Monday, May 30, 2011

Vest In Peace: Jim Tressel

Is anyone truly shocked by the news that Jim Tressel resigned as coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes on Monday morning? I mean, this is something that has had the writing on the fall for a fairly long time now. It wasn't a matter of if Jim would be fired/resigned/run out of town with his head on a pitchfork, but rather when it would happen. The past few months have been a nightmare for Tressel and really cast a giant cloud over his decade long reign over the football program at OSU. Back in December of 2010 is when the dominos began to fall. Weeks before the schools Sugar Bowl matchup with Arkansas, it was revealed that a number of OSU players including quarterback Terrelle Pryor, traded away personal autographs in exchange for free tattoos at a local tattoo parlor in Columbus. Somehow in their infinite wisdom and partisanship, the NCAA chose not to suspend the players for the bowl game but instead to suspend them for five games apiece for the 2011-12 season. As time wore on, information continued to be leaked that showed Tressel knew about the violations earlier but had chosen not to report them to the NCAA. This set off a chain of events that sparked a tumultuous six months which were capped with a former OSU wide receiver coming out a little over a week ago saying he had sold Big Ten championship rings for cash while still in school and a number of reports from a local car dealership about improper deals and benefits being arranged for Ohio State players. Despite all of this, Tressel received a vote of confidence from OSU athletic director Gene Smith no more than two weeks ago. A whole lot of good that seems to have done. It will be a long, long time before THE Ohio State University is able to dig themselves completely out of this mess. More NCAA sanctions and violations are sure to be forthcoming and it will likely get a lot worse before it starts to get any better in Columbus. Vest in peace, Jim.

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