Jim Tressel should resign or be fired.

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.

Comments

  1. Won’t hit you with vitriol, even though your post makes me sad.

    However, the image that you describe is one of Nixon waving goodbye as the chopper leaves the White House lawn. And I’m not ready for that just yet.

    Plus, I’m not sure he’d leave while the players that committed to staying are still around. But I wouldn’t be surprised to see a different face on the sidelines in 2011.

  2. When one loses his integrity, there isnt much more to lose. Agree, time to go.

  3. Great post and fully agree. Did anyone catch Herbie’s interview on ESPN?

  4. @MaliBuckeye- In my mind I actually pictured Tressel waving to the people as he boarded Marine Force 1…… then I cried some more.

    @Brian- I know right. The biggest problem is even if this was a one time brain fart he will never be believed ever again.

    @Mark- I didnt see Herbies interview if anyone has info on what he said do share please.

  5. Man, as much as it pains me to say, I can’t come up with argument. If these string of “mistakes” were stretched out a couple years, it might be easier to excuse. But because this happened so fast, in succession, with new revelations almost weekly, Tressel is now almost indefensible. I’m still not on the “He must GO” bandwagon, but I’m getting there.

    In any other job situation, this much lying and “breaking the rules” would get your fired in a heartbeat, no matter how long you were with the company.

    My biggest concern would be. If he steps down, what next? I think the most prudent course of action would be ride this season out with Tressel and have him resign after plans are in place. Whether those plans involve Luke Fickell or Urban Meyer, I don’t care. But things need to change.

  6. @ el Kaiser- I hope and hope and hope that OSU will go to the NCAA meeting and the NCAA will give them a wink across the table and a few months down the road they announce the 5 games is enough punishment and everything goes back to normal. I just dont think it will be like that.

  7. Cloud of Dust says

    My problem with the whole situation is that nearly everything is based on speculation. People have now decided that Tressel MUST have been contacting the FBI about the players because that’s what it looks like. But it COULD have been exactly as he said it was. The only thing that suggests otherwise is the timing. Tressel has coached hundreds of players at OSU and other schools; is it really so unlikely that one of them reached out to him for a connection at an unfortunately coincidental time?

    The media has injected so much baseless conjecture and irresponsible half-truth into this story that the reality of what happened is no longer even their primary goal, if it ever was.

    Please consider this question honestly: Have you ever made the wrong decision despite believing you were making the right decision? I know I have. While I certainly don’t have the information to explain all the details, I don’t have that much difficulty believing the basic story Tressel has presented, that he made some decisions that he believed at the time were in the best interest of young people who may have been involved in a dangerous situation and those decisions violated NCAA rules.

    The challenge for all of us (in this case and in general) is to resist filling in the blanks to stories that have so much missing information. The media (especially sensationalist outlets like ESPN) almost always fails that challenge. Let’s not.

  8. @Cloud of dust- While I tend to want to believe the way you do. The problems I have are the facts that we know are true.

    1.)In September Tressel lied when he signed the paper saying he had no knowledge of possible violations.

    2.)In December when the players were finally busted he pretended like he had no clue it was going on and was shocked and disappointed.

    3.)He led us to believe he was keeping the whole thing quiet out of respect for the lawyers request to do so. Even though he didnt request that for weeks after the initial email. On top of that he seemingly has told everyone except the people he should have. He has admitted to telling the mentor and also told the lawyer he told the player to stop doing it.

    4.)The actual facts we have are what makes people doubt Tressel on the circumstantial evidence.

    He has lost his benefit of the doubt privaledges for now. If he can produce some evidence to clear up some of these inconsistancies then he can earn it back but as of now it is impossible to keep believing he hasnt lied and didnt cover up this situation for all the wrong reasons in my opinion.

    But I am willing to change my mind in an instant if someone can give me a good argument to do so or if Tressel or OSU can give me some evidence to prove these things to be wrong.

  9. Tressel had several chances to do the right thing and come clean with the whole situation. He had a chance in April and then September and then December and in January when he got busted he had no choice but to come clean to OSU. In the mean time he had what 9 months to do the right thing but instead he lied and covered things up. At least that is the way I see the facts presented to us as of now.

