Tag:Ohio State NCAA Violations
Posted on: May 30, 2011 4:33 pm

VIDEO: Columbus reactions to Tressel resignation

Posted by Adam Jacobi

CBSSports.com was in Columbus today, getting the general consensus from Ohio State students and fans about Jim Tressel's resignation today. 

Obviously, loyalty is important in sports fandom, and OSU is no exception. But one must wonder whether the people praising Tressel's selflessness and doing what's best for the school realize he's only in that position because of instances of greater selfishness and indifference to what's best for the school. This was his mess that he created, then refused to address, after all. But these folks probably don't need to get their noses rubbed in it right now, so their attempts to put a positive spin on the situation can be excused with ease.

Similarly, their desire to see Urban Meyer on the sidelines soon is admirably optimistic, but if Meyer couldn't maintain his health while coaching at Florida, there's no way he would be able to handle Ohio State right now. That's not a knock on his character, but like Florida, Ohio State is a very high-stress job, and his body doesn't handle stress very well. We've seen what coaching does to him. It's not good. But Bob Stoops, though? There's an intriguing name. If there's any best analogue for a powerhouse like OSU replacing a coach amid NCAA sanctions, though, it's USC, so Columbus' expectations might need to get tempered just a wee bit.

Posted on: May 30, 2011 3:54 pm

Jim Tressel resigns; was his tenure 'worth it'?

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Any doubt as to whether Ohio State would continue to stand behind its man Jim Tressel through the NCAA investigation was answered today when Tressel announced his immediate resignation from the program. Sure, that's not the same as being fired, but as the Columbus Dispatch reports, that resignation was "encouraged" by Ohio State. The Associate Press' account of the meeting doesn't seem to stray very far from that notion, either.

That departure might be the only thing that saves Ohio State from the worst the NCAA can throw at the Buckeyes. The NCAA's notice of allegations mentions misdeeds by exactly one Ohio State staff member: Tressel. There's also the players' sales of memorabilia and other impermissible benefits received, but that's an eligibility issue, and one that Tressel single-handedly worsened by flagrantly failing to comply with NCAA regulations. If Tressel is removed from the equation, how much punishment does the rest of the OSU athletic department deserve? The way the NCAA's allegations are written, it doesn't appear to be a whole lot.

 So assuming the NCAA doesn't break a bat across the figurative back of the Ohio State football program, considering the entirety of Tressel's tenure in Columbus, will his legacy be overall positive or negative? In other words, would OSU -- or any other school -- do it all over again?

Here are the positives: A 106-22 (66-14) record in one of the most high-profile football conferences in the nation, seven conference championships (either shared or outright), eight BCS bowl game appearances, three BCS National Championship appearances, and one BCS National Championship. Oh, and a 9-1 record against Michigan, a domination that doomed UM coach Lloyd Carr just as much as Tressel's predecessor John Cooper was done in by his ineffectual rivalry record. Few coaches in college history can match a 10-year spree like that. CBSSports.com's Brett McMurphy wondered aloud whether Tressel was only good because he cheated; I'm not so sure that causation exists.

The negatives are less numerous, of course, but they're bad. Ohio State's two brightest stars in the Tressel era, Maurice Clarett and Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith, were both involved in allegations of preferential treatment (Clarett's troubles got much worse, of course, but that's not exactly something to tie back to Tressel). There's a potential situation with Ohio State players and local car dealerships, although there's no allegation (official or otherwise) of any wrongdoing just yet. And then, of course, this, the scandal that just cost Tressel his job. The hand grenade that Tressel had to jump on after he threw it at his players. Lying to the school and to the NCAA about his players' eligibility is, short of major criminal activity or physically endangering his players, just about the worst thing Tressel could have done as a coach. 

The highest of highs. The lowest of lows. The situation's not quite over yet, but what amount of punishment would make Tressel's ten-year tenure not worth it to Ohio State? After all, the entire point of college football is to play for national championships and to beat the living daylights out of your rivals, and Jim Tressel did that in spades. Ohio State's on a streak of seven straight BCS bowl game appearances. Seven. Even if the NCAA hands down a postseason ban of a couple years--and there's not a whole lot about this situation right now that appears to warrant such a ban--is that really enough to put a cloud of shame over the Tressel Era forever? Would no college football fan endure two years' probation for 106-22 in the 10 years prior?

It's not just an idle thought exercise, either. It took Ohio State over five months and the threat of new forthcoming allegations to finally force Tressel out, after all. So that means in OSU's eyes, the stuff that was on that letter of allegations most certainly did not outweigh Tressel's positives. That troubles Gregg Doyel, and it troubles me too. Here's why: if whatever the NCAA throws at Ohio State isn't enough to ruin Jim Tressel's career in the eyes of fans or athletic departments, well, what's to stop this all from happening again and again? 

Posted on: May 30, 2011 1:06 pm

VIDEO: OSU AD Gene Smith's statement on Tressel

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Here's the video statement just released by Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith in the aftermath of Jim Tressel's resignation from the football program:

His three-minute statement largely focuses on the procedure of the resignation and how the administrators went about addressing the team and staff, and there's nothing particularly surprising about it; it was handled the way you'd want an athletic department to handle a sudden resignation.

What's telling, though, is Gene Smith's first mention of the NCAA investigation during the statement, starting at the 2:20 mark (emphasis ours): "As you all know, we are under NCAA investigation. We will not discuss any of the matters around that case, any further accusations that may emerge, we will do what we always do: we respond to them, we will collaborate with the NCAA, and try and find the truth." That acknowledgment that there may be "more" seems to validate Teddy Greenstein's report that the timing of Tressel's resignation is tied directly to a Sports Illustrated article on Ohio State that will be released later today.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com