CFN Analysis - More Trouble For Jim Tressel
Terrelle Pryor and Jim Tressel
Terrelle Pryor and Jim Tressel
Posted Apr 25, 2011

And the hits just keep on coming. The NCAA accused Jim Tressel of dishonesty for hiding violations and appear to be looking into making a major statement in the near future, but has anything changed? Is there any new light on the controversy? Will Tressel be able to weather the storm? The CFNers provide their analysis on the controversy that keeps on growing.

CFN Analysis   

NCAA Report On Ohio State

Is this going to be the other shoe?

The Columbus Dispatch has reported that the NCAA is going to punish Ohio State for head coach Jim Tressel's failure to report the violations revolving around Terrelle Pryor, Dan Herron, and the rest of the infamous Tattoo Five.

The football program isn't going to get hit with the dreaded "lack of institutional control" tag, which would've struck at the heart of the infrastructure of the Buckeye athletic department, but Tressel will likely be in more trouble than just the five-game suspension for this year for his dishonesty.

According to the report in the Columbus Dispatch, OSU could be be punished with missing out on a bowl game and being ineligible for the Big Ten Championship game, but there won't be any further punishment for the five offending players.  

The NCAA is saying that Tressel was "guilty of ethical misconduct" by not reporting the violations and for playing players who should've been ineligible. The final ruling and the punishments won't come until late August after OSU officials will meet with the NCAA on August 12th.

By Pete Fiutak

I'm always under the belief that a college football head coach can and should be fired whenever he does something to dishonor the reputation and the good name of an academic institution. College football coaches aren't gods, they aren't leaders of men, and they aren't anything more than guys who try to win games in an attempt to make gobs and gobs of money for their schools while keeping the alumni happy.

But Ohio State had already made its ruling on head coach Jim Tressel long ago, and nothing has changed. Remember, the school originally wanted to suspend Tressel for just two games for his transgressions.

With the NCAA's findings in its official letter to the school, Tressel is almost certainly going to face a stiffer punishment than just a five-game suspension, and the school is likely going to be nailed with sanctions of some sort, but is there anything in this latest controversy that wasn't already known? Has anything changed just because the NCAA is wagging its finger and saying tsk tsk?

Tressel should've been canned as soon as he thumbed his nose at the rules and regulations by not making the compliance department aware of the allegations against Terrelle Pryor and company, and nothing coming from the NCAA has shed any new light on the situation. When the school imposed its own penalties, it made its ruling, fair or not, on what it thinks about the situation, and now it's not going to fire him because the NCAA is simply saying its aware now of what happened.

Once again, The Ohio State University showed it's in the big, multi-million dollar business of college football first with the bottom line appearing to matter more than the school's reputation. From the shameful press conference, hitting a low point with the pathetic gushing from OSU President and football program lickspittle, E. Gordon Gee, to the way the university allowed the offending players to play against Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl, to the continuing embarrassments that keep coming out, Ohio State, more than ever, is proving to be run by Tressel and the football program, and the NCAA findings aren't going to change that ... for now. 

As I always say in matters like this, for good and bad, the football program and the head coach at a place like Ohio State form the public relations arm for the school. Today, talk about Ohio State University and the public perception will almost certainly be that the school is in a place where it seemingly can't and won't fire a football coach because he's really, really good at what he does.

99% of all coaches wouldn't survive this scandal and would've been canned on the spot, if for no other reason than to try to put a band-aid on the situation as soon as possible to avoid further punishments from the NCAA. In this case, and this is the positive for Ohio State, the issue is isolated to Tressel and the school is choosing not to cut ties and distance itself. For this controversy only, this doesn't appear to be a system-wide problem, and while the football program might have a bunch of other issues that should be discussed and examined - knock, knock ... who's there? ... Stanley McClover - for now, this is all about one man, and that one man is proving to be too big to fail.

Now we get to see just what a legendary run can buy a coach. When you go 106-22 at a school with seven Big Ten titles, win a national championship, earn eight BCS appearances in nine years, suffer two losses in BCS Championships, and win game after game against Michigan, you don't just get swept under the rug. And Tressel will survive this because the Ohio State brass doesn't appear to have any interest in letting him go.

The NCAA will likely hammer Ohio State with something big, like being held out of a bowl game and/or the inaugural Big Ten Championship, but Tressel will end up coming back to his post unless the NCAA wants to make a big statement.

Tressel continues to bring in the talent - recruits don't seem to care one lick about the scandal - and the wins will eventually keep on coming. However, all of this drama will form a base to make it easy to get rid of him when the wins stop flowing on a regular basis.

The bar is set unreasonably high at Ohio State, where 8-4 might as well be 4-8 and losing to Michigan will be apocalyptic to a fan base now used to owning the rivalry. That's when Tressel will prove to be nothing more than an employee, because as long as he's winning and winning big, everything will be forgiven and all storms can be weathered. Start becoming a regular on the New Year's Day Florida bowl circuit, and then the heat will be turned up.

And now it's up to Ohio State to try to make a statement as a university it didn't make before. Will it be defiant and keep Tressel on, or will it try to appeal to the NCAA by firing him, basically eliminating the lone offender, in an attempt to keep from getting hammered with a bigger punishment?

Ohio State, there's a little boy over there in the corner, I think his name is Urban, and he might like to play.

By Russ Mitchell

Time to pack up the vest – this has got to be the nail. Two points and we're done (it's as simple as that now).

First, while there was no "lack of institutional control" mentioned in the letter, this is as bad as it gets. Particularly given how personal the NCAA has now made this matter. Here is basically the message the NCAA just sent you: if you show up the next time with Tressel still has your head coach, we're going to HAMMER you.

At this point if you can't see that it's over, you're in denial.

Second, you're Ohio State. THE Ohio frickin' State, as you've been telling us every chance you've had all these years. You're bigger than any coach. Yes, even Tressel.

Additionally, and not to say a warm body could have accomplished what Tressel has in Columbus, but it's not like the Big 10 has been a paragon of football excellence this past decade. Which inflates the relative value of Tressel.

Here's the best piece of relationship advice we can give you – there's nothing wrong with you. And besides the fact that he has a penchant to stretch the truth in his favor, there's nothing really wrong with Tressel. No one's broken, and there's nothing to fix. It's just over.

Four (mistakes) and done. Time to move on.

Or show up in August with Tressel and get ready to spend your next two January's in zero degree weather.

And no, Jerry, we're not talking about Dallas.

(One quick thought: if OSU must vacate it's 2010 wins, including that Sugar Bowl fiasco, than have the Buckeyes still failed to beat an SEC team in a bowl game?)