  10. Cloud of Dust says

    @SYR – As far as the emails are concerned, the first one simply details some things Cicero “was told” about who may have sold memorabilia. From this, I would assume Tressel approached those players, and it’s not crazy that he contacted one of their mentors to see if there was any validity to it. At this point, should he have contacted compliance? Possibly, but is every email/phone call/etc. with an accusation forwarded to them? Or do coaches generally take some time to follow up on them to assess their potential validity? I don’t think any of us really know the answers to these questions.

    The second e-mail explicitly states confidentiality. At this point, is it fair to guess at Tressel’s mindset? I can see how there could be some confusion for him on where to go with this. He, as he has said, made a poor choice.

    The last email exchange was in June. According to that email Cicero only gave Tressel two names. If those players told him that they didn’t sell their stuff, could he have reasonably taken them at their word and in September signed the compliance document believing it to be accurate? His shock in December may not have been an act as there were more players involved and it would have led to the discovery that a couple of them lied to him.

    That’s the problem as I see it. We don’t know. Either story is viable, except for your assertion that he “told everyone except who he should have.” Even you only think he told two other people. Only one is factually provable.

    I understand your point of view and it is not necessarily wrong. But, as you admit, it is also not necessarily right. Are you really okay with Tressel being fired for assumed “facts” that are actually incorrect? Resignation is his choice, so that’s not really an issue.

    There are two ways of coming at this and neither is really wrong. Like you, one could abandon trust in Tressel because of actions that are certainly hard to fathom. Or one can, as I do, wait and see what final evidence comes to light and until then hope that the trust Tressel has earned so far is deserved.

    Again, I don’t fault anyone for choosing the other path. It is disappointing and disheartening for me that this is even a discussion we’re having. I can easily see how you and many others have arrived at this point. I just feel that there’s far too much unknown to make definitive statements about this case as it stands. Having half the facts is probably worse than having no facts at all.

  11. The one fact that cant be debated is back in December when an NCAA investigator asked him point blank if he had any knowledge of this he said no. That has turned out to be a lie now and is the biggest issue the NCAA has against him. That single lie trumps all the other possible scenarios you put forth.

    I want to believe you so much but my brain is now trumping my heart in this case.

    We know now that any possible infraction is and was suppose to be forwarded to the compliance office forth wit. I dont think OSU is paying all those guys in the compliance office to sit around and wait for Tressel to investigate every possible infraction 🙂

  12. CaliBuckeye says

    The problem for me is, Tressel is not Saban, He is not Les Miles, Nor is he Pete Carrol. He’s a guy who built his reputation on doing things the Right way. Whether or not you want to believe he lied or not at this point it’s irrelevant. We’re all going to back him because we’re Buckeyes. Recruits from Texas, Florida and other states could give two rips about the the Scarlet and Grey, and all of the sudden he’s just lost that Moral high ground. The only angle he has left to sell is, if your son does something wrong we will ensure he stands accountable for it……maybe.

    It SUCKS, as I have never held a coach in higher regard. I wasn’t alive for Woody, and while he holds a place in my heart, Tressel is the Buckeye legend for me. I am sure I feel about Tressel the way that my dad Felt about Woody after he punched that kid. What a shame to see all that tarnish heaped on our Bronze statue. Non Buckeyes don’t remember Woody’s National Championships, they remember him punching that kid. Non Buckeyes won’t remember 2003 and Us shocking the country. They’ll remember Tressel cheated. The big issue at hand is ESPN is directly in competition with the Big Ten Network. It will tear apart ANY Big Ten School if given the chance. While sweeeping SEC infractions under the rug. This Flaming tarpit is going to smolder from here to eternity until Tressels head is on a plate. Now I hope that Tressel sees that 100 foot wave coming, and steers the ship right into it to crest that bad boy and we end up holding rings at the end of next season. But I feel eventually, if he was leaving in 2014 anyway. Someone else is going to be on our sidelines next season. That. Sucks.

  13. FIRER HIM.!!!! HIRER URBAN MEIER.!!!

  14. Cloud of Dust says

    @SYR – No argument here about his lying to the NCAA. That does not change that everything up until then could have happened just as I suggested. I am not trying to convince anyone that Tressel did nothing wrong, because he absolutely did. But that does not mean he did *everything* wrong, or with completely selfish intent. It is one lie, not lies on top of lies, and a failure to notify Compliance immediately.

