Tressel Suspended: What To Believe?

Written March 9th, 2011 by MaliBuckeye

While this may present opposing views to Joe’s initial thoughts, it’s not my intent to serve as a “Wow, were you wrong” guy here. The events of the past few days have galvanized parts of Buckeye Nation and have polarized other parts.

And I’m not sure where I fall, to be honest.

First, the stuff that I think we all agree on. Drawing on our earlier thoughts about this situation:

  • Jim Tressel chose to disregard an NCAA regulation, and should be held accountable for that decision.
  • The Ohio State University Athletic Department has responded swiftly; we are impressed with the way that this has been addressed in a timely manner that has been as transparent as appropriate.
  • Because this is receiving a ton of media coverage and is a significant issue, it would be easy to conclude that this situation is indicative of a larger problem in the football program or the athletic department. We think that this conclusion is unfounded and unwise. Based on the University’s response thus far, it is more logical to believe that they take these issues seriously and seek to respond as is required.
  • We are disappointed that this has happened, and are hopeful that this will be a learning moment for everyone involved.

Terry Gilliam- AP Photo

Let me say a few things about point number two. There were several moments during today’s press conference that “talked me off the edge”, as it were, but the overarching strength of my convictions that this is not a systemic issue is based on the fact that it was discovered by the University. Yesterday, I was less than happy that outside investigators were stirring up dirt on the program that I follow; my relief that the issue was being dealt with internally has changed that discomfort to… well… lesser discomfort.  Ohio State may be responsible for a number of things, but backing away from their issues should not be counted among them. Again, this issue came to light when the University was doing a self audit- not because someone turned them in or because it made the media, but because they recognized that something was wrong and sought to address it. Granted, there’s a lot of folks who wished that recognition could have come a lot earlier, but given what we’ve seen in college athletics over the past year it’s refreshing to see the University respond in a way that (hopefully) teaches about the importance of responsibility.

I was also feeling relatively positive about the decision making process involved here. It’s one thing to make a poor decision, and another to make a bad decision. The first involves faulty reasoning (road to hell is paved with good intentions, and all that), while the second is to know what to do and choose not to do it. As the conference went on, I could understand why Coach Tressel chose not to report this issue to compliance to avoid impacting an investigation and/or his players. It’s this mindset that Joe brings to the table- certainly did make sense when Coach and AD Smith were addressing it.

And then, I read the emails in question. That’s where things get problematic for me.

If you haven’t already, you should go take a look at the three emails, which were provided to the media that covered the event today, and were released by the University. They’ve been redacted, but the points within are pretty clear (at least to me). If you want a quick glimpse, as well as a precursor to what the media talking points will be for the next year or so (and longer than that for fans of other programs), take a quick wander over to Deadspin. There, they juxtapose the text with Tressel’s words from the press conference… and it ain’t pretty.

No, in looking at the emails in question it seems that the issue addressed had less to do with “federal narcotics investigation” and more to do with an outside person tipping Coach Tressel off regarding extremely questionable behavior of some of his athletes.  While it’s unclear if the initial email is referring to players currently with the team, that would be a safe assessment from the rest of the correspondence.

The second email (two parts from the outside source and one comment from Coach Tressel) corroborates what several players said in December; that this type of thing had been occurring for a while (specifically mentions a National Championship ring and other items that could not solely belong to the six student athletes involved in the initial investigation) and that there were current members of the team involved (due to the warnings for redacted persons not to call the person under investigation). It is in these emails that the word “confidential” first appears, and it seems to be more about the author protecting his identity (and perhaps his professional status, if he’s revealing privileged information) rather than maintaining an attempt to not impact a larger investigation.

The third string of emails (initial one from Coach Tressel, response, Tressel’s reply) is the most concerning to me. In it, Tressel reaches out to see if there’s any further information, and wonders if he should hold onto the 2009 Big Ten rings in order to keep them from ending up sold.  The outside source responds that things are OK and have reached a conclusion in terms of the investigation.  Again, this could be seen as a coach trying to make sure his efforts with student athletes are not in vain, but it also seems to be awareness of a larger issue- one that more than likely should be reported.  These emails do not, as far as I can tell, indicate the confidentiality is needed.

