What they're saying about Ohio State and Jim Tressel

May 31, 2011|By Baltimore Sun staff

What others are saying about Jim Tressel and the Ohio State scandal:

" ... there will be an enduring and justifiable taint to Tressel. This is a guy who has always talked skillfully about doing all the right things, but hasn't walked it very well. He won big and was dogged by NCAA violations at Youngstown State in the 1990s. Now the same is true at Ohio State. And now Tressel has been forced out of his dream job, one of the top five in America. If he's honest with himself, Tressel must wonder today how much easier life would have been if he'd just done the right thing when he got that first email warning him that his players were breaking the rules. But this has been a lie-and-deny operation from the beginning, and now it ends with Jim Tressel's meticulously polished reputation in tatters."

-- Pat Forde, espn.com

"When Tressel didn't live up to his responsibilities, it was one of the most significant mistakes in recent memory. This wasn't a shadowy booster or a rogue agent. This wasn't a circumstantial case against an assistant coach. This was the head man, caught with an electronic paper trail of email. In college administrative circles there was little doubt he'd have to go. The good deeds, goodwill and great victories Tressel had brought to Columbus wouldn't stand a chance against the NCAA's committee on infractions."

-- Dan Wetzel, Yahoo! Sports

"If the three highest profile players of a big-time coach's career all got dinged by the NCAA, you would think that coach might be dirty. So why, after Maurice Clarett, Troy Smith and Terrelle Pryor all faced NCAA sanctions, did people still think Ohio State coach Jim Tressel was squeaky clean? Why, after Tressel admitted in March that he played ineligible players and lied to the NCAA about it, did people still rush to his defense, claiming him an otherwise perfect coach who made one little mistake?"

-- Andy Staples, Sports Illustrated

"What's known in the Tressel case is that he misled the university and the N.C.A.A. about his knowledge of his players receiving improper gifts, essentially allowing star players who should have been ineligible for at least a portion of last season to take the field. And what's known about Ohio State is that the university seemingly did everything possible to save its coach, first suspending him for only two games and then slowly nudging him down the plank as the allegations and negative publicity loomed larger. The Buckeyes' athletic department and university administrators acted only when the laugh track for their penalties became too loud. Who can forget Gee, when asked if he would consider firing Tressel, saying, "I hope he doesn't fire me"? "

-- Pete Thamel, New York Times

"Jim Tressel, though, misplaced a logarithm somewhere, and now, on a quiet news day when nobody is paying attention, he is slinking off to begin the process of making a new Jim Tressel somewhere else. Maybe a cardigan will help."

-- Ray Ratto, cbssports.com

"So, no -- what happened Monday wasn't enough to save Ohio State from the wrath of the NCAA. Nor should it be. Jim Tressel, and Tressel alone, was the guy who knew since April 2010 of violations involving some of his best players. That's true. But neither of the two people above him on the school hierarchy -- not his direct boss, not his school president -- thought what he'd done was bad enough to warrant his removal. Which means Ohio State still doesn't get it. Which means the NCAA will have to explain it to the Buckeyes. In graphic detail. And without remorse."

-- Gregg Doyel, cbssports.com

"Perhaps Tressel had a Father Flanagan complex, feeling only he could save Pryor from his immaturity. As noble a goal as that might have been, sparing the quarterback the immediate consequences of his NCAA rules violations did not serve Tressel or the program well going forward. It cost the coach his job, his reputation and perhaps a spot in the College Football Hall of Fame. And it cost Ohio State untold national embarrassment as a university, the damage of which is incalculable."

-- Bruce Hooley, Fox Sports Ohio

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