    Again, I completely understand how you got to your current point of view and in the end, you may be right about happened and I may even agree with you. Either way, I find it hard to believe that this is something that should get a coach fired on its on. There’s no pattern here, no hard evidence of some diabolical scheme to keep kids eligible (and if that’s what it was, he did a pretty bad job of it). I just need to know as much as they’ll tell us about this before I can get behind Tressel’s removal.

  15. CaliBuckeye says

    Coxy,
    Seriously? You want to sell our collective soul now that Tressel has had a chink in his armor? If Meyer is the plan then Keep Tressel. Or Hire Saban and complete the descent completely. I want no part of SEC ball at OSU

  16. @cloud of dust- I really do hope you are right. As for pattern it exists though and it started at YSU and continued to Troy and Clarett and now with these guys.

    My problem is I dont care that he cheated as I hope my sports teams are bending and breaking every rule they can to help them win games. I get angry every time someone mentions morals and sports in the same sentence. I dont look to my teams for my moral barometer.

    But once you do get caught you need to fall on the sword.

  17. Cloud of Dust says

    @SYR – Fair enough. I’m not sure if YSU, Clarett and Smith are really on the same level as this, but I get what you’re saying and it’s at least troubling.

    I agree with you about falling on the sword, I just disagree about where the exit wound should be.

  18. I will save the who we should hire for another post down the road. I think how hard OSU gets hit will determine who our next coach could be.

  19. Blue in San Diego says

    Full disclosure — I am a Michigan alum and fan.

    I am very sad to see Tressel’s tenure unravel. I was impressed that Jim Tressel “got it” from day one. He knew exactly what to say and do regarding The Game. I wish that Michigan had found someone similar earlier. He has led his teams with great dignity, and he has clearly instilled unwavering loyalty from many in the OSU fan base. However, like many of you, I find it difficult to believe that Tressel will ride this out.

    I know that some in the Michigan family may find some pleasure in your pain and embarrassment. We have certainly had our share over the past three years. These feelings are misplaced on both sides. Michigan-Ohio State is a precious rivalry, and I look forward to when the teams are not overshadowed by unnecessary distractions.

    Go Blue!

  20. The following is strictly my opinion and probably laden with inconsistency.

    I’m having trouble feeling strongly one way or another about all this. Tressel should receive the appropriate punishment for what he did and that’s all well and good. But whenever this whole ordeal ends I will see red if I see any of these pious commentators saying anything approaching “the system worked.”

    The system is a freaking joke. My saying that probably looks like sour grapes because I’m a Buckeye fan first and foremost, but I maintain it would be true even if Tressel really was a baby Jesus clone in little golden diapers watching Baby Einstein DVDs like a lot of us thought he was.

    Consider the following: (roughly) 100,000 seats x (roughly) $60/seat is $6 million dollars per home game in ticket sales alone, never mind concessions, parking, etc. How much of that went to the people who all those fans paid to watch play? I’ve got a #2 Buckeye jersey that I paid $60 for. I wonder how much Pryor (or Cris Carter, or Mike Doss, or whoever else wore #2 for that matter) got from that purchase, and the purchase of countless other jerseys over the last couple years. But if a player gets anything for his service to the university beyond his scholarship he’s persona non grata and ESPN, SI, et al puff up their chests and start spouting platitudes about the horrendous nature of violations against “amateurism” – as though the NCAA were some pristine body in the whole process. It’s exactly as ridiculous as the argument that FBS football shouldn’t get a playoff because of academics.

    I know the issue at hand is Tressel and dishonesty, but he wouldn’t have been in a position like he was one way or another without the system being so jacked up in the first place.

    College Football is a business just like anything else, and I choose to care about this particular event in this particular business about as much as I care when Mark Cuban rips NBA referees or Tony LaRussa whines about… well, anything.

  21. (continued)

    Like the Joker said, if you’re good at something, never do it for free, but that’s virtually what the NCAA (and the NFL by way of the three-year rule) is telling talented young football players to do.

  22. Bacon, players getting “properly” compensated is a long, long standing issue. And at the end of the day it boils down to the fact that the sports actually exist for the students benefit, not the other way around. One or two sports exist for the benefit of the school, but most athletic departments run in the red, so I can pretty much garuantee a majority of universities would cut all sports programs if they could justify it to the students and alumni.

