Report: Tressel steps down as Ohio State football coach

NCAA investigation, continuing allegations plague program

May 30, 2011|By Baltimore Sun staff

Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel has resigned, The Columbus Dispatch is reporting this morning.

It's been less than three months since President E. Gordon Gee and Athletic Director Gene Smith said they fully supported Tressel. But new relevations -- seemingly daily, mounting pressure and a pending NCAA disciplinary hearing made it impossible for the university to continue its support of Tressel and the football program, sources told The Dispatch.

The university announced the resignation after the newspaper's report this morning. Tressel says in a statement that he met with university officials and agreed that it is in Ohio State's best interest that he resign.

"In consultation with the senior leadership of the Board of Trustees, I have been actively reviewing matters attendant to our football program, and I have accepted Coach Tressel's resignation," Gee said in a statement released by the school. "The University's enduring public purposes and its tradition of excellence continue to guide our actions."

Assistant coach Luke Fickell, who was going to coach the first five games of the 2011 season while Tressel served a suspension, will serve as interim coach of the Buckeyes the entire season, the newspaper reported.

The Dispatch obtained a memo Gee sent to OSU trustees this morning: "I write to let you know that later this morning we will be announcing the resignation of Jim Tressel as head coach of the University's football program. As you all know, I appointed a special committee to analyze and provide advice to me regarding issues attendant to our football program. In consultation with the senior leadership of the University and the senior leadership of the Board, I have been actively reviewing the matter and have accepted Coach Tressel's resignation.

"My public statement will include our common understanding that throughout all we do, we are One University with one set of standards and one overarching mission. The University's enduring public purposes and its tradition of excellence continue to guide our actions," Gee wrote.

Six Ohio State players were suspended in December by the NCAA for selling or trading uniforms and other memorabilia to a Columbus tattoo-parlor owner. Since then, more allegations have come out, with former and current athletes questioning the football program, including the types of cars football players are driving.

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