Blog Entry

Is this it for Jim Tressel?

Posted on: March 25, 2011 12:02 pm
Edited on: March 25, 2011 5:39 pm
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Gene Smith is supposed to be here in Anaheim on Saturday. As chairman of the men's basketball committee, it is his duty to make the rounds during the NCAA tournament.

Arizona and UConn play Saturday for the right to go to the Final Four. Don't keep a seat warm for Smith. He is also Ohio State's athletic director, which makes him a bit preoccupied these days.

Friday's revelation  that Jim Tressel forwarded emails to a mentor of quarterback Terrelle Pryor might be the deal-breaker for the Buckeyes coach. Remember, these are the emails that he wouldn't share with his superiors because Tressel was worried about "privacy" issues.

Apparently the emails weren't sensitive enough to keep from a 67-year-old owner of a Jeanette, Pa., glass company. It's hard to envision Tressel lasting any longer as this coverup builds. It's only a matter of time and definition -- when the coach will leave and what it will be called. Firing? Resignation? It doesn't really matter at this point.

Here's why Friday's news is so damning: If you remember at the March 8 press conference, Tressel was asked by Yahoo! Sports' Dan Wetzel if the coach had shared the emails with anyone else. As Tressel started to say yes, Smith intervened saying that couldn't be discussed, that there was an ongoing investigation.

Reminds us once again that the cover up is always worse than the crime.

This particular situation doesn't necessarily reflect badly on Pryor or Ted Sarniak, who was well known during the quarterback's recruiting process as a mentor. It was to the point, according to a source, that recruiters were dealing with Sarniak more than his high school coach. I was in Jeanette during that recruiting process and went to interview Sarniak at his Jeanette Glass Company offices. It was unannounced because I couldn't track him down on the phone. I was never able to find him.

The school vetted the relationship between Pryor and Sarniak, according to the Columbus Dispatch .

"He's [Sarniak] not a bad guy and he's got money," a person close to Pryor told me. "I don't think he did it [mentored Pryor] for the money."

This is more about Tressel. On the surface, he not only withheld information regarding -- let's not forget -- a federal investigation from his superiors. He also went off the reservation in sharing the emails with a person outside the university. Not even a parent -- a "mentor." Let's be clear: A glass company owner in western Pennsylvania apparently knew Pryor's name had popped up during a federal investigation before Ohio State's president or athletic director.

Poor Gene Smith. His basketball team is driving for the Final Four. That Final Four is a week away and Smith is in charge of it, the NCAA's top moneymaker. But those issues probably aren't in the top five in his mental Rolodex at the moment. We'll know for sure if there is an empty seat at courtside Saturday at the Honda Center. 


Since: Feb 9, 2011
Posted on: April 7, 2011 5:02 pm

Is this it for Jim Tressel?

The system stinks.
Lets pull our heads out of the sand and quit pretending we are talking about normal college kids. This is a Business! College football is just a minor leagues for the NFL, governed and paid for by the NCAA. Lets the NFL or Agents pay these kids who bring in the money for the entire University to fund all sports. Since this post is about the OSU kids. These kids traded some crappy "legal" freebies (commemorative gold pants?) that they did not want for something they did want. This type of thing has been going on for a long time. Remember Eric Dickerson "took a pay cut to go to the NFL"? He even jokes about it in current interviews on the NFL Network. Everyone tries to control it and things have changed. Sweet Lou Holtz (a respected TV analyst) even quit amid rumors of impropriety. But even officially said you had to bend the rules because everyone is doing it and if you don't you can't compete. Today you have Cam Newton father (bs), Oregons RB's, Pete Carroll, Free Tattoos, Coach Rod and those are just the high profile ones who get caught. Even honest Urban jumped from a dream job ahead of the Cam Newton swirls before they blew into a hurricane.
The system stinks.

Since: Mar 31, 2011
Posted on: March 31, 2011 12:51 pm

Is this it for Jim Tressel?

I don't see what all the excitement is about.

Tressel learned in the Spring of 2010 that some of his players had committed violations and were ineligible.  Then he played the players for the 2010 season. 

Get real.  If Tressel wanted the players to play, he had to cover up and lie about the sales of uniforms and rings.  Every coach who intentionally uses ineligible players HAS TO lie about it.  Tressel just did what every other coach would have done.

The NCAA is not going to penalize OSU or Tressel much, if at all, because these amateurism rules are not important to anyone.  The NCAA only applies harsh penalties when other matters are at stake.  That's why the NCAA's rulings are so inconsistent.  I believe that this case will, once and for all, set the precedent that it's perfectly fine to use ineligible players.

Since: Jan 16, 2010
Posted on: March 30, 2011 12:34 pm

Is this it for Jim Tressel?