    At the end of the day though, the issue here is that even if he made an initial bad decision, he severely compounded his mistake. A tip like he received absolutely should have gone through the compliance department. That is why it exists. He has a track record with many high profile players under his watch at this point, and the NCAA will want a pound of flesh. For OSU’s sake I hope he does the right thing and resigns. If he sticks around and is hit with show-cause, OSU will also probably be hit with LOIC and suffer scholorship losses and a bowl ban. If he has a shred of dignity left, or an ounce of care towards Ohio State, he will walk away and not risk the school facing harsher penalties.

  23. I think throwing college football and basketball (especially at the DI Level) in with fencing and field hockey is comparing apples and oranges. A field hockey player should feel lucky as hell to have a scholarship just to play field hockey. But it’s a little hard to place blame on a 19 or 20 year old who takes the five minutes required to do the math like I did above.

    Re: Tressel – they always say the cover up is worse than the initial crime, unless the crime is murdering a hooker or something. Then the crime is worse I think. There doesn’t seem to be much more that needs to be said there. I’m sick of having random people in my classes 1300 miles away from Columbus asking me what I think of the Tressel business.

  24. @Bacon where as I do disagree with the players should be paid and what not. I dont think Tressel should be fired because some guys sold some crap under his watch. I do however find the way he has handled this whole thing incredibly horrible. I expect my teams coaches to lie and cheat and steal and do whatever it takes to win games at any cost. However when they do these things and I STRONGLY believe every coach does it at every level they have to be smarter about it. Tressel did a horrible job of covering his tracks and subsequently lied several times all the while knowing there was a paper trail to prove these lies. That is what bothers me personally the most that he could be so stupid in his decisions. So frustrating to me.

  25. “My problem is I dont care that he cheated as I hope my sports teams are bending and breaking every rule they can to help them win games. I get angry every time someone mentions morals and sports in the same sentence. I dont look to my teams for my moral barometer. ”

    Is this serious? You don’t care if your team breaks the rules so long is helps them win? That, to me, is a culture issue with Buckeyes. You don’t need to use a sports team as a moral barometer, but you can at least hold them to the same moral level you would anyone else, which at least in my book includes not cheating someone else for personal gain.

  26. @Deep Under Cover- When teams players and coaches start telling the referees that they held someone on a play that wasnt called. Or that they did drop a pass the ref said he caught. Or when poker players dont bluff (see Lie) or when little league coaches dont use players who are too old. Or when high school teachers dont pass people so they can play even though they cant read. Or when colleges dont make coarses for athletes just so they can stay eligble. Or when NFL teams dont secretly video tape other teams practices. Or when baseball teams dont steal signs. Or when players dont use steroids or when you dont take that extra move in monopoly so you dont land on my boardwalk and I win the game…… then I will say cheating is bad.

    Cheating, lying, and stealing happens at every level of sports from guys hanging out playing horse to the professional level. The moment anyone says this kind of cheating is ok but this kind isnt is when hypocrisy happens. People actually believe the saying “if you arent cheating, you arent trying to win”.

    You may want to say it is the culture issue with the Buckeyes but you know it is just a culture issue with humanity and is happening at every level and every institution right now as we type this someone somewhere is cheating or breaking a rule.

    When the SEC stops over signing players or grey shirting perfectly healthy people then I will know cheating is over and I will hold my sports teams to the same moral standard as every other profession and person. Until then I dont expect my teams to follow rules put into place that arent enforced across the board and I hope they are doing just as good of a job at cheating and breaking rules as every other team is.

  27. @SYR
    I really don’t think you can compare covering up NCAA violations then continuing to lie about it the same as jockeying for a call in a game. Bluffing in poker? That is part of the game! There is no rule against bluffing, and there is no rule against trying to get a call to go your way in football (uh, to a limit… No bribing, of course 😉 )

    Your logic here seems to be that since everyone is apparently cheating, that makes it ok for your team to do it, and I totally disagree with that logic. Even if my team was awful, which my team has been as of late, I could at least take some solice in the fact that they are playing by the rules (and the NCAA all but validated that belief)… And more solice in that my star player runs on dilithium and exhausts excess energy from his trillion watt smile.

    Yes, cheating happens. People will always exploit opportunities, fair or not, to get an advantage, and what happens in the SEC should be punished. But does that make it ok to cheat? What’s more, does that make it ok to HOPE they are cheating?

    I can tell you I know of no one else that hopes their team is full of cheaters. That is why I believe it is a Buckeye culture issue.