Again, these are my interpretations of the emails. Ohio State fans should be prepared for much more significant and pointed exegesis from the college football community.

Where I struggle to make sense of this all is that it simply doesn’t fit. There are way too many questions involved here, strings of logic that do not connect.  Granted, we don’t know all of the discussion involved here; the University said that it’s been working with the NCAA since January. Because we don’t know certain things, we have to make assumptions about the conversations that might have happened and the rationale behind them.

We have to speculate about Tressel’s response to the April emails in regards to his conversations with student athletes; how did he show his concern for their safety? We are forced to compare his verbiage about why he played student athletes who appear to have been in violation of NCAA guidelines with these emails that seem to be less about safety and more about program management. We try to make sense of the disconnect between a man who seemingly recalls every detail of every conversation and his inability to connect these dots and be open about it during the December investigation.

We also wonder why he chose to honor a request for confidentiality that came as a part of a voluntary email offering information on the program; and chose to do so without feeling the need to consult with the University’s Office of General Counsel.  As someone who has worked in Higher Education, I can attest that the GC office exists to provide both guidance and confidentiality- if I know this, I cannot fathom that Coach Tressel did not.

It also doesn’t fit with who I believe Jim Tressel to be… although the solution there could be that my perception was misguided.  11W’s newest contributor sums this up pretty well in stating that

To believe what Tressel said in copping to his actions, you have to first believe that he buys into his own mantra of paying forward, developing men and it – being the Ohio State football experience – not really being about the ball.

I believe that, for Jim Tressel, what happens on the field is secondary to the years that his student athletes will live off of it… but his seeming lack of integrity here doesn’t reinforce that.

It’s no surprise that there are more questions here than answers. The O-Zone’s Brandon Castel has several as well, including

* Did Tressel forward any of those emails to anyone? When asked that same question Tuesday, Tressel started to nod yes before Gene Smith cut him off, saying that they couldn’t talk about things pertaining to their conversation with the NCAA. If he did forward the emails, to whom did they go and when, and why was it covered up?

* Was this an honest mistake by an honorable coach who was just looking out for his players’ best interest, or was it a deceitful plan executed by a powerful man who did not want to see his entire season ruined by the foolish mistakes of a few young kids?

Again, we may never know. All of the months and years of speculation and accusations that will come from this will not in and of themselves create any answers. Sure, answers may come, but the “truth”, as they say, is being created in the minds and hearts of people who are engaging this matter.

What I currently think is this- I would not be surprised to see these sanctioning suggestions “enhanced” by the NCAA, although the fact that Ohio State self reported and have been working with the NCAA on this for about a month might indicate that they’re good with the current recommendations. Given my brief reading of the events discussed above, it seems to be more egregious of an issue than “I was trying to protect my players and an investigation”, and might be dealt with accordingly. And, if Jim Tressel is the person I thought he was on March 6th, he will be OK accepting responsibility and whatever consequences might come his way.

I do hope that it doesn’t impact the players, current or future, or result in vacated wins from the 2010 season. If it does, though, it’s good to remember that a vacated win is not a forfeit, and that counter in the right sidebar keeps ticking.

What I do believe, though, is that the University and the program are much larger than one player, one issue, one game, one score, and one coach. I also believe strongly that Jim Tressel knows this, so I believe in him.

However, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that what used to be “If he said it, it’s true” belief has become “I believe he has it in him to rise above this”. And I hate that there’s now a difference.

Also worth reading: El Jefe’s got a another take on this over at FSO… give it a read.

52 Comments

  1. Charles@OHDNo Gravatar
    March 9th, 2011 at 10:10 am

    Great article Mali, you sum up a lot of my feelings on this matter. Listening to the press conference I was not too concerned about this, other than the incredible awkward feel that Tressel’s answers seemed to have. After reading the emails, I am much more concerned and upset about this whole thing. I agree that the whole confidentiality thing does not seem to be a major issue in the emails, it does not appear until the second email and even then I think it is more out of concern for the informant (who I take to be a lawyer and is thus facing conduct violations for releasing private information) than for the investigation. Either way, if I were in Tressel’s shoes, I’m going to the university lawyers and asking what I should do. Going to the university lawyers would not endanger anything as by rules regarding attorney-client privileged, they must keep the matter confidential.