Dip well said. The money is so out of hand that it has destroyed the game. There are so many issues from BCS programs doing all they can to hoard all of th revenues among themselves, to out of control boosters, to enrolling kids that could not qualify other than the fact they can run a 4.4, to the fixing of grades or junk classes, the abuse of the players, the list goes on and on. The NCAA acts as if its on a bus tour and they pull up in front of a few schools take note of the violations and targets another 5 programs for next season for investigation pretending all is right with the system. 

I would like to see a commission put together with the schools, the networks, the professional leagues, the players, and all involved in an effort to expose the system for what it is. I dont think we can put the water back in the tub but the situation is getting far worse not better. My issues with OSU has been they would be one of the few programs that could have helped to reform the system instead we get Gee through his actions being one of its biggest defenders.

I dont know what has happend to journalism in this country but there is a huge story here that goes so deep yet nobody will take a look at the fraud and abuse.

Since: Dec 2, 2009
Posted on: March 30, 2011 8:45 am

Is this it for Jim Tressel?


That might be at least part of the answer.  If the powers that be are really serious about cleaning up the game then yeah folks will probably have to start losing their jobs on a regular basis when violations are found.  Right on up to the President and possibly the Board of Directors, along with that, players should lose their eligibility to participate in collegiate athletics at any level immediately.  Boosters will have to be seriously curbed and you are going to have to get a large part of the money out of the game.  If you want to start with OSU, I am okay with that.  From there you can take a look at my other favorite team the Florida Gators (okay I know let the snickers begin).  But what I am saying is IF you are serious you can't stop there.  Look at what just happened at the Fiesta Bowl.  I haven't followed it closely but if you look behind the curtain more than likely is its all about somebody who didn't get their piece of the pie, that pissed them off so they start slinging mud.  Its corrupt from top to bottom and back up to the top. 

I just don't think the large majority of people are serious about the rule breaking.  All they see it as is a good reason for poking fun at a team they dislike.  In reality the vast majority could care less, just as long as their team isn't caught.  With some of the new allegations coming out against OSU, its beginning to look like the athletic department may be out of control.  Intercollegiate athletics were originally intended to compliment and enhance a student's college experience, it was never intended to become the sole reason for being in college.  Let the NFL fund their own minor league system and let college games get back to their roots.  But that just won't happen, too much money.  

Since: Jan 16, 2010
Posted on: March 29, 2011 10:33 pm

Is this it for Jim Tressel?

Dip: maybe if they sack Gee along with Smith and Tressel would that not be a game changer?  I know Gee knows where his bread is buttered and thats with the cash cow OSU athletic program. The guy should have kept his mouth shut while counting the money and nobody would have been hurt. This buffone exposes the program for what it is and now the NCAA is at his door wanting to take a look around.

When this is said and done the program in all likelyhood will end up with the " Lack of Institutional Control Charge" That could mean a slap on the wrist or sanctions against Tressel. If the NCAA stands by the charges and the OSU board fires Gee every University President will have a nice long meeting with their AD an Coach in the hopes of cleaning up their programs.

I think if OSU were to fire Gee and hold on to Tressel and Smith it would at least raise some eyebrows around College Football.

Since: Dec 2, 2009
Posted on: March 29, 2011 8:07 pm

Is this it for Jim Tressel?

Cleaves2000 (and others that feel as you do),

Ya'll just don't get it.  I have not defended nor supported Tressel's actions.  What he did was wrong, period.  BUT I think everybody needs to step back, light up a ole big hog leg and relax for a minute. 

Fact, collegiate football (at least big time collegiate football) is corrupt.  If you don't believe that than you probably think big time rasslin is real too.  This is just one more incident.  As I said earlier go ahead and fire Tressel, but what exactly have you accomplished?  You managed to kick OSU in the nuts for awhile.  Big deal.  Give them a few years at best and it'll be business as usual.  Its the same cycle over and over.  Colleges pretend to care about following the rules, the NCAA pretends to care about enforcing them, supporters like to think their teams are clean.  It all works well until some numbnut screws up and does something so blatant and stupid that all involved have to get real idignant and we all pretend for a while that we care.  When the team gets back on the field and wins a few games everybody forgets about it (well everybody except for fans of the rival team).  So why pretend that you care?  Any of you.  And it doesn't matter who we are talking about it could be The University of (insert your favorite school here), the point is its all corrupt.  SO just sit back enjoy the games, each your nachos, drink your beer and cheer your favorite team on, but don't think for a minute that they aren't cheating.  But if you want to believe that your coach is clean and your favorite program doesn't cheat, and that your players don't break every rule they can get away with....well just keep believing. 

And yeah, the coach had better have your back.  Ain't nobody gonna commit to a school that they think for a minute that the coach won't help them navigate the landmines of the collegiate environment.  Again its okay to continue to believe what you want ( do know that Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny aren't real right?) the real world just doesn't work that way.  Call me a cynic....

