There are senators in D.C. who are now signing up for "The Jim Tressel Filibuster Method: P-90X Stonewalling, the ultimate workout."
What occurred at lunchtime Wednesday in Columbus brought down a further shroud of secrecy over a coach known for both his shrouds -- he calls them sweater vests -- and secrecy. Ohio State's embattled coach surprised few and talked to many by saying absolutely nothing in his first media availability since his reconsideration of a two-game, self-imposed suspension earlier this month.
Tressel spent approximately 22 minutes at the beginning of his spring press conference revealing, well, nothing. He referenced the "catastrophe in Japan" and the long snapper situation, but the 800-pound gorilla in the room went unmentioned. Really, what did you expect except a few morsels for serial tweeters to dissect?
"I haven't really had those reflective times in the last couple of months." No ----!
"We're very fortunate to have a tremendous group of five kids." Well, not for the first five games.
The money-shot question was asked right at the end of the 50-minute presser: Will the five-game suspension stand? "That's the last thing I could talk about," Tressel said.
Clearly, because no one, including the coach, knows if Tressel will be able to coach at all in 2011, or ever again at Ohio State. It's not like the NCAA doesn't have anything to do enforcement-wise these days, but Ohio State has to be at the top of the list. The association must decide before the season on Tressel. The fact that it took him two self-imposed suspensions to get it "right" has to be a factor. So do the forwarded e-mails to a 67-year old businessman in Jeanette, Pa. businessman who knew Terrelle Pryor's name had popped up in a federal drug-trafficking investigation before the Ohio State president and AD. The plot thickens. The issue now is not only when did Tressel know about the Buckeye Five but when did his superiors know it?
If you read between the emails, er, lines Wednesday, it's clear Tressel is preparing the world for the Luke Fickell era. After those 22 minutes, Tressel turned the microphone over to the linebackers coach/co-defensive coordinator. On Wednesday, the 37-year old Fickell was promoted to assistant head coach and interim head coach. You read here that Fickell should get that title when Tressel has to give up the job.
"What I owe to Ohio State is 24/7," Tressel said alluding to the fact he cannot coach on game days for those first five weeks. "I know as the season begins next year it may be 24/6."
Levity. Great. At the end of the presser, it was refreshing to know the coach didn't violate anyone's confidentiality -- again. Ohio State should know that this scandal has just begun, but the response is going to be completed quickly.
"No little storm, no big storm is going to affect what we've done," Fickell said.