    At the end of the day, this does not make me think that Tressel is a bad person, but I agree that I no longer feel that I can automatically believe everything he says. I hope that something else will come out from all this and help restore my faith but based on the information that we have in hand, I do not think that is likely.

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  2. RobNo Gravatar
    March 9th, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    Mali,

    We don’t have all of the information we need to pass any judgement. There’s ongoing investigation of a self-report.

    See what Wetzel did there?!

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  3. KenNo Gravatar
    March 9th, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    Well thought out article, Mali. I’m a bit disappointed in this, but not a lot of angst here. If nothing else, I think the GC should have been brought into play in mid-April. The April 2nd email was so wishy-washy, IMO it was unactionable, save for a possible one-on-one between JT and Redacted.

    I think your last two paragraphs are a fitting summary, but in your last sentence, I’d replace ‘hate’ with ‘recognize’.

    Personally, this is really not a civilization-ender. As you know, I’ve got an issue I’m dealing with, in fact I have a 2nd issue, so this is not a real big deal. These events do not sway me one iota as a Buckeye fan. As high esteem that I hold the characters in this drama, the institution, Ohio State University, far outweighs the actors that come across its stage. Go Bucks.

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  4. KenNo Gravatar
    March 9th, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    Oh, and a bit off-topic, but we need to get focused on OSU’s basketball successes.

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    EricNo Gravatar
    March 9th, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    That we do, Ken! And we’ll be getting started on that as soon as humanly possible =)

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    KenNo Gravatar
    March 9th, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    Well, darn it, let’s get human as soon as possible. We’ve got all Spring/Summer to get past the football angst; the basketball tourneys are nigh upon us!

    Well played, Eric.

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  5. WesNo Gravatar
    March 9th, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    You’re trying to put a good spin on an otherwise embarrassing and in the eyes of the NCAA illegal activity. I’ve read the e-mails, Tressel should’ve contacted the compliance office, Gene Smith and OSU attorneys upon receiving the first e-mail. He has no obligation of confidentiality, that’s the attorney’s obligation not a college football coach. He has no obligation to the person who tips him off. Is his loyalty to the tippee or to OSU? Looks as if his loyalty is to winning. What kind of message is he sending to the kids he will some day recruit? Could it be that OSU was making another run at a national championship and coach Tressel didn’t want suspensions and more over his players or his program connected to an ongoing Federal Drug Investigation. It’s getting old the holier than thou attitude that the OSU administration, the OSU fan base and you specifically are taking with this incident. Two game suspension and $250,000 fine is laughable. Will it really have any impact on the Toledo and Akron games and will the 12% pay cut really impact Coach Tressel? I think not. We’ll see if the NCAA really takes these things seriously in the months to come. I expect they’ll bow down to the big money machines of universities like OSU and the others in the mega-conferences and issue what will be a slap on the wrist. Tressel has just made it clear that the vest and the straight laced persona is a farce and that he is as hypocritical as the rest of the folks tarnishing their universities and the reputation of College Athletics.

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    MaliBuckeyeNo Gravatar
    March 9th, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    Thanks, Wes.

    For the record, I’m a “tarnishing their universities and the reputation of College Athletics” guy, both here and in the real world. It’s hard, in the moment, to process all of this in a way that’s accurate and fair to what is known and what my personal experience is.

    I’m glad you’re engaged in this…

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    KenNo Gravatar
    March 9th, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    Too much speculation. Come back when you’ve got something.

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    tcNo Gravatar
    March 9th, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    As I’m disappointed Wes, this scandal is extremely hurtful to the program. What still boggles my mind is that it is illegal for something that belongs to you, yet if you ask any NCAA committee member have they given away box seats or tickets to a sporting event to an individual you would have to also charge them. How can an organization as large as the NCAA be so unregulated within its organization. I don’t approve of what the students did and the unfortunate position they put Coach Tressel in…but is it really an offense worthy of a 5 game suspension? and yet Cam Newton walks away with his Heisman and Nat’l Championship when clearly money exchanged hands. The so-called crimes they committed did nothing to give them any advantage in a game or any advantage of getting one recruit over another school. The whole system is corrupt and the entire nation loves when Ohio State gets into trouble because they are such a powerhouse and it gives them an “ah-ha” moment “we knew they were crooked”. You are right, they are a mega conference that generates mega dollars to the NCAA, television, and commercials associated with those televised games.

