Jim Tressel, who guided Ohio State to its first national title in 34 years, resigned Monday amid NCAA violations from a tattoo-parlor scandal that sullied the image of one of the country's top football programs.
"After meeting with university officials, we agreed that it is in the best interest of Ohio State that I resign as head football coach," Tressel said in a statement released by the university. "The appreciation that [wife] Ellen and I have for the Buckeye Nation is immeasurable."
The author of two books about faith and integrity, he remains a scapegoat to many and a hypocrite to others. Even though he has many backers, a rising chorus of detractors had stepped forward during the ongoing NCAA investigation. There were also questions about his players and their friends and family members receiving special deals on used cars from two Columbus dealers.
He'd gotten into trouble with the NCAA even before coming to Ohio State. He was the coach at Youngstown State when it received scholarship and recruiting restrictions for violations involving star quarterback Ray Isaacs.
Michael Buckner, an attorney who specializes in NCAA litigation and has represented schools and coaches, said despite Tressels resignation, the NCAA Committee on Infractions can still impose a penalty on him that would be attached to his next job, if he were ever to try to coach again, such as suspension or probation.
Hopefully the NCAA will have the balls to lower the death penalty on this merry band of cheaters in Columbus. I also hope we see the end of E. Gordon Gee as well, but perhaps I'm wishing for too much at this point. I still remember his reaction when O$U beat Penn State in our first ever Big Ten meeting:
In Columbus the previous year, not only had the Buckeye players verbally taunted their new Big Ten brethren, but Ohio State president E. Gordon Gee had gone through the press box after the game telling the media, ‘John Cooper out-coached Joe Paterno, and I want to see it in print!’ It got printed all right, and Penn State used the quote for motivation as the teams prepared to square off in ‘94.Not exactly the class act there. And if that's who is leading the show in Columbus, is there any reason to be surprised about any of this?
Say Goodnight, Dick.