  28. Late to the party, here, but wanted to chime in.

    There is nothing – NOTHING – new about the NCAA notice from a few days ago. Maybe some of the details are new to us, sure, but not new to OSU or the NCAA.

    What the NCAA reported was exactly what OSU self-reported and has known for months. It’s essentially OSU’s report, copy and pasted into NCAA format.

    And that says something – OSU never had any intention of firing JT, and he never had any intention of resigning, even though all parties knew all these (and no doubt more) details. So it’s not going to happen. Period. Going forward without sweatevest was never part of the plan, and we have no indication that the plan has changed at all.

    The only exception that I can think of is if the big donors were aghast enough to hold back $$, and changed public perception enough to make Smith/Gee reconsider their overall route. But that’s exceedingly unlikely, precisely because Tressel is known for running a spitshine program and is known and respected across the collegiate landscape as a man of integrity. Ever single coach, AD, and compliance officer in the country knows that what Tressel did is exactly what ANY coach in CFB would have done.

    He’s lost some respect, for sure, but the man has friends, colleagues, and superiors who, while no doubt disappointed, will give him the benefit of the doubt precisely because this is an aberrant mark on his reputation.

    ESPN and other sports outlets are doing their best to get him fired or pressured to resign, only because that is within their best interests.

    But the folks who have the power to actually affect the decision are few: Gee, Smith, the bigger OSU donors, a few in the NCAA, and of course Tressel himself.

    And none of that small handful of powerful people is that upset with the Coach.

    ABOVE ALL: Don’t forget the big picture here: this all happened because a couple of players sold their own private property.

    Was what they did a violation? Sure, but NOBODY who thinks rationally actually believes this is a big deal. The NCAA has to act, otherwise it proves itself as useless, but we all know they despise having to waste their time pursuing technicalities like this. It’s a dumb rule and everyone knows it.

    Just like the cop who writes you a speeding ticket for going 56 in a 55. Were you a violater? Yes. Will the judge enforce the penalty? Maybe. Will he lump you in with the reckless drivers who get arrested for going 200mph while drunk in a school zone? Absolutely not. Even if ESPN is trying to paint you that way, all the people that matter and can actually affect the situation know the truth.

  29. @Deep Under Cover- What team are you a fan of may I ask please?

  30. Cloud of Dust says

    A few things that need to be said here. First of all, Ohio State is NOT going to get hit with LOIC or Failure to Monitor. If they were, those issues would have been raised in the NOA. It appears now that whatever is going to happen is going to happen to Tressel. I’d be shocked with his relatively pristine track record (he did nothing wrong in the Clarett and Smith cases, at least by official, relevant measures) that he would get show-caused over this. Show-cause is a severe penalty that has been used sparingly in football (there are maybe 2, and I’m not sure if either was a head coach). It’s slightly more common in basketball, where the offenses always seem to be more significant.

    I’m also a bit taken aback by SYR’s call for more cheating. I think I get the point you’re trying to make, but it doesn’t really make logical sense to me. I expect coaches, players, etc. to follow the rules and if they don’t, I hope they are punished. But it would be nice if this process could play out the way it would for any of us, with a reasonable amount of privacy and devoid of poisonous media speculation and grandstanding.

    When the NCAA and OSU make their final decisions, I will accept them just as I do for every other school that runs afoul. If Tressel is fired, I will accept it and remain grateful that I was alive to witness what is probably the most impressive coaching run in school history. I will stump for guys like Dantonio and Fickell over “name” hires like Meyer or Stoops. Maybe we’ll find ourselves another dark horse gem and keep on rolling.

  31. Huh, thought it was obvious from my hints…

  32. My point is simple really to me their is no place for moral issues in sports. Sports are not a place I go to for such things. I attend my church and I have my family for my moral barometer. I play golf and I assure you I have never hit a true birdie in my lifetime but I bet I have wrote down at least 20 of them. Sure I am making cheating a simplistic event because I truly believe it is. Everyday people are trying to find ways to circumvent rules. Then the NCAA makes up new rules to cover that. Just recently coaches had to be told Skype counts just like a phone call in recruiting rules. REALLY they had to be told that? You show me a coach or a program or a player who isnt cheating and I will just say he hasnt been caught yet.