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  6. SteveNo Gravatar
    March 9th, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    Thanks for the great write-up Mali. This is exactly what I was trying to say in my post to Joe’s write up yesterday. I know many Buckeye fans are torn with all of this. Again, I haven’t lost complete respect for Coach Tressel, but his integrity is definitely damaged by this. I have no doubt that he cares for his players and wants to help people out as much as possible. So, whether or not he witheld the info. in April with good intentions or not isn’t what I’m dealing with here. Like others have said, he can still forward and send those e-mails to lawyers and compliance officials at OSU to give them a “head’s-up” and basically cover his butt to make sure he gets some advice on this. I know that is a big question at this point, but I’m sure it will come out sometime in all of this. The second big question I would love to ask Tress is: why would you not come forward with all of this when it was brought to light in December. It makes no sense – and I don’t buy that he just forgot about it. Again, I still respect the man and I think he is a decent guy; but these questions seem like some of the most obvious questions I would have asked myself and restled with if I was in his shoes. Like Mali said, I hope this doesn’t affect players (now and future ones) or vacate wins from the program, but in my opinion, it’s simple. He broke a serious rule and I have a bad feeling there will be some serious punishments from the NCAA.

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  7. MattNo Gravatar
    March 9th, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    Way to go THE Ohio State University….thanks from the entire Big Ten. As a native of Ohio and a Michigan State Grad living in the Southeast I am embarassed by the actions of THE Ohio State University. You have made our conference look just as bad as the SEC. Frankly Tressel and THE Ohio State University Football program deserve this attention and criticism. I am not a jealous fan from another school by making this statement. I could have went to THE Ohio State University just as well as Michigan State University and I was raised an OSU fan, most of my family did attend OSU and are HUGE OSU fans so for me there is nothing to be jealous of. What OSU fans need to do for once is demonstrate some humility, admit the wrong doing, react accordingly, accept responsiblity and take appropriate actions. Time to Buck Up Buckeyes and practice what you and your coach preach! You got busted admit and stop acting like your typical selves!

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    MaliBuckeyeNo Gravatar
    March 9th, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    Can you point to a place where, particularly in this article, any of us are saying that it didn’t happen and the University shouldn’t be punished?

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    JimNo Gravatar
    March 9th, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    It seems to me like the typical Ohio State response to these situations is self-reporting immediately and bending over backwards to comply with the NCAA. There is a reason this investigation took two months. For comparison, the investigation into USC lasted years and the investigation into Auburn has been ongoing for significantly longer with no apparent end in sight.

    Acting like Ohio State treats these situations in a similar manner to the SEC or other schools that have recently been busted (namely: to stonewall and lie to the NCAA constantly), or that this infraction is on a similar scale to writing $200,000 checks or providing a house to a players family is disingenuous at best.

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    KenNo Gravatar
    March 9th, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    Matt, I think that by and large we are owning up to this. Quit being an ass; the SEC geography must be rubbing off on you.

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    MattNo Gravatar
    March 9th, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    Hey Ken….thanks for making my point about so MANY OSU fans. You are the perfect example of what the rest of the conference and a large part of the country expect an OSU fan to be. Way to go Ken, Thanks!

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    KenNo Gravatar
    March 9th, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    Wow, your reading comprehension is a bit on the weak side. If the use of the word “ass” offends you to the point that you are making generalizations, then I guess it applies. No, thank you for reinforcing southern man stereotype. Atta boy, laddie.

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    KevinNo Gravatar
    March 9th, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    Some people just don’t read the facts before they spout off at the mouth. The Ohio State University reported this infraction to the NCAA back in January. They were forced to make a press release yesterday because the story was leaked but they had already self reported just like they did with the 5 players. Haters look at the fact that OSU has more self reported infractions in recent years as proof of corruption. Realists see that the University is making more of an attempt to remain compliant with regulations than any other university. Tressel will have to pay for his mistake and Buckeyes fans accept that. When the NCAA addresses oversigning and paying players to sign then we can begin talking about morals.

