Tag:Jim Tressel
Posted on: March 17, 2011 8:40 pm
Edited on: March 17, 2011 8:46 pm
 

NCAA upholds OSU suspensions, Tressel to sit too

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The chances that the Ohio State Buckeyes will be contending for a Big Ten title or a national title in 2011 have just taken a hit. The suspensions of the five Ohio State players from TattooGate, the mess that got Ohio State in all this hot water in the first place, have been upheld by the NCAA.
According to this decision, Mike Adams, Daniel Herron, DeVier Posey, Terrelle Pryor and Solomon Thomas must sit out the first five games of the 2011 season for selling awards, gifts and university apparel, as well as receiving improper benefits in 2009. These student-athletes must also repay money and benefits ranging from $1,000 to $2,500.
“While we are disappointed that our appeal request was denied, we respect the NCAA and accept its ruling,” said Gene Smith, Ohio State associate vice president and athletics director. “The players are sorry for the disappointment they have caused, will learn from their mistakes, and will strive to earn the confidence and support of everyone associated with the university through their future conduct.”
“The university remains steadfast in its commitment to continually improve the compliance education process,” said Dr. John Bruno, faculty athletics representative to the Big Ten and NCAA and Ohio State professor of psychology. “We believe that we do a good job in educating our more than 900 student-athletes, but we strive to do better to help them make good decisions.
There will be no further appeals from this point, and all five players will sit out the first five games of the 2011 season. And guess what?

Jim Tressel will be joining them. For all five games. From the Columbus Dispatch:
Ohio State and football coach Jim Tressel announced tonight that he would accept a five-game suspension for his role in the scandal that brought major NCAA violations to OSU's door.
The announcement came moments after the NCAA denied Ohio State's appeal to reduce the five-game suspensions of five football players for selling memorabilia and accepting discounts on tattoos, a violation of the NCAA extra benefits rule.
Tressel had been suspended for two games and fined $250,000 by the university for his own violations, which came to light last week. A source told The Dispatch that it was his decision to increase his suspension to five games; his fine will remain the same.
The five games that Tressel and his players will miss are against Akron, Toledo, Miami, Colorado and Michigan State. While I wouldn't worry much about Akron and Toledo if I were a Buckeye fan, those games against Miami and Michigan State could pose quite a problem to a team without it's starting quarterback, running back, wide receiver and head coach.
Posted on: March 11, 2011 12:24 pm
Edited on: March 11, 2011 1:05 pm
 

Luke Fickell may fill in for Jim Tressel

Posted by Tom Fornelli

While we don't know what the NCAA and the Big Ten are going to do with Ohio State and Jim Tressel, we do know that the school itself has suspended Tressel for the first two games of the 2011 season against Akron and Toledo. Which means that Ohio State needs to figure out who will take over the role of head coach during those two games.

While there isn't exactly a rush to make a decision, and there's some uncertainty as to who would make the decision, the consensus in Columbus is that it will likely be co-defensive coordinator Luke Fickell.
With Tressel suspended for a major violation of NCAA rules, the Buckeyes will need to designate an acting coach for games in September against Akron and Toledo. The buzz has been building that the nod will go to co-defensive coordinator Luke Fickell.
Tressel used to have an assistant head coach, but that person, Darrell Hazell, left in December to become head coach at Kent State. Since then, speculation has been that Tressel would recommend Fickell for the position this spring. Fickell coaches linebackers and works with fellow coordinator Jim Heacock on the defensive game plan.
As is only natural at this point, the Columbus Dispatch also did a quick background check on Fickell and found that he's had only four minor rules violations in 10 years at Ohio State, and none since 2005. Which, in case you aren't completely aware of how many violations actually occur, is pretty good. Minor violations happen all the time as the NCAA has a whole lot of rules. Some make sense, and some are ridiculous, and plenty of coaches violate the rules without realizing it at the time.

What Fickell really has going for him, though, is that of the four minor rules violations he committed, he didn't wait eight months to report them.
Posted on: March 10, 2011 11:32 am
Edited on: March 10, 2011 12:12 pm
 

Tressel in trouble? Bylaw history says yes

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

This morning's latest story on the Jim Tressel brouhaha from the Columbus Dispatch answers a few pressing questions, such as: who was the infamous lawyer whose name was redacted in the publicly-released e-mails that Tressel elected not to forward to Buckeye compliance officials? Christopher T. Cicero , a former Buckeye walk-on who had formerly represented the tattoo parlor owner (Edward Rife) whose memorabilia purchases from (and tattoo discounts for) current Ohio State players kickstarted the entire mess.