Since: Jun 13, 2007
Posted on: March 29, 2011 3:31 pm

Is this it for Jim Tressel?

Game suspension does not mean game exclusion.  The sweater vest will be there for game preparation during the week.  The only thing he is not permitted is to be at the game venue.  You can bet there will be web cams set up all over the football stadium for the vest to observe the action.  For all we know, each of the OSU players may have a web cam embedded in their hats.  To avoid the bandwidth issue, the OSU could pay for a direct satellite link for phone calls and other communications.  The five game suspension doesn't mean much these days.  As for his job, the vest is as safe as milk.  The OSU will do everything they can to keep him.  They put up withWoody's issues until he punched the Clemson player on live TV.  If that was not a bowl game and had limited coverage, Woody would still be coaching today instead of being dead.

Since: Sep 26, 2008
Posted on: March 29, 2011 3:04 pm

Is this it for Jim Tressel?

BigBuckFan. I do see your side of things but i had someone give me a scenario that likened his punishment to in house suspension. This made sense to me because he is the one that has set his punishment to five games, not the University, not the NCAA. So this is not acceptable by my standards because to me punishment is received by someone who has done wrong, not placed on one's self for the sake of being inline with what was given to lesser offenders.
    Here is a research project for you. go look up what Alabama got in 95 for the schools role in hiding a player receiving extra benefits from an agent, playing this player in games and basically lying to the NCAA the whole time about their knowledge of the situation. Similar set of circumstances here in this case in which Tressell lied to the NCAA about his knowledge of violations to start last year. Then he played the players for an entire season. When the lid blew off he still had no knowledge of these violatons until the internal investigation dug up the emails and forwarding to an outside source. Now not all criteria have been met due to the level of benefits the Tide player got. I believe it totaled 24K from an agent, but all the other similarities are there in the cases of the lying and covering up of details, playing ineligible players. Like i said i believe Tressell will pay, but I hope they dont fire him, a more fitting punishment would be a good suspension and then he has to pick up the pieces of what is left when the NCAA does thier part. Time will tell. Good luck. 

Since: Jan 6, 2009
Posted on: March 29, 2011 2:53 pm

Is this it for Jim Tressel?

OMG! Another tabloid type article by the infamous Dennis "De-De-Dee" Dodd! Who'd have "thunk"??? Now that he's done [or just in hiatus] writing crap articles about Kirk Ferentz & the Hawkeyes he's going to stir up as much dirt as he can on Coach Tressell. Sorry to say so Buckeye fans but you can have DDD for awhile. Why I read his crap I don't really know. He's kind of like "The Mouth of the South" used to be in all-star [WWF] wrestling used to be----totally obnoxious! I'm surprised several schools haven't invited him to their stadiums for "Dennis Dodd Appreciation Day"------maybe Missouri will be the first since that's where he hales from & Lord knows, they don't do "anything" wrong down there. And I'm not sticking up for Tressell but I am going to let the proper authorities take care of business & hope this little hemmrhoid of a writer just goes away. Anybody got a bucket of Preparation H to throw on him?! Laughingnyuk nyuk!

Since: Jan 16, 2010
Posted on: March 29, 2011 1:47 pm

Is this it for Jim Tressel?

Nitro I would have to disagree with your views about Dodd. You can make the case that a reporter should do his best to gather info from both sides of a story and let the reader come to their own conclusions. Dodd is not a reporter, he is a columnist or blogger where they are paid to deliver an opinion based on how he sees the situation. The issue with the media today is that reporting is no longer reporting everyone has their own agenda and slants their report to further their agenda. Im not taking a position on this but we have a President that has yet to provide a hard copy of his birth certificate and has any reporter dug deep to get to the bottom of this one way or another?

Gee was in a position of power where he could change some of the issues with the NCAA instead he comes out and slams the 5 Non BCS conferences who get a whopping 13% of the revenue from football. Now the program gets caught in some lies and a coverup. Gee comes out and says he hopes Tressel doesnt fire him. IMO exposing the program for what it is and thats an ATM for the university.

The Big 10 has not been that great lately and has been the most vocal in support of the corrupt BCS system. Now that they are caught no matter how big or small the situation we are supposed to come to their defense and feel sorry for the program. The saying goes those that live in glass houses shouldnt throw stones and thats what we have here now. To be honest Im surprised that more people arent calling for a total house cleaning at OSU.

If I were the Big 10 I would stop worrying about what everyone else is doing and take care of your own issues. Just because USC, UNC, or an SEC school did wrong does nothing to help your situation. There are plenty of supporters of OSU just as there will be critics. This case is now between OSO, and the NCAA and a some point they will issue their ruling. Gee had a chance to lead the charge to change the system and the rules instead he choose to protect his revenue stream.

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