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    WesNo Gravatar
    March 9th, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    Yes, OSU self reported but only after they covered it up for 9 months. I am not a Buckeye fan nor am I a Buckeye hater. I do however believe that it is the responsibility to report infractions or even the hint of an infraction at the outset of said infraction. It is the responsibility of the coaches, players, compliance committee, and administrators to cultivate an attitude that we will not tolerate any missteps regardless of the size or importance of the infraction. It disappoints me that the university, all the way to the top ie. Gordon Gee is, in my eyes in “save our reputation mode” rather than just being up front and honest. I teach my kids that no matter the discretion, if you own up to it with 100% honesty you will pay the consequences for that discretion but if you deceive/lie those consequences will be significantly more harsh. Obviously, right now OSU does not follow those same thoughts. In my eyes the university’s punishment is not harsh enough. I, in no way believe that Tressel should be fired but 2 games and what amounts to $20 to you and me is by no means sending the proper message. I do not believe that Tressel is overall a “bad person or lacks character” because he made this mistake, we all make mistakes. However the “pure as the driven snow” persona that he has purveyed over the years has certainly taken a pretty bad hit today. I have always felt like everything he has said and done especially in a press conference setting has been scripted and rehearsed and yesterday was a perfect indicator of that. I for one would like to see a little more emotion and candor than that. Own up to the bad decision and take your medicine. If history is any indicator, the NCAA will not be as harsh as one thinks.

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    MaliBuckeyeNo Gravatar
    March 9th, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    Good thoughts, Wes. Few reflections/responses:

    If by “covered it up for 9 months” you mean “Jim Tressel was aware of this situation and did not report it”, then you are absolutely correct.

    However, when the university found out about this decision (to not report the earlier emails), it responded immediately.

    We agree- when you know, you get people involved. It’s why the GC and Compliance offices exist. Tressel chose not to do that, and now we’re here.

    I have a hard time seeing this in “save our reputation mode”, but this may be my S&G glasses. I do see an institution that constantly works with the NCAA to report any possible issue reporting a violation (Tressel’s decision) as soon as it came to their attention. If they haven’t been working with the NCAA on this matter (in conflict with what they’ve reported), I’m sure we’ll find out.

    I also agree that the NCAA might not be as harsh (not that a stricter response is unwarranted) based on the fact that the University has been working with them when it submitted the report of findings. I also think that there may be some leniency due to the University’s relationship with the NCAA- the folks in Indianapolis need programs to self monitor, and might not want to send the message that it’s better off to just keep quiet and stonewall (in conflict with what Joe said yesterday).

    And, like you I wish we had seen more contrition… although it’s hard to get a sense of that in a press conference setting.

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    CTP57No Gravatar
    March 9th, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    You have lived in the SE much too long, my friend! It seems you desire ‘blood’ and if that is the case: What will you expect when another Heisman is returned?

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  8. KYBuckeyeGirlNo Gravatar
    March 9th, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    As a life-long buckeye fan now living in SEC country, I am used to everyone hating on Ohio State. One thing I have always been able to say, with confidence, is that at least the leadership of my program has some integrity… unlike some of those other guys.

    What this issue has made me discover is that for fans all over the country it is very easy to view the “other” as one-dimensional and “dirty” based on one-time issues and certain circumstances that happen to get media attention. What those outside a University community (students, faculty, admin, alums, and fans) don’t see is how that person or program operates on a day-to-day basis and the positive impact they have on THOUSANDS of people. I guess the brief point I’m trying to make is that one (or a few) bad choices or actions over the course of a career does not mean that all of the sudden we need to characterize someone has a “bad person” or a “dirty coach.” I know that what Coach Tressel did was wrong, but part of me can understand why he made those choices. I know that I have more sympathy for other universities and coaches going through issues like this now (USC, Oregon, Auburn, Tennessee) and I will be able to be a more empathetic fan from here on out.

    I am a firm believer that when someone makes mistakes or bad choices, they should own up to them and accept the consequences, which it looks like Coach Tressel and the program are doing now. But now that I’m seeing an issue like this from an inside perspective, I am more appreciative of the fact that a handful of indiscretions – on the part of my coach or coaches anywhere in the country – cannot and should not erase an entire career of positive personal and professional influence.