The story also quotes an attorney with an NCAA- familiar law firm who answers the "could Tressel get tagged with a much longer suspension?" question with a hearty affirmative ("In those periods when he had an opportunity and a duty to disclose, he failed to do so," he said. "I think the NCAA could also come back and add failure to monitor or failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance.") But the most chilling answer for Tressel supporters and Buckeye fans is what the Dispatch found in regards to past violators of NCAA bylaw 10.1, which prohibits coaches from withholding knowledge potential violations from the appropriate authorities (emphasis added):
Since 2006, the NCAA has sanctioned 27 schools for violating bylaw 10.1 ... Of the 12 coaches involved, only one kept his job . The others either resigned or were fired by their schools.

Former men's basketball coach Jim O'Brien , one of his assistant coaches and former football running back Maurice Clarett each faced unethical-conduct charges by the NCAA. It cost all of them their careers at Ohio State.

Of course, most of those coaches didn't have their university presidents joking at press conferences that the coach had the power to fire him, as Gordon Gee did Tuesday. But all joking aside, that so few coaches have crossed the 10.1 line and lived to tell about it (even at OSU) illustrates why Tressel's future in Columbus is no laughing matter.


Posted on: March 9, 2011 3:26 pm
Edited on: March 10, 2011 12:13 pm
 

Brady Hoke calls Tressel 'a good man'

Posted by Tom Fornelli

It's been nearly 48 hours since Yahoo's story about Jim Tressel covering up Ohio State violations first broke, and I have to say that I'm a bit disappointed with the reaction of Michigan fans everywhere. I've found that when you have no dog in the fight, watching two fan bases go at each other, particularly ones in a rivalry as fierce as that of Ohio State and Michigan, is some of the finest entertainment on this series of tubes we call the internet.

As I scour the internet today, though, there's a surprising lack of "LOL" coming from the Michigan side of the rivalry. I mean, considering all the fun Ohio State fans had with Rich Rodriguez, who only made his players practice more than they should, and was labeled a cheater, isn't this when Michigan fans should be unleashing hell upon Buckeyes everywhere?

Making matters worse, there's this quote from new Michigan head coach Brady Hoke.

"[Jim Tressel's] a good man, and I have a lot of respect for him, and they'll fight through that situation, and it will have no effects on the rivalry," Hoke told the Detroit Free Press. "I've known Jim Tressel a long time. He's a quality guy, a doggone good football coach, and I don't know that situation," Hoke said. "I know what we're focused on at Michigan."
More on Ohio State investigation

He's a good man and a doggone good football coach? That's the best you have, Michigan? I know that Jim Tressel publicly supported Rich Rodriguez during his NCAA investigation, but I think we now know why The Sweatervest did that. Those in glass houses shouldn't throw stones and what not.

I mean, this is supposed to be one of the greatest rivalries in college sports, if not sport itself. You guys are slipping. This love-fest is giving the rivalry more of an Iowa-Purdue "we needed a rival for both these teams, so we gave them each other" feel.

Step it up, Big Blue.
Posted on: March 9, 2011 2:15 pm
Edited on: March 9, 2011 5:02 pm
 

Georgia self reports 5 NCAA violations

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Take not of this, Jim TresselGeorgia found out about five violations the school committed stemming from its recruitment of defensive end Ray Drew and it reported them right away. Georgia didn't wait eight months in hopes that Drew could still play this season or anything!

The violations are all of a secondary nature, and are mostly a result of former Bulldogs Randall Godfrey and David Pollack -- a current analyst on ESPN -- attending Drew's commitment ceremony in January.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has learned that UGA had to report five NCAA rules violations to the SEC as a result of Drew’s Jan. 28 news conference at Thomas County Central High School. Drew, a five-star recruiting prospect, announced that day he was committing to the Bulldogs.  The 6-foot-5, 250-pound defensive end has since signed a national letter-of-intent with UGA.
Georgia Athletic Director Greg McGarity detailed the violations in a March 4 letter sent to SEC Commissioner Mike Slive. That letter was obtained by the AJC through an open records request.
“The University of Georgia (UGA) is reporting an institutional violation of NCAA Bylaws . . . within our program,” McGarity wrote in the letter. “The violation involves prospective student-athlete (PSA) Mr. Ray Drew and two former letter winners who appear to be representatives of the University’s athletics interests.”
Neither Godfrey or Pollack are named in the school's report, but there's plenty of evidence they were there from photos, and their presence is what caused Georgia to look into the case to begin with. The violations being of a secondary nature, it's not likely that the NCAA will impose any kind of punishment on the school, but odds are the SEC will. Though I wouldn't expect there to be loud repercussions.
Posted on: March 9, 2011 10:45 am
Edited on: March 9, 2011 10:47 am
 

Miami (Ohio) wins awkwardly-timed coaching award

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

It's not every day an entire team wins a coaching award, particularly for the coaching done by a coach who's no longer employed by that team (or any other). But yesterday was one of those days, as the Miami (Ohio) Redhawks were honored with the 2011 Lee Tressel Ohio College Coach of the Year Award, given by the Northeastern Ohio chapter of the National Football Foundation.