  33. @Deep- My guess from your hints was scUM at first but I know they have been busted within the last year for cheating so you cant possibly be a fan of a team who is a proven cheater.

    My second guess was Auburn but I laughed that off quickly 🙂

  34. @SYR
    I totally see your point, and I too think that in even the cleanest programs there are rules being broken (although I do not believe intentionally in all cases). HOWEVA, I do still HOPE coaches would strive to abide by all rules as best they can, both to avoid problems, but also to help in the development of the young men who look up to them. You may not look to sports for a moral compass, but what about all of the athletes under these coaches who are mentored by them? You yourself said that if you caught your kids in a lie you would punish them. Tressel is like a father to these kdis playing for him… So, do you want your coach (father) to show his players (sons) that it is ok to cheat so long as you don’t get caught?

  35. @Deep- I guess I forgot to add I hate cheating and wish it didnt happen. I too dont think much of it is intentional. I do however refuse to put my blinders on and deny it happens and pretend like my coaches of my teams are above it all and they are the only morrally correct people in the coaching profession. I wish it wasnt the case. I wish daily that sports were morrally above reproach and it was an even playing field at all levels. I just have never seen that to be true yet.

  36. I still hope and pray daily Tressel wont get fired or resign. I just dont see how it can be considering all we know as true so far. If he survives this whole thing great I will be ecstatic. If he doesnt I will be very sad. I just dont understand at this point how he has kept his job unless OSU knows something we dont know which is my last string of hope left.

  37. @SYR
    I agree and certainly don’t put on my blinders either. I do believe that there is a big differences between breaking rules unintentionally, and cheating. To me its like committing a foul in football… Its part of the game; you get punished for it, but no one would think you were necessarily a cheater.

    You actually did correctly guess my school on your first try. When the allegations against UM came out, I obviously hoped first that they weren’t true, and then hoped that they weren’t as they seemed. Regardless of what I thought, I expected retribution toward the program that fit the offense, and I think that was the outcome. Michigan broke rules, but I think it was more on the grounds of not fully understanding them (an easy out, I know, but I do think that was the case). Had it been the case that the NCAA found that RichRod had “failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance”, which in my mind says you are cheating (or know cheating is occurring) and you are doing nothing about it, I would have been calling for his head.

    And please, don’t turn this into a personal thing about RichRod. Some people hate him, some people like him, some people don’t care. I get it 😉

  38. And to add to my point, had Tressel reported the tatgate stuff as soon as he knew it, commendable. Had he come clean when the story broke, ok a little late but not that bad of an offense in my mind (because maybe he really didn’t know what to do). Lying again is the most damning from my perspective (and I think there we certainly agree).

  39. @Deep- I dont hate RichRod he is my favorite scUM coach ever :). On a side note I do believe it was intentional. He broke the same rules at 2 different schools with 2 different compliance offices. He also clearly knew how much practice time is allowed and not allowed. On top of that these schools pay lots of people to make sure they are compliant so if they do break a rule it is genarally on purpose. That is neither here nor there though. I am ok with whatever punishment comes down. Tressel clearly has broken major rules in this case. I hope and hope he will survive this whole situation and repairs his image while he coaches at OSU. I just dont see how it is possible with the info we have been given so far.

  40. @Deep Under Cover- If you decide to come back and read this ….. I saw what you said on MgoBlog :). Awesome stuff the way you went there and bragged about calling me out hahahaha.

  41. Cloud of Dust says

    @SYR – Let me see if I’ve got this: You don’t want coaches to cheat, but you don’t care if they do, as long as they ‘fess up when they get busted. Does that sound right? Just trying to get a handle on what you’re saying.

    I think it’s interesting that you note that you can’t understand how Tressel hasn’t been fired yet, based on what we know now, and even mention that maybe it’s because there are things we don’t know. You keep referring to definite facts that we know, and there are some, but the complete context is always important to understand any situation. It’s why we have laws regarding self-defense. I’m not trying to draw a parallel with that (at least not directly), just saying that if you don’t know the whole story, you don’t really know any of it.

  42. @Cloud- It is a fight between my heart and my brain. My heart wants Tressel to be our coach forever. My brain tells me from what I know he shouldnt be our coach as of right now.