    Sorry that was so long!

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    MaliBuckeyeNo Gravatar
    March 9th, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    Lengthy, but well thought out… Thanks!!

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    KenNo Gravatar
    March 9th, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    No, I agree with you. There is “owning up” that is happening and needs to happen. Well put.

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  9. MattNo Gravatar
    March 9th, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    By no means am I trying to say OSU is as bad as the SEC but I am going to say that my expectations of OSU and all the Big Ten schools are far greater then my expectations of the SEC. And I should admit that while my thoughts and statements are NOT motivated by jealousy they are somewhat motivated by the fact that I and many in the Big Ten are sick and tired of the pious attitude of so many OSU fans , so many in the OSU athletic program and administration. Gordon Gee is a perfect example…”Happy that Jim Tressel is going to keep OSU” or something to that extent. What???? Gordon is starting to sound like Charlie Sheen between that statement and the whole TCU related statements. So who was Jim Tressel to be running around the state and the country preaching about ethics and such while selling books and promoting himself. This mistake does not define Jim Tressel I am sure (or certainly hope not) but the whole glass houses and stones thing does come to mind. I would hope that the Buckeye nation can understand that much of the reaction outside of OSU to this issue is driven by the attitude of OSU fans and Jim Tressel himself. And lastly I DO expect OSU and any Big Ten University to react to this type of situation in a more prompt and in a more harsh mannor then the SEC does or would. We are not the SEC and my expectations are far greater for Big Ten Universities. How about taking a page from BYU (and I definately am NOT a fan of BYU nor do I consider their code of ethics realistic but rules are rules!) FULLY live up to practicing what you preach and take an action that sets an example for the rest of college football to live by. If OSU does that, even if it means firing Tressel and potentially losing to U of M (and believe me I as a Spartan HATE them more then any Buckeye) then I and many in the Big Ten and the nation will have the FULL respect a great university like OSU deserves.

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    MaliBuckeyeNo Gravatar
    March 9th, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    Ah… thanks for clarifying, Matt.

    A website I read a lot put your words this way: “We’re Ohio State, and we expect and deserve better than this.” I agree that this goes for the B1G 10 Conference as well.

    In terms of our fanbase, I can’t really respond. I’m sure that the successes Ohio State has had on the field brings out the worst in many people, just as it does anywhere.

    In terms of “the attitude of… Jim Tressel himself”, again I can’t speak to this. All I know is that it is difficult to take a position that you believe in (in terms of publicly professed values) as it makes the fall from that position all the more significant. And that’s the case here- people love it when the “high and mighty” are brought down (hence reality TV), and there’s certainly a bit of that in play here, understandably so.

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    KevinNo Gravatar
    March 9th, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    “and believe me I as a Spartan HATE them more then any Buckeye”

    Now that’s funny!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    MattNo Gravatar
    March 9th, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    meaning Michigan State hate Michigan more then Ohio State has ever hated Michigan. Same goes for Michigan hating Michigan State more then Ohio State. Hate to burst OSU’s bubble but ask any alum of Michigan and they are going to tell you Michigan State is there primary rival. Ask the “Walmart U of M Fans” and they will tell you OSU. OSU does not understand an in-state rivalery. Yeah that Toledo/OSU game is always a real pressure cooker. Not trying to down play the importance of the OSU/UofM game on a national level but on an Alum/Student level the MSU/UofM game is a bigger deal.

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    EricNo Gravatar
    March 9th, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    Matt, as a graduate of both MSU and OSU, I beg to differ regarding your views on the two rivalries. On an Alumni/Student level the Ohio State rivalry is a whole heck of a lot bigger than what exists between MSU and Michigan. At least, that’s what I’ve experienced being a student ticket holder at both institutions.

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  10. HeatherNo Gravatar
    March 9th, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    I fully believe the AD is complicit, that Tressel did go to the department, and was probably told to sit on it because of the larger ramifications. So why would they fire Tressel? I’m very disappointed with the whole thing but not surprised. Something wasn’t right in December with the whole thing.