It's the kind of announcement that raises a whole host of questions. Fortunately, we're here to answer them:

They really gave a coaching award to an entire team? Yes, yes they did, and it makes a certain kind of sense when you consider that maybe no team in the FBS was better-coached last season than the Redhawks, who went from a miserable 1-11 in 2009 to a triumphant 10-4 in 2010. Add in Miami's MAC and GoDaddy.com Bowl championships, and there's no doubt the Redhawks' campaign represented the best in Ohio college coaching last year.

So why not honor the coach that made it happen? For the obvious reason, no doubt: that that coach was later arrested on ugly domestic violence charges and unceremoniously dumped from his new head gig at Pitt. Giving Mike Haywood a coaching award right about now would be almost as awkward as giving out some kind of coaching integrity award to Jim Tressel .

Speaking of ... I'm assuming Lee Tressel is related to Jim? Yes, it's Jim's father.

So the Northeastern Ohio Chapter of the National Football Foundation's timing could have been a little better, it seems like? It's certainly no fault of their own. But yes, given the events of yesterday evening, seeing the last name "Tressel" used synonymously with "great achievements in Ohio-based college coaching" feels a little ... awkward this morning. Doesn't it?

Of course, Haywood or no Haywood, "Tressel" on the plaque or no "Tressel" on the plaque, it's still a heck of an honor and one Miami richly deserved. Congratulations are in order. The Redhawks will simply hope that next time they receive it, it'll arrive with a bit simpler fanfare.



Posted on: March 8, 2011 7:54 pm
 

Jim Tressel fined $250k, suspended 2 games

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Shortly before a press conference on Tuesday night, Ohio State announced some self-imposed penalties on head coach Jim Tressel in regards to Tressel's knowing about six Ohio State players selling memorabilia eight months before the school reported the case to the NCAA. Tressel will be fined $250,000 and suspended for the first two games of the 2011 season against Akron and Toledo.

Along with those penalties, Tressel will also be required to attend a 2011 NCAA Regional Rules seminar before September, and must review the "Protocol of Reporting Violations and bylaw 10.1 with the entire Ohio State staff on a quarterly basis through 2012.

Of course, these are just the penalties that Ohio State is imposing on Tressel, though the school said it has no plans on firing him -- in fact, President Gordon Gee said he's more worried Tressel would fire him -- and Tressel said at no time did the thought of resigning cross his mind. Still, the NCAA and possibly the Big Ten are yet to weigh in on the case. 

It's entirely possible that if/when they do, Tressel's punishment will be much more severe than what Ohio State has imposed.

As for the press conference, Tressel, Gee and athletic director Gene Smith said quite a bit without saying much of anything. The trio also refused to answer a lot of questions claiming that since the case was ongoing, they couldn't comment. Which, in the realm of public opinion, won't do Ohio State any favors.
Posted on: March 7, 2011 7:48 pm
Edited on: March 7, 2011 8:05 pm
 

Report: Tressel knew of violations in April

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Remember last December when there was all the hullabaloo about five Ohio State Buckeyes selling memorabilia to Edward Rife, the owner of a tattoo parlor in Columbus? Remember how everyone was all up in arms about those five Buckeyes all being allowed to play against Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl, and not having to begin serving their suspensions until next season?

Man, those were some crazy times. Thank goodness we don't have to deal with any of that mess anymore. Oh, wait. Yes, it appears we do. According to a Yahoo! sports report, Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel knew what his players were up to in April of last year. A good eight months before Ohio State told the NCAA it knew of the situation.
Ohio State coach Jim Tressel was informed that several Buckeyes players were selling memorabilia more than eight months before the school claims it was made aware of the scheme, a two-month Yahoo! Sports investigation has found.
Tressel received information that players were selling items to Edward Rife – the owner of Fine Line Ink Tattoos in Columbus – as early as April 2010, according to a source. However, neither Ohio State nor the NCAA investigated the transactions or the players’ relationship with Rife until December 2010, when the school claims it was informed of the situation by the local United States Attorney’s office.
Ohio State director of compliance Doug Archie declined immediate comment when reached Monday by Yahoo! Sports. Tressel and athletic director Gene Smith were unavailable for comment. The NCAA declined comment.
If this is true, then both Tressel and Ohio State could be in a lot more trouble. Tressel could be charged with all sorts of violations, including unethical conduct and failure to monitor and promote an atmosphere of compliance. Just imagine the fun Michigan fans would have with that following the beating they took with the whole Rich Rodriguez investigation.

In fact, things could be so bad for Tressel if this is true, that failing to report what he knew right away could result in his termination. As is detailed in section 5.1 of his contract which says that failure to report "any violations" could lead to "termination by Ohio State for cause." There's no way to know if things will go that far.

Still, if this report turns out to be true, and the NCAA comes down hard on Ohio State -- though with the decisions the NCAA has made lately, who knows where they'll come down on this -- it's not entirely out of the question. It's going to be an interesting spring for Tressel and the Buckeyes, that's for sure.
 
 
 
 
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