    My views on cheating are seperate from whether or not I think Tressel should be fired. I loathe the fact that humanity has allowed cheating lying and stealing to be common place in society. I cant stand that it is the norm and not the exception. Having said that I also dont want my team to be at a disadvantage because they are the only ones who dont cheat. I know what I am saying is hard to understand via the written word and it is confusing I am sure. For that I am sorry. But yes I wish there was no place in this world for cheating but since there is and if you are going to do it you better be dang good at it so you dont get caught.

    As for even though I dont know the whole story (mostly because OSU and Tressel have not given me enough of their side that actually is possible) I do know enough to forge my opinion on whether or not Tressel should not be our coach.

    Bottom line there are a few provable cases where Tressel blatantly lied and covered up the truth. No one has given me a defense that is plausible for doing that. He signed the letter and he lied implicitly to the investigator in December. He covered up the whole thing from Gee and Smith. If you did something like this at your job you would be fired immeadiately. He is given more leniancy because he is such a great coach and proven winner. That doesnt change the facts that we have though at all. If this was any other coach he would be gone already. That is my opinion of coarse and I am praying someone can convince me I am wrong.

    Please I am begging you guys convince me I am wrong. I want to be wrong so badly it hurts me.

  43. Getting words from my mind to the keyboard seems to be difficult today for me lol

  44. Oh, hey: Can we all stop using the word “cheating?”

    Who honestly can imply that Tressel and/or OSU “cheated” in this situation and defend it rationally?

    Cheating: “To defeat someone through trickery or deceit.” Who exactly did OSU defeat through trickery or deceit? (And if you try and say “everyone they beat last year,” you fail at logic.)

    MotSaG Cheating Guide:

    Bribing officials to ensure wins = cheating.

    Bribing recruits to ensure they come to your school = cheating.

    Stealing your opponents’ playbook = cheating.

    Faking an injury to slow/stop the clock or falsely incriminate an opponent = cheating.

    Intentionally injuring another player to ensure one’s victory = cheating.

    Etc., etc. But players selling their own property != cheating.

  45. Cloud of Dust says

    @sM – Someone is going to say that not turning in star players for violating NCAA rules, thereby affording them the opportunity to play in games that they possibly would have been ineligible for otherwise is cheating. And they will have a point. Still, that does not encompass all games last year, and considering the likely suspensions would probably mean 0-2 games (and I lean to the low side of that) would have been realistically affected by the absence of those players.

    It’s not the act of selling the things that makes it cheating; it’s the failure to report a violation that most likely would have resulted in some kind of suspension. That said, it’s not the sort of thing I generally think of when I think of “cheating” so your point is understood. But the argument could be made and it’s not really an outlandish one.

  46. @sportsmonkey- In this case using ineligible players is the act of cheating. The players didnt cheat but once Tressel didnt report the players that set him up for using ineligible players.

    @CoD AJ Greene of Georgia sold a game jersey for 1000 bucks and served a 4 game suspension last season. So I am guessing if Tressel reported the players in April they would have missed the same 4 games as AJ did.

  47. Cloud of Dust says

    @SYR – I was guessing four games too. Those games were Marshall, Miami, Ohio and Eastern Michigan. Do we lose any of those games without the players that would have been suspended? Maybe Miami, but considering how well the defense played and how poorly Harris played, maybe not.

    If we wouldn’t have lost the games without the players, then having them would not really be a competitive advantage, in the sense of winning vs. losing. Yes, the scores may have been closer, but those are most likely 4 wins no matter what.

  48. @CoD I agree we probably would have won all 4 of those games. Which is even more disheartening looking back on it from my chair and laptop if Tressel had just reported it from the beginning this would all have been over with by now and the results of last season probably wouldnt be any different.

  49. @CoD – good points. I understand that some folks see any rule violations as “cheating,” no matter how large or small. But my point was that the one-size-fits-all label of “cheater” seems egregious here. At the very least, it trivializes those shameful times when authentic, ruthless, serial attempts to defeat through deceit occur.

  50. Cloud of Dust says

    @SYR – That’s a good point. Would be nice if this was all over with nothing different except a few more Pryor haters and no more than one additional loss.

    @sM – I agree that people misuse the “cheating” label and I still don’t really think that’s what this was. In fact, it ties in the above point about the first 4 games. Tressel knew we had a virtual cakewalk when he made his decision, and it’s likely that he had a reasonable idea of what the punishment would be. There’s no way I can believe he did this for the sole purpose of making sure we beat Miami.

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