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  11. WoodyHazeNo Gravatar
    March 9th, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    I too am having difficulty in reconciling what I thought I knew of Coach Tressel with what has come to light in the past 36 hours. So much so that I have to ask myself, “Could I have been that wrong about him?” In my effort to respond to my own inquiry I further wonder whether or not Coach simply covering for the university now. Is it possible, or more importantly probable, that Coach DID relay this information and was directed by the administration to keep it under wraps? Is it possible that it has be scripted that by him taking the fall and retiring he leaves behind a university that appears cleaner without him? That WOULD be the Coach I think I know; taking one for the team; the needs of one being lesser than that of the whole. I know I am grasping at blowing reeds, but as has been previously pointed out, this just doesn’t flow properly.

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    KevinNo Gravatar
    March 9th, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    Tressel isn’t retiring unless there is a lot more to the story than we know. I have met Tressel several times and if his schtick is an act the man is a genius. I don’t know if we will ever know all the facts. As a true Buckeye fan, I wish we did, one way or another.

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  12. WesNo Gravatar
    March 9th, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    Ken, Tc, Mali

    I understand your thoughts regarding NCAA rules regulating selling something that you have earned through hard work and dedication. I also understand the NCAA’s perspective that if you weren’t an athlete for this institution, you wouldn’t have the ability to earn these pieces of athletic treasure therefore you wouldn’t have them to sell. It’s a nice little double edged sword or the old Catch 22. I personally do not revel in the fact that OSU has gotten in trouble, what troubles me most is that based on what I saw in yesterdays press conference, they were in save our reputation mode. I’m disgusted that Tressel danced around an apology that was part of his punishment and that when asked if anyone else knew of the e-mails, and it was obvious that a “yes” answer was coming, the man leading the program waved him off and interjected with a lot of words but no real answer. That goes to the character of the guys at the top not just the football program itself. For once I would like to see someone stand up and say. ” I screwed up, I was worried about how my players being linked to a federal drug investigation would affect my reputation and the reputation of the university and it’s athletic program. It was wrong and I will accept the punishment that is given both by the university and the NCAA. This was my mistake and in no way should reflect on how the administration at this great university conducts the business of education nor athletics.” Would that be too much to ask?? I would have a lot more respect for a guy who did that than one who danced around an apology and let his superiors take the bulk of the heat.

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    MattNo Gravatar
    March 9th, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    Your statements regarding Tressel I agree with completely. And I also totally agree with what you are saying would be nice to hear. That is exactly what I would like to see and hear. And exactly what I feel the Jim Tressel that we knew before all of this would be doing. If that was what was being said I would support Jim Tressel and OSU completely.

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  13. ErikNo Gravatar
    March 9th, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    This would never happen at Penn State…

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    JimNo Gravatar
    March 9th, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    You’re just asking for trouble with that bold statement.

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    WesNo Gravatar
    March 9th, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    Never say Never. They may wear white uni’s but that doesn’t make them virginal!!!!!
    They seem to have their issues with criminal activity.
    I wouldn’t throw stones, one may look like a boomerang and come back to hit you square in the forehead.

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    EricNo Gravatar
    March 9th, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    Well said Wes, well said.

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    KenNo Gravatar
    March 9th, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    I like the ‘boomerang’ comment.

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    Lurking_MichaelNo Gravatar
    March 10th, 2011 at 9:19 am

    Of course it wouldn’t happen at Penn State. JoePa has no idea what “email” is.

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  14. BillNo Gravatar
    March 9th, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    I know that Buckeye fans probably prefer that UofM fans stay off of your blogs, but I feel the need to comment. Being a fan of Michigan I know the requirements by both sides to hate each other. With that being said, I really dislike Tressel as the coach of tOSU, but always had respect for him as a great coach and competitor. This whole scenario really took me back because of the person I thought he was. I find it hard to believe that someone of his caliber acted alone on the decision to withhold this information from the NCAA. I also find it hard to believe that the NCAA will be OK with the current self imposed penalties. Good luck with the investigation and see you on November 26th.

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    MaliBuckeyeNo Gravatar
    March 9th, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    Bill- thanks for the comments, and (by proxy) the comments from your new coach.

