported to the NCAA more than 375 violations — the most of any of the 69 Football Bowl Subdivision schools that provided documents to the newspaper through public-records requests. Most of the infractions were minor and resulted in little or no punishment.
Now would the Columbus Dispatch, home of the Buckeyes, have any reason to lie?  Cmon pal...don't call something BS when you didn't come with facts like I did.

@Moneybags - I think you are a bit off on your conclusion to the Columbus Dispatch report.  If anything, it says that the OSU is trying to run a clean program by reporting all of their minor violations to the NCAA (or even trying to pretend it is running a clean program by feigning full disclosure down to even unpunishable minor offenses).  Numbers of reported infractions is not the measure of how clean a program is.  I think you would agree that the worst infractions are happening behind closed doors and we have no idea who is the worst violator because no one knows everything that is going on everywhere.  Read your own blurb that you quoted - "most of the infractions were minor and resulted in little or no punishment."  That doesn't sound like the dirtiest program around.  I'm not even saying that the OSU is not the dirtiest program around.  I don't think it is, but it very well may be.  Your "facts" don't really evidence anything at all.  Again, like I said, trying to argue about who is the dirtiest program around is like arguing which religion is right.  There is no way to prove it in any way, unless you are clairvoyant or omnipresent.

Since: Aug 4, 2008
Posted on: March 28, 2011 2:08 pm

Is this it for Jim Tressel?

It matters not if Smith or Tressel is fired or not, they will simply sit out one year and be hired by another institution of higher learning. Hell Tressel might be in line for a pro job as  offensive coordinator or even head coach.

Both Smith and Tressel have the connections and will not be out of a job too long. This coaching racket is the best good ole boys club around.

Smith would be able to point to the program at Ohio State and say had it not been for Tressel he would have brought the program to heights that were never achieved at Ohio State.

Even if Smith would not secure a position with another institution, there is always the NCAA. The really need competent individuals there that know how to go past the rules and laws of the NCAA.
If Tressel would not be hired as a head coach, he definitely would become a talking head on one of the national sport shows about college football.
Look at Weis, ran Notre Dame into the ground, now has a good job in Florida with an excellent salary. No violations that I know of and was never investigated by the NCAA, but to run this institution into the depths of failure should. He managed  to get  his teams butt kicked by the Trojans each and every year. This did not warrant another position, but alas the ole boys club came through for him.

There should be some sort of punishment for these coaches and administrators that are at the helm when these mishaps occur.

Aw I think I know the answer the NCAA would be sued and sued and will lose each and every case. The NCAA would have to prove in a court of law that the coach was aware of the situation and should have taken care of the problem.


Since: Mar 28, 2011
Posted on: March 28, 2011 2:08 pm

Is this it for Jim Tressel?

I loved your comment.  It is the only one I fully agree with.  WAY TO GO!

Since: Dec 31, 2010
Posted on: March 28, 2011 1:38 pm

Is this it for Jim Tressel?


This is not about cheating in the SEC, the PAC-10 or the BIG12.  Yes there are probably other programs out there doing much worse that haven't been caught.  Tressel got caught not them.

We have to face the facts.  Tressel is a great man, who does a ton of good community work; but, he screwed up BIG time.  He found out about an infraction and did not report it.  By knowing of the violation in April and still playing the 5, who would have eniligable for 3 - 5 games, that alone will vacate our entire 2010 season.  He signed a NCAA document in September that he knew of no NCAA violations.  He lied to NCAA investigators in December that he had no prior knowledge about the incident.  He let our AD, our school president and the BIG10 commissionor all go on record, that no one knew about the violation until December and the 5 should be allowed to play in the Sugar Bowl. 

The NCAA took a public beating for that and still are.  The were accused of favortism, TV ratings and money.  Now, they found out we lied to them about the incident.  Oh, the hammer is definately coming.

I have faith that Tressel, the person I respect so much, will fall on the sword.  He will resign and say that it was his fault, no one else knew about anything.  He will tell the NCAA he is done coaching, will wait a year and make tons of money a game day analyst for ESPN or the BIG10 network. 

Then we all pray that the NCAA doesn't found any other dirt as they caivity search our program ad show us some mercy when they hand down their punishement.

Since: Apr 2, 2010
Posted on: March 28, 2011 1:27 pm

Is this it for Jim Tressel?

inuendo never serves anyone well and, for me, places the one who puts it forward in bad light.
If you've got facts or evidence to advance regarding Holtz or others, or their programs, past  or present, put that out for all to see. Otherwise, have the decency to keep your negative thoughts to yourself. 

Since: May 24, 2010
Posted on: March 28, 2011 1:11 pm

Is this it for Jim Tressel?

What a dumb - -s comment. What does ND have to do with Tressel lying? So far this is the only thing that came out. Lets wait to see what other violations they get caught trying to cover up.

Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: March 28, 2011 12:56 pm

Is this it for Jim Tressel?

Talk about Tressel losing his job is moronic?  I don't think that word means what you think it does.  He was made aware of an infraction that came up during a Federal investigation.  He decided to not pass this information along to his superiors, claiming later that it was due to "privacy concerns".  It's now clear that he passed this information to someone completely outside the program (the real reason for this yet to be determined).  Now we have an act that could have severe implications to one firm(university) concealed from one's superiors and then lied about the cover-up to the same superiors.  I don't know about where you work but, I'd be out the door so fast it'd make your spin if I did the same thing.  Might get a second chance for the first issue but seriously, you're awfully naive if you think the second issue will be taken lying down.  Lying to the public is acceptable if you don't get caught.  Lying to your boss - you better not get caught.  Guess what?  He got caught.  And we don't even have the full story yet.  I suspect this gets far more interesting before all is said and done.  Whether he survives or not depends entirely on how hard the the NCAA comes down*, how embarrassed the university as a whole (i.e., donors) is, and how pissed off his superiors are.

* after USC's treatment and other recent NCAA embarrassments, I'm expecting a hammer, OSU or not.  Let's be honest, if this was Nevada and not one of the big money programs, the hammer would have already fallen.

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