Before everyone goes completely nuts on me because of the title of this particular post please wait until I finish. I love Coach Tressel. I KNOW he is the best coach I will ever see at OSU and he is an even better man. I honestly believe he just made a mistake and one that he didn’t do to win more games. I don’t know what he was thinking when he didn’t forward the emails to the correct people. I won’t pretend to understand how hard it must be to do what he does for a living. I will say this though: I am a father of 2 children and I stress to them every chance I get that if they do something wrong own up to it and admit what they did. Never try to cover it up with a lie and then compound it with more lies. There is nothing that makes me more angry then when I know someone is telling me a blatant lie.
So now as more and more comes out about what actually has happened over the last year it is clear to even the biggest supporter of Coach Tressel that he has lied over and over and over. Even if some of the accusations are circumstantial at best i.e. the FBI special agent he called a few days after hearing the FBI had info on OSU players hardware. Any person with 2 ounces of common sense will put together that Tressel wasn’t calling to get a friend a job. Even if you believe Tressel was acting in the players best interest or even if you believe he was just keeping the lawyers emails confidential. It is clearer now he was doing none of that. He was telling everyone except the people he should have been telling. If he had done so the players would have missed maybe 4 games and had a party with AJ Greene and Marcel Darius and all of the UNC Tarheels team during the pre-season. Instead he made the decision to not do his job. He then made the decision to lie about it in September when he signed the no compliance issues paper. Then he made us all feel he was shocked and disappointed in his players decisions to sell the gear when it became public. Then he led us to believe he was doing the moral thing by making the 5 guys promise to come back next year in order to play in the Sugar Bowl. All the while he tucked his own morals to bed and forgot to wake them up for nearly a year. At the news conference and subsequent pressers since he had me convinced he was who I thought he was: an upstanding honest guy who would do anything for his players and his school. To the point where I actually believed he might be taking one for the team and protecting his bosses and the University.
Now comes today’s news that the NCAA is looking to hammer Tressel and maybe not so much OSU as a whole. Will OSU suffer because of what he did? Of course. Will OSU suffer because of the 5 guys who broke the rules? Of course they will. It would have been so much easier if they would have gone Pro and Tressel would have resigned after the Sugar Bowl. Instead though they stuck around to go through the rough times together with the school and team they love. I commend them for doing this. It is refreshing to know Tressel is no Pete Carroll.
Having said that though there is nothing left for Tressel to do at OSU. He has won everything he possibly could except for the B1G COY award which angers me to no end :). He has his legacy that will always be there for OSU fans and eventually for CFB fans over time. I don’t think anyone thinks Tressel would have coached past 2014 when his contract ends as he has all but stated that was his last season he wanted to coach. So now the NCAA wants Tressel’s head on a platter for every other coach in the NCAA to see. They want to make an example out of him even though they know it wont stop this stuff from happening at every school like it currently is. Jim Tressel is not bigger than OSU and he won’t be able to save face now that the evidence keeps piling up pointing to the multitude of lies on top of lies.
So I say now is the time for him to retire and try and save his reputation and save OSU from harsher penalties then are deserved in this case just so the NCAA can hold up his head as an example to all other coaches. If it were my children who made up this many lies and covered up what they knowingly did wrong I would punish them more harshly then if they just came clean when they got caught to begin with.
This is a sad day for me as I can no longer justify Jim Tressel being the coach of OSU. I want to crawl into my bed and cry myself to sleep tonight as I have done the unthinkable: called for my football hero to step away from the game for the betterment of everyone.
I hope some of you can convince me I am wrong. I just need a really good valid point of view from someone to talk me off this ledge. I have been trying to come up with a reason why he shouldn’t be fired or resign and can’t come up with any that doesn’t sound biased and stupid.
Now you may respond to my thread with the vitriol that normally accompanies my posts.