    Interestingly enough, I felt the same way that you feel about Tress about Coach Schembechler .

    We love having opposing fans over here giving us insight and so forth (as long as you remember our bias, that is).

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    BillNo Gravatar
    March 9th, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    MaliBuckeye-

    I love the rivalry between our schools and would hate it to see it tarnished with Treseel not being on the sidelines this year. I know that most UofM fans want to beat him on the field rather than seeing him leave or suspended by the NCAA.

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    MaliBuckeyeNo Gravatar
    March 9th, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    Well, Bill- most of MGoBlog would probably disagree with you. :D

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    BillNo Gravatar
    March 9th, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    LOL. OK, so maybe I am just speaking for myself.

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    KenNo Gravatar
    March 9th, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    Bill, good seeing another voice chime in, especially a UM’er. Yeah, my ‘formative’ days go back to Woody & Bo with their clenched jaws and interesting relationship.

    Good luck this autumn, except on the 25th, of course…

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  15. KenNo Gravatar
    March 9th, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    You know, some of this, as an OSU fan, you have to shrug off. The guys were laying in wait for me at the gym this morning knowing that I’m an OSU fan and they aren’t. I ended up defusing the issue by taking orders for signed merchandise..

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  16. JackNo Gravatar
    March 10th, 2011 at 10:54 am

    Apologize if we will, but what drives me crazy is why we had to lie about this issue? If Tressel tells the truth and reports this issue a year ago, I am sure Pryor, Herron, etc. are suspended for maybe two games at the beginning of the season…no big deal. We would still win and go on to the Big Ten title and Sugar Bowl. Now we are facing potentially much harsher punishments.

    Say what you want about TSUN, but at least they were up front about their violations, they took away schloraships (which is harsh to any program). Although not allowing RichRod on the sideline for a few games, probably would have helped them.

    Still its a slippery slope, and lying leads to distrust in a program, especially if the Buckeyes have a tough season this year.

    Expect harsher punishments on Ohio State this year. I still think we have a great season, if we do struggle, will we still support Tressel?

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  17. Mason May-Day DavisNo Gravatar
    March 11th, 2011 at 12:54 am

    I heard, and read a lot of information in regards to what has happened lately with Ohio State and Jim Tressel. I took the liberty of creating a tribute for the school, and Mr. Tressel. I hope the lot of you Buckeyes enjoy it!

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    MaliBuckeyeNo Gravatar
    March 11th, 2011 at 1:10 am

    Without doing the necessary research, I’m pretty sure that was the first time we’ve had someone spit flow in our comments section. Great work.

    For our “regular” readers, “spit flow” is different than “drool down our shirts”, which you should be pretty used to from me by now.

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  18. EdNo Gravatar
    March 12th, 2011 at 10:00 am

    Hey guys, haven’t posted in like ever on here. Hello Mali and the guys…..
    I am deep in SEC country ( Soutwest Florida). And the reactions to this are what I expect. Some Miami radio personalities are calling for our forfiet of the 2002 title, lol…..
    At anyrate, it took me about 20 hrs to digest this . And yes I took off my Buckeye glasses / and put down my kool-aid .
    That said, first and foremost….Tressel is not a dumb ass, hes educated, and has been doing this a long , long , long time. To sit up at a presser and claim ” I don’t /didn’t know what to do ” , is a stretch for me. And as time rolls on we will find out more , as is always the case in this day and age. But with what we know now, I think he did forward what he knew to University brass…..but he was cut off by AD Smitty. makes ya go hhmmmmmm….theres alot more to this.
    Lastly , and i cannot leave without commenting on it. Has anyone heard , or remember Colin Cowherd ever having this much disgust for say …..Pete Carrol ( i mean instead of stayin and takin heat for stuff on his watch) he ran off to the NFL. Sould Jim Tressel have done the same? I mean in Cowherds eyes that wouldve been the better thing to do right??

    Just asking…..

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    MaliBuckeyeNo Gravatar
    March 12th, 2011 at 10:29 pm

    Ed! Welcome back… feels like the family getting together at a funeral, though.

    Nope- What Pete did was great and got a pass. What Tress is doing (facing the music) just shows his arrogance and evilocity.

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